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Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science
2.54 Our Sea of Clouds: An Introduction to Cloud and Sky Watching. H. Michael Mogil, Allan E. Eustis, and Barbara G. Levine. Rockville, Md.: How the Weatherworks, 1992.
Grades: 4-6Our Sea of Clouds: An Introduction to Cloud and Sky Watching is designed to offer teachers a broad perspective on clouds and sky and on the historical background of cloud observing. The 50 multidisciplinary activities, which incorporate mathematics, geography, art, and language arts, offer students opportunities to experiment, predict, observe, classify, and hypothesize about cloud and sky phenomena. The guide is organized in 6 sections that focus on (1) an introduction to sky observation, (2) collecting and interpreting data about sky phenomena, (3) forecasting and climatology, (4) experimenting with clouds, (5) how weather affects our moods and feelings, and (6) weather-related optical phenomena. Examples of activities include students recording sky data on a monthly weather calendar, creating their own cloud maps from the newspaper's weather page, creating clouds in a bottle, and discussing visibility. Some activities stand alone and others are designed to be used in sequence.
Our Sea of Clouds includes a teacher's guide, a videotape featuring time-lapse and still cloud photography, and 3 full-color cloud charts. Each section includes objectives, a materials list, and instructions for each activity. The guide includes a bibliography, a glossary, and selected readings.
Prices: Teacher's Guide, $14.95. Complete unit, $89.95. Publisher/supplier : How the Weatherworks. Materials: Available locally.
2.55 Out of the Rock: Integrated Learning Activities for Students. National Energy Foundation. Salt Lake City, Utah: National Energy Foundation, 1994.
Grades: K-6+Out of the Rock is a mineral resource education guide for teachers that focuses on topics such as mining, geology, the environment, and economics. It includes an introduction, background information, a conceptual framework, sections dealing with careers, tools of the trade, large-group activities, and additional resources. The 4 sections of integrated learning activities are the central component of the guide. Activities include students participating in a "mining day" celebration, inventing a new device or product that uses minerals or items made from minerals, creating stories about the lifestyles of the early miners, learning the characteristics of rocks and minerals, and using mining vocabulary in a game situation.
It is recommended in Out of the Rock that each activity be preceded by a reminder of safety procedures, because some of the activities are potentially hazardous due to the use of chemicals, flammable substances, and/or heat.
Price: $25. Publisher/supplier: National Energy Foundation. Materials : Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.
2.56 Out of This World. AIMS. Mary Lind, Pam Knecht, Bill Dodge, and others. Rev. ed. Fresno, Calif.: AIMS Education Foundation, 1994.
Grades: 5-6+ In Out of This World, students learn about the planets and their relationships by using tables, planetary facts, Venn diagrams, and drawings of the planets. Students determine the relative sizes of the planets and the distances between them in order to construct a model solar system. They compute travel time to the moon and other planets to determine their own ages after imaginary excursions. They compute gravity factors and compare travel time around the equator of each of the planets. Out of This World was revised in 1994 to reflect newly acquired information from space research.
Each of the 20 investigations in this guide has a specific lesson plan, including a list of materials, background information, procedures, discussion questions, reproducible student worksheets, and extensions.
2.57 Rocks, Sand, and Soil. Windows on Elementary Science. Joan Westley. Sunnyvale, Calif.: Creative Publications, 1988.
Grades: PreK, K-2 In Rocks, Sand, and Soil, children sort and classify rocks by texture, weight, color, and hardness. They examine soil to determine its components; make sand from rocks; create sand paintings; construct sand timers; and compare soil samples, soil drainage, and plant growth in different soils. Activities in the guide are sequenced by increasing levels of difficulty but do not have to be used in order. Most activities require one class period.
Each of the 28 activities in Rocks. Sand, and Soil includes a learning objective, process skills, materials needed, suggested questions for discussions, directions for the exploration, and extensions.
Prices: Teacher's Guide (ISBN 088488-707-3), $13.75. Kit, $250.00. Publisher/supplier: Creative Publications. Materials: Available locally, from commercial suppliers, or in kit.