Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Elementary Science (with a 3 and 5 year old)

Our 5-year-old LOVES science (which makes her Chemistry-major father VERY happy), so I have worked really hard to put together a fun, engaging science curriculum that not only she will love, but that will keep her little sister interested as well.

How I Planned the Year

The first thing I did when trying to plan our science curriculum was to look at the science overview of the Oak Meadow 2nd Grade curriculum (Oak Meadow moves at a slower pace academically, and the 2nd grade curriculum is a better fit our daughter's current progress), the Sonlight book lists and science topics covered for the PreK to 8-year-old age group, and Common Core/State science standards for kindergarten and first grade. And, as usual, I also browsed through the science videos on Brain Pop Jr (I can't recommend that site enough!).

What We Will Use

I am not purchasing an official science curriculum. What I did instead was to pick some topics that my children would enjoy, and I built my own. Once I had an outline of topics, I combed the internet (and Pinterest!) to find activities, books, and websites. I will say that one of the only things I bought specific to science was the Magic School Bus Complete Series (Season 1 was just added to Netflix!) because it pairs so well with what we'll be studying this year. 

Our Science Plan for the 2013-2014 School Year

*Yes, most things are catered towards our 5-year-old. We will be covering a lot, but almost half of our year will be focused on the human body. I would rather dive deep into a few topics, so that she knows them well, than touch on a huge list of topics. We will also be covering scientific inquiry, in hopes that my daughter will get a good grasp on the scientific process and will be able to use those skills as we progress. 

**Our 3-year-old loves to be in the middle of everything. So while everything is not suited perfectly for her, I have no doubt that she will also be learning. Remember - she's only 3! Much of her day should still be spent playing! So if she wants to dive in and soak things up, we will encourage that. But she will also be able to come and go from our lessons as she pleases. I have tried to make our lessons inviting to her where possible - with coloring pages, crafts, and activities that can be tweaked for her level.

And one last thing before you get into the nitty-gritty of our science plan, I have to give a shout-out to two fantastic blogs from which I pulled most of our content on the human body: Maureen Spell of Spell Outloud did an amazing unit on the human body and put everything she did on her blog so that others (like me!) could use it. Check out this page for an overview of everything she included in her unit. I also used the astounding craft idea from Keri from The Home Teacher. She made a toddler-sized human body and covered the different systems/parts of the body each week. I'm sure my girls are going to love it!

So here is my master science list. I poured a lot of time and effort into compiling this list, but that's because I'm a planner by heart. I love lists and I love researching things like this for my kids. Not everyone enjoys it like I do, or has the time, so I hope that others might find it helpful. I will also be updating this list throughout the year with other resources/activities that we included with each topic (and that's why some of the last few are lacking!). Enjoy!

[Also, I would like to apologize for the variance in the font size throughout the list. I am copying my lists from Evernote, and no matter what I do, I cannot fix it once it transfers to Blogger. Sorry!]

**MSB = Magic School Bus Episode**


  • Lymphatic System (Unit ideas from here.)

  • Urinary System (Unit ideas from here.)

  • Skin
    • Skin video
    • Fingerprint examinations - trace hands, paint prints, magnifying glass
    • Taking care of skin/sunscreen project

  • Senses (Unit ideas from here.)
    • Senses video
    • "My Five Senses" by Aliki
    • "Look, Listen, Taste, Touch and Smell" by Pamela Hill Nettleton
    • "In the Haunted House" (sound) - MSB
    • "Makes a Stink" (smell) - MSB
    • Activity for each sense from here


  • Plants

  • Animals:
    • Life of frogs
    • "Hops Home" - MSB
    • Vertebrates and Invertebrates
  • Food chain
    • "Gets Eaten - MSB

  • Interdependence



  • Simple Machines
    • Simple Machines video
    • "How Do You Life a Lion?" by Robert E. Wells
    • "Forces Make Things Move" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Pushes and Pulls
    • Pushes and Pulls video
    • "The Magic Schoolbus Plays Ball: A Book about Forces" - Joanna Cole
    • "Forces Make Things Move" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    • "Plays Ball" - MSB
  • Gravity
    • Gravity video
    • "Forces Make Things Move" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    • "Why Can't I Jump Very High? A Book About Gravity" by Kamal Prasad
    • "Gains Weight" - MSB
  • Floating/Sinking
    • Sink or Float video
    • "Who Sank the Boat?" by Pamela Allen
    • "Ups and Downs" - MSB
  • Light
    • Light video
    • "My Light" by Molly Bang
    • "Gets a Bright Idea" - MSB
    • Activity: making shadow puppets
  • Color
  • Air Pressure
    • "Goes on Air" - MSB
  • Electricity 


  • Solar System
  • Constellations

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled across your blog and love the homeschooling info! I have a 4-year-old science lover, too! :)