Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Kindergarten Science: Sunlight

 This year, we are taking a two pronged approach to science. We are doing activities to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten, but we are also learning about biomes to go along with out Around the World Homeschool studies. I've done my best to meld the two so it feels mostly cohesive.

This week focused on Sunlight. The main goals were to understand that sunlight warms the earth and affects climate. We also got in our NGSS engineering standards.

We started by reading books about the sun:
We also watched What is the Sun?
We made some sun art also. We picked three dark colors of paper and put various objects on them. We set them out in the sun for a few hours and then looked at the results.

  Effects of Sunlight on Earth Experiment

We also did two science experiments. First, we looked at the effects of sunlight on earth (NGSS K-PS3-1). We compared soil, sand, water and rocks in the sun and shade. The main learning goal was for him to understand that it is warmer in the sun than the shade. If you would like directions and a lab sheet, you can print it here.

Building Penguin Protectors:

The second experiment brough in some engineering standards (NGSS K-PS3-2, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2 , K-2-ETS1-3). To start us off we watched a couple Sci Show Kids episodes on thinking like an engineer.

Then I presented him with a problem. Some penguins (penguin shaped popsicles), are getting too hot in the sun. He needed to build something to protect them (You can print the lab sheet here.) I had him design and build two separate things so that he could compare.
We put one penguin popsicle in each design and then one next to them for comparison.
NGSS K-PS3-2, K-2-ETS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2 , K-2-ETS1-3
We took the temperature every 5 minutes, but using actual thermometers vs our infrared would have been a lot more accurate.
At the end we were able to pull out the penguins and compare how much they melted. We also compared the temperatures and discussed what worked well and what he could improve. He was tired when we did it, so I wrote for him while we discussed.
He really wanted to try eating one of the penguins.

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