Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Science: Science saturday

       In elementary school December is filled with lots of holiday activities.  Writing, Reading, and Math incorporate winter themes with snowman, santa, gingerbread men, and snowflakes.  Then they hit middle school and sometimes these themes go away.  I love to incorporate the christmas/winter theme whenever I can.

Physical Science Activities:
           One way I do this is with my periodic table menu choice.  Students are given different projects to choose from to enhance their knowledge of the periodic table.  One of the choices is to make a scrapbook where they give the properties of the different families and then choose an element to turn into a person.  When I do it in December my students turn it into a christmas themed scrapbook. They turn their elements into snowmen and gingerbread men. Another choice they have is to make a family tree out of the categories and the families.  Their family tree has to include the properties.  My students like to turn their tree into a christmas tree and use ornaments for the different families.
        Another activity I like to do is candy compounds.  Students love edible activities. In this one from the sciencespot my students use gum drops or marshmallows and toothpicks to create ionic and covalent compounds.  I have them keep the candy separated for the ionic compounds and touching for the covalent compounds.  The students like that they get to eat the extras.  Its a great activity for the day before break.

Life Science Activities:
      In December is when I teach genetics.  An activity I do with my students is a snowman family.  The students take their knowledge of heredity and probability to cross two snowmen and make a family.  They have a lot of fun doing the punnett square crosses and then creating their snowmen families.
      When I teach genetics I also teach about DNA.  As my students are learning about the structure of DNA I have them build a model of it out of candy using the lesson from the genetic science learning center.  We use licorice for the outside of the ladder and then different colored marshmallows for the base pairs.  lesson