First Grade Science
Where do the stars, sun and moon appear in the sky over time?
The goals of the Sky Patterns Unit are for first graders to become familiar with ways to gather and interpret data about the movement of the sun, moon and stars. First graders will also discover how the sun, moon, and stars move from east to west across the sky, when they are visible. They will also discover how the amount of sunlight and the north-south apparent movement of the sun changes over a year.
How Can I read Under the Covers When it is Dark?
In this unit, students explore the driving question of How Can I Read Under the Covers When It’s Dark? In a series of investigations, students develop and revise models of how light interacts with transparent, translucent, opaque, and reflective materials. Students work to figure out that we need a light source to read under the covers at night. Students also investigate how opaque objects can create shadows and how some reflective objects can act as mirrors.
How can our Bodies Feel Music?
In this unit students figure out why you can FEEL music. Students will investigate sounds made by instruments where they can feel and see the vibrations. Then, they see something move as a result of a sound, but the object is not touching the source of the sound. Students will recognize that the vibrations are causing waves to move through the air, which can cause other materials to vibrate. This unit ends with students engaging in an engineering project which combines what they have learned from the Reading Under Cover and Feel the Music units to construct a device which can be used for communication.
How do parents and offspring use their bodies and behaviors to survive?
In this unit, first graders use models to investigate how external parts of plants and animals help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. They also use multiple texts and media sources to study how animal and plant parents and offspring are similar, but not exactly alike, as well as how behaviors of parents and offspring help them survive. The students then research how other animals and plants have different external structures that help them survive.
How can we use our knowledge of pollinators and materials and their properties to improve a hand pollinator for a model flower?
Insects pollinate many kinds of plants. What if the right insects aren’t around to do the work? As an agricultural engineer, what would you do? The storybook Mariana Becomes a Butterfly shows how one girl solves a pollination problem. Learning along with Mariana, students become agricultural engineers who have to solve a real-world challenge. They’ll apply their knowledge of insects, insect life cycles, pollination, and natural systems as they test a variety of materials, then engineer their own technologies for pollinating plants by hand.
How can we create a computer animation to help show flower pollination?
Computer scientists program robots to complete tasks that are difficult for humans to do. In the story Omar’s Robotic Reach, when Omar loses a gem from his costume for a school performance, he programs a robot to retrieve it from under the stage. Students explore how to write an algorithm to tell a robot how to move, then investigate how to program a robot such as the Code & Go® Robot Mouse. They then follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, and improve a program to make a robot navigate a maze. Students extend their computational thinking skills to mathematical concepts as they practice strategies for addition and subtraction.