By: Steve Rich
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Bringing Outdoor Science In: Thrifty Classroom Lessons
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Grade Level:||Elementary School, Middle School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Rocks and Soils
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When it’s just not possible to take students out to explore the natural world, bring the natural world to the classroom. Clearly organized and easy to use, this helpful guide contains more than 50 science lessons in six units: Greening the School, Insects, Plants, Rocks and Soils, Water, and In the Sky. All lessons include objectives, materials lists, procedures, reproducible data sheets, ideas for adapting to different grade levels, discussion questions, and next steps. Almost all the needed materials are inexpensive or even free (such as leaves and rocks), and if you do get the chance to venture outside, the lessons will work there, too. By using Steve Rich’s follow-up to his popular book Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide, you can introduce students to everything from bug zoos to the Sun and stars without ever needing to pull on a jacket.
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Nature of science and technology
Science as Inquiry
|Intended User Role:||Elementary-Level Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
About the Author
Correlation to National Science Education Standards
Chapter 1: Greening the School
Recycling School Paper
Composting Cafeteria Waste
Using Solar Energy
Helping Teachers Recycle More
Encouraging Recycling at Home
Community Cleanup Project
Chapter 2: Insects
Observing Insect Behavior
Insect Food Chain
Predators of Insects
What’s the Difference Between a Spider, an Earthworm, and an Insect?
Fly, Hop, or Walk?
How Insects Help Humans
Plants as a Habitat for Insects
Wearing a Skeleton on the Outside
Chapter 3: Plants
How Plants Use Water
What Plants Get From Different Soils
Flowering Plant Dissection
Carnivorous Plant Dissection
How Humans Use Plants
Using Plants to Make Dyes
Chapter 4: Rocks and Soils
Exploring Local Rocks
Characteristics of Rocks
Making a Rock Collection
How Humans Use Rocks
Characteristics of Soils
Soils From Here and There
Earth’s Changing Surface
Chapter 5: Water
Earth’s Water Cycle
Polymers—Helping Soil Hold Water
Using Water to Harness Energy
Freshwater Versus Salt Water
Animals That Live in Water
Measuring Water for a Day
Is There Water in Fruit?
Chapter 6: In the Sky
Clouds and Precipitation
The Sun and Its Impact on Earth
How Stars Can Guide Us
Our Solar System
How Does Wind Help Us?
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 115 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Properties of objects and materials
- Objects have many observable properties, including the ability to react with other substances. (K-4)
- Objects have many observable properties, including size, weight, shape, color, and temperature. (K-4)
- The observable properties of objects can be measured using tools, such as rulers, balances, and thermometers. (K-4)
- Objects can be described by the properties of the materials from which they are made. (K-4)
- The properties of objects can be used to separate or sort a group of objects or materials.
- Properties and changes of properties in matter
- A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility. (5-8)
- The characteristic properties of a substance are independent of the amount of the sample. (5-8)
- A mixture of substances often can be separated into the original substances using one or more of the characteristic properties. (5-8)
- Position and motion of objects
- The position of an object can be described by locating it relative to another object or the background. (K-4)
- An object's motion can be described by tracing and measuring its position over time. (velocity) (K-4)
- The size of the change of position and motion is related to the strength of the push or pull. (K-4)
- The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling. (K-4)
- Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
- Light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object. (K-4)
- Light can be reflected by a mirror, refracted by a lens, or absorbed by the object. (K-4)
- Transfer of Energy
- Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. (5-8)
- Energy is transferred in many ways. (5-8)
- Motion and Forces
- The motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed. (5-8)
- Motion can be measured and represented on a graph.
- Life Science
- The characteristics of organisms
- Organisms have basic needs. For example, animals need air, water, and food; plants require air, water, nutrients, and light. (K-4)
- Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. For example, humans have distinct body structures for walking, holding, seeing, and talking. (K-4)
- The behavior of individual organisms is influenced by internal cues (such as hunger) and by external cues (such as a change in the environment). (K-4)
- Organisms can survive only in environments in which their
needs can be met. (K-4)
- Life cycles of organisms
- Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms. (K-4)
- Plants and animals closely resemble their parents. (K-4)
- Organisms and environments
- All animals depend on plants. Some animals eat plants for food. Other animals eat animals that eat the plants.
- An organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment, including the kinds and numbers of other organisms present, the availability of food and resources, and the physical characteristics of the environment.
- Structure and function in living systems
- Living systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function (5-8)
- Important levels of organization for structure and function include cells, organs, tissues, organ systems, whole organisms, and ecosystems (5-8)
- All organisms are composed of cells--the fundamental unit of life (5-8)
- Most organisms are single cells; other organisms, including humans, are multicellular. (5-8)
- Cells carry on the many functions needed to sustain life. They grow and divide, thereby producing more cells. (5-8)
- This requires that cells take in nutrients, which they use to provide energy for the work that cells do and to make the materials that a cell or an organism needs. (5-8)
- Specialized cells perform specialized functions in multicellular organisms. (5-8)
- Reproduction and heredity
- Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems; because no individual organism lives forever, reproduction is essential to the continuation of every species. (5-8)
- Regulation and behavior
- All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment. (5-8)
- Behavior is one kind of response an organism can make to an internal or environmental stimulus. (5-8)
- A behavioral response requires coordination and communication at many levels, including cells, organ systems, and whole organisms.
- Behavioral response is a set of actions determined in part by heredity and in part from experience. (5-8)
- Populations and ecosystems
- A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time. (5-8)
- All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem. (5-8)
- Populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem. (5-8)
- Plants and some micro-organisms are producers--they make their own food. (5-8)
- All animals, including humans, are consumers, which obtain food by eating other organisms. (5-8)
- Decomposers, primarily bacteria and fungi, are consumers that use waste materials and dead organisms for food. (5-8)
- Food webs identify the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem. (5-8)
- For ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. (5-8)
- The number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition.
- Lack of resources and other factors, such as predation and climate, limit the growth of populations in specific niches in the ecosystem. (5-8)
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms
- Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today. (5-8)
- Although different species might look dissimilar, the unity among organisms becomes apparent from an analysis of internal structures, the similarity of their chemical processes, and the evidence of common ancestry. (5-8)
- Earth Science
- Properties of earth materials
- Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere.
- The varied Earth materials have different physical and chemical properties, which make them useful in different ways, for example, as building materials, as sources of fuel, or for growing the plants we use as food.
- Earth materials provide many of the resources that humans use.
- Soils have properties of color and texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply.
- Objects in the sky
- The sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, and airplanes all have properties, locations, and movements that can be observed and described.
- The sun provides the light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth.
- Changes in earth and sky
- The surface of the earth changes.
- Objects in the sky have patterns of movement.
- The sun appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons.
- The moon moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the sun.
- Structure of the earth system
- Some changes in the solid earth can be described as the "rock cycle." (5-8)
- Soil consists of weathered rocks and decomposed organic material from dead plants, animals, and bacteria. (5-8)
- Water, which covers the majority of the earth's surface, circulates through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere in what is known as the "water cycle." (5-8)
- Water evaporates from the earth's surface, rises and cools as it moves to higher elevations, condenses as rain or snow, and falls to the surface where it collects in lakes, oceans, soil, and in rocks underground. (5-8)
- Clouds, formed by the condensation of water vapor, affect weather and climate. (5-8)
- Earth's history
- The earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric plates, and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those that occurred in the past. (5-8)
- Earth in the solar system
- The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system. (5-8)
- Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. (5-8)
- The motions of most objects in the solar system explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
- The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the earth's surface, such as growth of plants, winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle. (5-8)
- Science and Technology
- Abilities of technological design
- Identify a simple problem.
- Propose a solution.
- Implementing proposed solutions
- Evaluate a product or design.
- Communicate a problem, design, and solution.
- Design a solution or product.
- Understanding about science and technology
- People have always had questions about their world. Science is one way of answering questions and explaining the natural world.
- People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques (ways of doing something) to solve problems.
- Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems.
- Tools help scientists make better observations, measurements, and equipment for investigations. They help scientists see, measure, and do things that they could not otherwise see, measure, and do.
- Distinguish between natural and human made objects
- Some objects occur in nature; others have been designed and made by people to solve human problems and enhance the quality of life.
- Objects can be categorized into two groups, natural and designed.
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Personal health
- Safety and security are basic needs of humans.
- Safety involves freedom from danger, risk, or injury.
- Security involves feelings of confidence and lack of anxiety and fear.
- Student understandings include following safety rules for home and school, preventing abuse and neglect, avoiding injury, knowing whom to ask for help, and when and how to say no.
- Maintaining environmental health involves establishing or monitoring quality standards related to use of soil, water, and air.
- Characteristics and changes in populations
- Human populations include groups of individuals living in a particular location.
- The size of a human population can increase or decrease.
- Types of resources
- Resources are things that we get from the living and nonliving environment to meet the needs and wants of a population.
- Some resources are basic materials, such as air, water, and soil.
- Some resources are nonmaterial, such as quiet places, beauty, security, and safety.
- The supply of many resources is limited.
- If used, resources can be extended through recycling and decreased use.
- Changes in environments
- Environments are the space, conditions, and factors that affect an individual's and a population's ability to survive and their quality of life.
- Changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans. Some changes are good, some are bad, and some are neither good nor bad.
- Pollution is a change in the environment that can influence the health, survival, or activities of organisms, including humans.
- Some environmental changes occur slowly, and others occur rapidly.
- Students should understand the different consequences of changing environments in small increments over long periods as compared with changing environments in large increments over short periods.
- Science and technology in local challenges
- People continue inventing new ways of doing things, solving problems, and getting work done.
- New ideas and inventions often affect other people; sometimes the effects are good and sometimes they are bad.
- Populations, resources, and environments
- When an area becomes overpopulated, the environment will become degraded due to the increased use of resources. (5-8)
- Causes of environmental degradation and resource depletion vary from region to region and from country to country. (5-8)
- Natural hazards
- Internal and external processes of the earth system cause natural hazards (disasters), events that change or destroy human and wildlife habitats, damage property, and harm or kill humans. (5-8)
- Natural hazards(disasters), include earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, floods, storms, and even possible impacts of asteroids.(5-8)
- Risks and benefits
- Students should understand the risks associated with natural hazards (fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions) (5-8)
- Students should understand the risks associated with chemical hazards (pollutants in air, water, soil, and food). (5-8)
- Science and technology in society
- Science influences society through its knowledge and world view. (5-8)
- History and Nature of Science
- Science as a human endeavor
- Science and technology have been practiced by people for a long time.
- Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.
- Although men and women using scientific inquiry have learned much about the objects, events, and phenomena in nature, much more remains to be understood. Science will never be finished.
- Nature of science
- Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. (5-8)
- Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. (5-8)
- Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations.
- History of Science
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