Scientists' Day | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: Scientists' Day

Friday, March 7, 2014

Scientists' Day

I'm not sure I can explain just how much fun we had today. Scientists' Day was a hit with the children! Most of them came dressed in their lab coats (dad's shirt or mom's white sweater). A few had the stereotypical pockets filled with pens and pencils, and a few had safety glasses. Too cute! 

We started our day with brainstorming about what scientists' do in science notebooks. My favorite was, "Scientists find ways to help the earth because it is a mess." After taking time out for a tornado drill (yes, a tornado drill!), we got on track with STC kit activities with beam balances and Unifix cubes. Since we had already made mobiles in our study of simple machines, the kids were eager to point out the fulcrum, load and lever. I gave them open ended tasks, such as, "Show how you can make this balance." Some had the fulcrum sideways, standing on its end, and upside down. Still, they balanced! We wrapped up the activity with a response chart with the main points of the activity. 

We HAD to take time out to finish The Anybodies, by N. E. Bode. It's a wonderful read aloud with many subtle references to other children's literature. My most avid readers picked up on the references right away. All of the children were riveted to this book, and begged for more each time I finished a chapter. I think we all fell in love with Fern, the Bone, and the Miser! Okay, the Miser, not so much. Nevertheless, it's a fantastical escape that my students loved!

Next up, was moon phases in Oreos. The children used craft sticks to shape the filling into the moon phases. They had their moon phases posters, that we made last week, as a reference tool. They named the phases, in order, before tucking the cookies into zippies to save for snack in the afternoon. What SWEET fun this was!

The afternoon held even more science fun. Literacy block focused on reading the biography of Alexander Calder and discussing his love for creating mobiles and other art pieces. In addition to connecting their experiences with creating mobiles to the the work of Alexander Calder, the children read other books about balancing and weighing. 

Following literacy block, we jumped back into the hands-on activities. The children used equal arm balances to compare the mass of a spoon, ping pong ball, plastic cup, and other objects to a standard unit -- a Unifix cube. This activity had the kids collaborating, thinking and hypothesizing! We wrapped up our balance activities with a challenging activity that involved the children determining which of five film canisters had six marbles in it. 

Our day ended with and exploration of magnets and show and tell of the simple machines items the children brought from home. We had Barbie convertibles, Hot Wheels, clip-on earrings, trucks, and much more!

It was a fabulous day!

Have a great weekend!


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