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
Credits: www.greatschools.org

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