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Elementary Science Education


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  • in reply to: Notebooking #924


    DK’s “The Visual Dictionary of Animals” from the Eyewitness Visual Dictionary series has been a valuable resource for this lesson. Each two-page spread has a skeleton (or a photo for invertebrates) with labelled parts. Most of the pages also include external features and an illustration of internal anatomy.

    Contents include:
    Carnivores; Rabbits and Rodents; Ungulates; Elephants; Primates; Dolphins, Whales and Seals; Marsupials and Monotremes; Birds; Amphibians; Lizards and Snakes; Crocodilians and Turtles; Sharks and Jawless Fish; Bony Fish; Butterflies and Moths; Beetles, Ants, and Bees; Arachnids; Crustaceans; Starfish and Sea Urchins; Sponges, Jellyfish, and Sea Anemones; Worms, Flukes, and Leeches; and Mollusks

    in reply to: Notebooking #921


    Sara Levine, the author of “Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons” has complementary activity pages with outlines of various animal skeletons to color in:

    in reply to: Additional online reading #914


    The Fairfax County Public Schools website has a page called “Study of Northern Virginia Ecology”, which has fact sheets for various plants and animals in Virginia.

    All of the fact sheets have a section at the bottom called “Relationships with Nature”. Each animal’s page lists examples its prey/food, predators, shelter, and any other relationships. Each plant’s page lists examples of animals that use it as a food source, animals that use it as a shelter, associations with other plants, and any other relationships.


    We also enjoyed watching “Dogs That Changed the World: Dogs by Design” currently available on the PBS website:

    [Disclaimer: I was personally fine with letting my kids watch it, but as with any movie recommendation, each family may want to preview it and decide for themselves.]

    in reply to: Prerequisites List? #435


    My impression from browsing the newer edition is that the topics are more clearly related to each other and several of them go deeper than they did in the original, which would explain the increase in prerequisites.

    The digital version from Outskirts Press is $5 for a PDF ebook. I would still rather have the paperback, but it is certainly a cost-effective way to access the updated information and it is nice to be able use the search function when making lesson plans. Science was never my best subject, so anything that makes it easier for me to understand and teach is totally worth it!

    Amazon has a preview of the second edition. If you sign in, it will let you see pages from lessons A-5A (magnets and magnetic fields), B-5 (adaptations, food chains, and energy flow), and a few from B-6 (how animals move). You can also preview the Kindle edition, which has all of A/B-1 (organizing things into categories) and part of A-2 (solids, liquids, gases and change with temperature). The Kindle edition is currently $9.99.

    in reply to: Prerequisites List? #432


    I don’t know if it is possible to upload actual files. I tried to make this so it would copy nicely into an Excel file, but it doesn’t seem to work. Either way, here is the information you wanted:

    Lesson Prerequisites

    A/B-1: None
    A-2: A/B-1
    A-3: A-2, B-2, D-1
    A-4: A-2, A-3
    A-5: A/B-1, A-2
    A-5A: A-5, D-3A
    A-6: A-3, A-4, D-1
    A-7: A-4, A-5, B-3, C-3, [A-8 close proximity]
    A-8: C-1, A-2, A-4, A-6
    A-9: A-4, A-7, A-8
    A-10: A-4, A-5, A-9, B-2

    B-2: A/B-1, A-2
    B-3: B-2, C-1, C-3
    B-4: B-2, B-3, [B-4A may be concurrent]
    B-4A: B-2, B-3
    B-4B: B-4, [B-4A concurrent]
    B-5: C-1, B-3, B-4, B-4A [concurrent], D-4 [may be concurrent]
    B-5A: B-4, B-4A [concurrent/ongoing], B-5
    B-6: None
    B-7: B-3, B-4A, B-5, B-5A, B-6
    B-8: A-7, A-9, B-6, C-1, C-3A
    B-9: A-7, A-9, B-7, B-8, C-4
    B-10: A-7, B-4, B-4A, B-4B, B-5A
    B-11: B-5A, B-10, C-3
    B-12: A-10, B-5, B-9, B-11, D-8

    C-1: None; Integrate with A-2, B-3, D-1
    C-2: A-3, A-4, C-1
    C-3: A-2, A-4, B-2, C-1, D-1, B-3 [may be concurrent]
    C-3A: C-1, C-3, D-1
    C-4: A-2, A-3, A-4, C-1, C-3
    C-5: C-1, C-3, C-3A, C-4
    C-6: C-1, C-2, C-3, C-3A, C-4, C-5
    C-7: C-1, C-3, C-5, C-6

    D-1: None; Integrate with A-3, C-1, C-3, C-3A
    D-2: D-1, D-3 [concurrent or soon after]
    D-3: None
    D-3A: D-2, D-3 [previously or concurrently]
    D-4: D-3, D-3A, B-4A [concurrently], [ties in with A-8]
    D-5: D-2, D-3, D-3A
    D-6: D-2, D-3A, D-4, D-5, [concurrent with B-4A]
    D-7: D-1, A-3, A-4, C-5, C-6
    D-8: D-4, A-10

    E-1: A-5, A-10, B-2, B-12, C-1

    This is compiled from the second edition (2014), which is slightly different than that of the first edition (2007), but should be compatible with the first if you are using the original. (I have the original in paperback and bought a digital version of the second edition from the publisher.)

    I noticed the second edition had more items listed as prerequisites, as well as the addition of lessons C-3A (Energy and Force) and B-05A (Adaptations and Survival). Also lesson D-9 has been reclassified as E-1. Hope this helps!

    in reply to: Additional online reading #290


    I really liked the table/graphic on the webpage; it’s like a kid’s treasure map for the library, as it includes so many of their favorite topics! A printout of it would make a great addition to a children’s library bag for later reference and could also be used for a scavenger hunt activity.

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