The Earth: Water, Weather, and Space.
There are many ways that parents can assist their children in developing concepts about water, the weather, and climate at home. Simply pointing out that moisture condenses on mirrors and windows at bath time, and that ice melts if left out of the freezer, helps in reinforcing school learnings. Snow and rain provide opportunities to discuss the qualities of water, how it feels on the skin, and what happens if you roll in the snow or splash in a puddle. Parents may also point out how the weather affects people. Things to mention are clothing, school closing days, and types of activities. Going to the swimming pool or beach, parents can encourage children to tell them how it feels to float or displace water by walking through it. Have children observe, predict, test, and record their conclusions.
The teacher may want to send some ideas to parents as the unit on water, weather, and climate progresses. Since children will not be able to observe the night sky at school, families can help to study the moon and stars by taking children out and recording their observations. Parents may ask some questions to motivate children such as “How does the moon look tonight?” and “Do you think it looks bigger than last week?”
Some simple activities to do with children at home include making bubbles of beautiful shapes and colors. Just mix dishwashing liquid with water in a tray. Use a drinking straw and try out different-sized bubbles. What happens when a dry object touches them? Why? Encourage children to draw pictures or write in their science journals. Finally, teachers may suggest to parents that although their children should be free to examine the properties of water, water must be conserved since it is essential to life on earth.
Simple experiments to test what floats can also be carried out easily at home, even in the bathtub. Try a wood block, a plastic cap, one piece of aluminum foil tightly squeezed together and one spread like a boat. These experiments should reinforce the concept that things float when the weight is supported by more water. Bath time is also an excellent time to use different-sized containers, spoons, and cups. Children will soon learn that water and other liquids take the shape of whatever container they are in.
© ______ 2007, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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