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Early Childhood

1st Grade Activities

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Danielle Cavazos Danielle Cavazos 450 Points

I would love to learn about engaging and fun science activities for 1st graders!

Marcella Rodriguez Marcella Rodriguez 190 Points

I think one way to do this would be by knowing your students and what interests them. At this age students are curious so they would be eager to learn!

Kristina Sanchez Kristina Sanchez 150 Points

I found this website with some pretty neat science activities! www.playdoughtoplato.com

Katherine Nguyen Katherine Nguyen 695 Points

Hi Danielle, I got an experiment idea if you were teaching about sound. It is affordable and simple ingredients: paper cups and ball of string! It's the paper cup telephone experiment. The vibrations caused by the student's voice passes through the string and reached their friend. Sound vibrations are similar to waves that moves within the string to reach the other end of the the string. When the sound waves hit the second cup, it turns into sound. Have fun, and good luck!

Fei Zhao fei zhao 200 Points

Hey Danielle https://www.education.com/activity/first-grade/science/ This is the website my Mentor teacher use for her class, it has all the grade level you're looking for it, and you can search by the subject, the type of material you need for your lesson. When you select your activity, you can download for free, and it also gives you the related Learning Resources. This website is like teacherpayteacher but with extra information.

Elizabeth Maloney Elizabeth Maloney 10 Points

Hi Danielle! In my experience, 1st graders (and all elementary students!) are very engaged when it comes to science experiments! It might be a good idea to take your students outside for a "nature walk." This will allow them to experience first hand what they are learning about! Another GREAT resource that I have found are the science texts found on the CK-12 website. These are great for learning about a variety of science standards-- and they are free! I would love to hear if anyone else has found awesome science resources! https://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-First-Grade-Science/

Nic Peiffer Nic Peiffer 1805 Points

Hi Danielle

My name is Nic and I am a student studying elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa. We recently have been diving in to early elementary activity to intergrade science. We did an experiment where we explored how shadows work. We used LED lights to cast shadows and the challenges that we had to explore and explain were things such as why the shadows got bigger and smaller. We also had to use what we learned to make a drawling out of the shadows that we traced. This is very engaging and it also allow the student to have creativity while opening them up to the new science idea.

Courtney Brown Courtney Brown 801 Points

Try out the merge cube! You can either buy a real one or Print one out and the students can construct it. It is very interactive and FUN! They can use their devices at home to do experiments and play games. I love it! 

Roxanne Daeley Roxanne Daeley 1555 Points

Me too! Early childhood needs more science!

Sofia Cano Sofia Cano 55 Points

In my opinion I will consider hands on activities. Usually science give us the advantage to make activities out of everything. For example a 1st grader will be exited observing the characteristics of a butterfly and feeling like a real life scientist.

Irene Hernandez Irene Hernandez 1510 Points

I agree! Any age-appropriate hands on activities are always great for first graders. Also, outdoor activities are excellent alternatives to classroom activities since the students can explore and observe nature.

Natalie Witt Natalie Witt 2735 Points

I agree having hands-on activities is always a great idea. Also making sure those activities or topics are relative to them and their lives. They will be more engaged then because they are interested in it.

Naomi Bourrous Naomi Bourrous 465 Points

Hello Kristina. In Texas children learn about clouds in first grade. I saw an activity that used shaving cream in a jar to represent the different types of clouds. I also think you need food coloring. You can find the exact materials on Pinterest. Basically it is a hands on way to provide students with a visual of various clouds. Also shaving cream is usually inexpensive. Another option is to teach moon phases with oreo cookies. Not sure what you are looking for but I hope that helps. I always check pinterest for fun ideas.

Shirin Nayani Shirin Nayani 405 Points

The best way to engage your students is to know where their interests lie. Once you have figured that out then you can design your lesson plan accordingly. I know my students love songs, so every time I teach them a new concept for example, seasons I show my students a song about seasons on YouTube. I even made a foldable with my students once but they did not like that. This way I found out what my students like to do and what they do not. I also made a PowerPoint game for the students in which they had clues and the students had to guess what season it is. The students really liked that. So it all depends on what is interesting for the students. Some students will like something and others will not. You just have to see what works for your class. My students also like reading about a particular topic or watching an informational video about it that is age appropriate.

Darlyng Trujillo Darlyng Trujillo 421 Points

Hello, I am a student teacher for a first grade science class and have been able to observe and create fun activities that have helped my students be active learners. Students are big on hands-on learning activities and tend to remember more when they are interacting with other students or classroom materials. I am currently working on a living and nonliving lesson plan. I am going to introduce my lesson by reading a book on the lesson objective, then I will have an open discussion to know what students know. Additionally, I will create two circle maps to explore my students knowledge. I will properly explain what living and nonliving is. My job is to explain and provide a fun activity for the lesson objective. I am thinking of creating a bucket sort of living and nonliving items. They will work with a partner and hands-on objects. In addition, another fun activity I did with my first grade class was creating a seasonal book. They wrote three sentences for each season. The students also had the opportunity to create a tree for each season with a small amount of paint and a Q-tip. There books were both creative and informative. I hope my ideas can help anyone in need. The key to an effective lesson is to let your imagination lead the way. Please feel free to share any resources on living and nonliving that I can use in my upcoming lesson. Thank you in advance.

Carili Rubiera Carili Rubiera 4145 Points

Hello Danielle! There are a lot of fun science activities for first graders that are also inquiry activities! A really popular activity deals with the life cycle of a butterfly, though this would take a few classes to complete. This activity should be done prior to teaching about the life cycle of a butterfly so that students can try to use their observations to learn about it first. The investigable question could be: what happens in the life cycle of a butterfly? Over the next few days, students can observe a caterpillar and watch it go through the process of turning into a butterfly. Each day they should write observational notes or drawings in their journal until finally, the caterpillar turns into a butterfly! Then you can ask the class to share their observations and you as the teacher could then fully explain the life cycle to them :)

Colleen Ray Colleen Ray 10 Points

As a future teacher, I am always on the look out for engaging activities for my first graders! One of the most exciting lessons I had the chance to take part of was the opportunity to raise chicks. My first grade teacher worked for weeks to prepare us and explain what a big responsibility it was to take part in the chick's life. When they arrived, we all sat in quiet excitement that our guests were here! While the eggs incubated in our classroom, we had the chance to explore what was happening on the inside of our eggs, and make small observation books about what the chick should look like! By the time the chick's began to hatch, we were all so fond of them and couldn't wait to meet our friends! The chicks were in our classroom for about a week, until a farmer came and took the chick's back. This activity certainly takes much planning and effort, but it is a lesson that your students will remember forever! Especially in urban settings, this gives students a chance to experience a real life chick! If it is not possible for your class to experience this in real life, perhaps they would research and watch videos, and at the end of the lesson, a farmer could bring a chick to visit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv9ICR-R8rw

Alyssa Schulte Alyssa Schulte 2305 Points

I love these activities!! I am student teaching in Dayton, Ohio and would love to try some of these activities!!

Priscilla Velasco Priscilla Velasco 55 Points

Get to know your students, likes and dislikes and how they interact with one another. hands on activities are a must, especially for early childhood! Pinterest is also a great source when looking for activities to engage students in for science activities/experriments.

Marcos Garcia Marcos Garcia 2085 Points

Hey! Early childhood is definitely a difficult thing to handle in itself lol. But having students learn the foundation of what science is through activities like drawing what they think a scientist looks like and then writing down all the stereotypes they might have thought or drawn out and explaining how science is so much more also works. Did this in my teaching elementary science class in college. 

Carolina Hernandez Carolina Hernandez 390 Points

Hi, 

In my past experience I learned that 1st graders actually really enjoy science experiements! When completeing my field experience hours I conducted an inquiry-based lesson on the three states of matter. I engaged the students by playing a video on the three states of matter. The next thing I did was I had the students describe what they knew about solids, liquid, and gasses. For the actual lesson we created Rootbeer Floats. In the Rootbeer Floats the students were able to identify that the ice cream represented the sollid, the rootbeer represented the liquid and when we combined the two the foam at the top of the cup represented the gas. This was a fun way for the students to learn about the three states of matter. The students loved the activity and got a yummy treat while learning! 

Andy Tran Andy Tran 440 Points

Hi Danielle!

I am a firm believer in inquiry-based learning. So, I think the most engaging activities is going to depend largely on what your students are interested in! 

But, as an example, you could get some insects and / or plants and have your students study them to learn more about how plants and animals use their external body parts to survive. For instance, you could have your students observe leaf insects to learn about camouflage. Also, students can record their observations and hypotheses in a journal and create a small book about what they've learned at the end! 

Good luck!

Olivia Jester Olivia Jester 10 Points

Hi Andy,

From someone who is not yet a teacher but in school to become and early childhood educator, I love learning from others. I also want to be an inquiry-based learner and I feel it is so important to teach to students interests. I love your example of actually getting insects and observing.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Olivia

Christopher Ernstes Christopher Ernstes 120 Points

Hi all!

 

I have used this website to get inspiration for science activities for younger students - STEM Lab.

 

It's been a great resource to find info and activities to get into the hands of first graders!

 

Hope this is useful!

Andrea Herren Andrea Herren 905 Points

Hello! 

 

I think activities that are hands-on will give you the most payoff. I have implemented STEAM into my lessons and my students loved them because they were able to decide what they wanted to do and how to do it instead of me telling them. The students simply got all sorts of different supplies like (pipe cleaner, toothpicks, tape, paper, pencils, markers, etc.. Each group got the same amount. The students were grouped and had to work together to build the tallest tower (you can of course change the goal). At the end, every group shared how they built their towers and paid close attention to how I did not give them many rules to build. 

Karina Herrera karina herrera 445 Points

I believe hands on activities is a great approach to engage students in science lessons. There are alot of websites that have great ideas so we can teach our students science in a fun and approachable manner. 

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