Monday, April 30, 2012

First Grade Science

Of all the homeschooling subjects we do, Catherine loves science the most.  She always asks to do it and never complains or "spaces out" during it.  Recently we went to dinner with some friends.  One of them asked me at what point in homeschooling (assuming we do this long term) will I need help in teaching the girls.

I thought about it for awhile, and I am ashamed to say that I almost need help now with first grade science.  We have done units on Animal Classification, Animal Habitats, Oceans, Weather, Light, and the Human Body.  We have learned a lot of things that I either was taught and completely forgot or was never taught:

- the layers of a kelp forest
- the measurement of wind on the Beaufort Scale
- the difference between an amphibian and a reptile
- the orbit and tilt of the earth in relation to the seasons
- who Elizabeth Blackwell was (the first female doctor)
- why sleet and snow fall at such disparate rates

The most recent unit we have done is on the Human Body.  I think the reason Catherine loves science so much is because it is not mainly reading, writing and worksheets.  We do experiments and big projects.

We used butcher block paper and made a "paper Catherine" and a "paper Sabrina."  Then each lesson of this unit was a computer simulation of a body system.  Then we colored print outs of each organ and body system, which we glued on to the life sized paper dolls.  It is hard to tell in the picture, but the paper rib cage opens up and a heart, esophagus and two lungs are under it.
The red strings represent blood being pumped from the heart to all parts of the body.  I love teaching this age, because the girls seem genuinely shocked at some of the information I am teaching them.  It took quite a bit to convince Sabrina that she has blood in her toes, even though she can't see it. 

Catherine also took issue with the lesson that "digestion" begins in the mouth by chewing your food.  Instead, she drew a G button on her tummy, a T button (for tee-tee) and a P button (for poopy) on her paper body.  All of these modifications demonstrated to me that Catherine understood what these organs did.
I also made them a paper puzzle of a skeleton.  I was very impressed that Catherine was able to piece all the bones together to make a human skeleton.  Sabrina needed some help and kept asking to get an x-ray so she can see her bones.  Sabrina is still in that "if I can't see it then it must not exist" stage of mental development.

1 comment:

Thru My Camera's Lens said...

It's awesome to see how much she like science.