Monthly Archives: June 2019

How parents can help 2nd graders learn science through everyday play!

– Carol Llyod

How does land change and what are some things that cause it to change? What are the different kinds of land and bodies of water? How are materials similar and different from one another? What do plants need to grow? How many different types of living things live in a place?

Second-grade science is fun. Second graders ask and answer questions about what plants need to grow and how animals play a role by dispersing seeds and pollinating. They’ll compare the diversity of life in different habitats. There’s lots of building, touching, and testing as they learn about the properties of materials and what they are best used for. They also learn about the kinds of land and bodies of water on Earth, and how wind and water change the shape of the land.

The core concepts in second-grade science are all around us, and the best way to support your curious child’s learning is to ask questions, observe, and discuss what your child is observing whenever you have the opportunity — on a walk, at playtime, and even at snack time.

How parents can help second graders learn science

Sweet states of matter

Have your second grader place a scoop of ice cream in a glass. Pour soda water over it. They’ve created a delicious treat, and also a lesson in states of matter. Ask them to identify what is solid, liquid, and gas in the glass. How do they know? What happens as the ice cream melts?

Who lives in your neighbourhood?

The next time you and your child take a walk around your neighbourhood, near the school, or in a park, talk about what living things you see. What else lives here that you don’t see? Count the number of plants and animals that live in the area of your walk, from the biggest (people!) to the tiniest (insects) and talk about how each gets what they need to survive.

Guess the mystery object

Second graders are honing their observation skills. How much can they tell about an object if they can’t see it? Take turns secretly placing a small object in a paper bag and seeing if the other person can identify it by touch. Try to make it difficult! Ask your child questions about what he can observe about the hidden object. For example, if he guesses the object is a 5-rupee coin, ask how he can tell. (It’s flat, round, and hard!) How can he tell it isn’t a 2-rupee coin or a one-rupee coin? (It has a smooth edge!)

Abridged and adapted

How parents can help 1st graders learn science through everyday play!

– Carol Lloyd

What happens when materials vibrate? What can we see in the dark? How do the different characteristics of plants and animals help them survive and grow? These are some of the questions that first graders learn to ask and answer in science class. First-grade science is all about observing patterns and understanding cause and effect in everyday life.

First graders will explore the concepts of sound and sight through observation and experiments. For instance, when you bang a spoon on a pan, it vibrates and makes a ringing sound. When you bang a bigger or smaller pan, what happens to the sound? When the room is dark, what can you see? What happens to the colours? When you switch on the light, what changes?

How parents can help first graders learn science

Use some of your free time with your child to explore these ideas. Make sure it’s fun, playful, and open-ended. The idea is to explore ideas, much more than getting a “right” answer.

These three games will help your child understand the science concepts their teacher is covering this year. Even better, they are playful ways for you and your child to explore together.

Freaky Friday

Pretend your child is the mom or dad and you are the child or baby. (You can also pretend to be the mama or papa dog and puppy or some other animal family.) Challenge your child to come up with five things that the parent can do for the baby that the baby cannot do for themselves. While this may seem like a standard game for very young children, it helps your child think about how young animals are different from their parents in important ways.

Bodypart charades

This is a fun game the whole family can play together. Everyone writes down five to 10 body parts of all different animals (including humans) on little scraps of paper and puts them in a bowl. One person picks out a piece of paper and acts out and describes the body part by answering “What do I do?” If the body part was a “cat tongue,” the player could say “I lick fur clean and taste meat” and then do their best to act it out. If it was “monkey tail,” the person could say “I swing from trees without hands or feet!”

Blind journey

Explore the landscape of sound by taking turns blindfolding the other and leading them around the house or the neighbourhood. After the walks, talk about what sounds you each heard. What were the lowest sounds? What was the highest? Talk about how you think the sounds you heard were made. For instance, the whirl of the washing machine was made by clothes being washed in the washing machine. The plop plop of water dripping from a faucet was made by droplets of water striking the solid surface of the sink. Talk about which sounds were easy to identify and which ones were more mysterious, and why.