Earth and Space Science

Teaching Earth Science for the first time

Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:33 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to NSTA. This fall I'll be teaching Earth Science to 8th graders for the first time. Does anyone have any suggestions for relevant activities we could do on the first day? I'm looking for something that would be content related, but also could serve as a get-to-know-eachother activity. For our state standards (VA) the first couple of weeks are dedicated to explicitly teaching "the nature of science".

Thanks

-Brendan

Brendan Trache
Brendan Trache
1365 Activity Points

Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:02 PM

I don't remember where I got this (possibly Facebook - or here!) but I use an inflatable globe and throw it out to a student. The student catches it and tells me how many of their fingers are touching water. They then share something about themselves and toss it to another student. Tally up the number of fingers touching water for each student and then calculate the average at the end It should be close to 70%, the amount of the planet's surface covered with water.

Cris DeWolf
Cris Dewolf
10525 Activity Points

Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:23 PM

I like that idea. It is very creative.  

Marisela Garza
Marisela Garza
2525 Activity Points

Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:21 PM

I love that idea! Even though I teach Kindergartners, I could use it just tallying them up and saying that earth has a lot of water. 

Angeles Rivero Loyola
Angeles Rivero Loyola
1450 Activity Points

Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:25 PM

Thanks Chris! This is an awesome idea that can be used with many grade levels!

Kim Duba
Kim Duba
380 Activity Points

Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:25 PM

This is such a great idea! Great way to get the students engaging.

Deborah Suen
Deborah Suen
1505 Activity Points

Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:28 PM


I love this idea and we all know any lesson where kids get to throw a ball around is ideal for learning! It is a great way to get them to understand the plants surface and how much is covered by water. 
Thank you for sharing this!

Carmen Stearns
Carmen Stearns
85 Activity Points

Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:08 PM

Fun idea! Thanks for sharing!

Steve Kirsche
Stephen Kirsche
8985 Activity Points

Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:21 PM

That is a really cool activity! It could easily be incorporated into geography lessons too!

Dallas Aguilar
Dallas Aguilar
830 Activity Points

Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:18 PM

Wow. That sounds so fun. It proves the statistic.

Clarissa Draper
Clarissa Draper
200 Activity Points

Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:48 AM

This is a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing. I will be using this in my classroom. Not only will this activity provide an icebreaker for students to get to know each other, but they are learning content and practicing physical movement! I love it!!

Mindy Gonzalez
Mindy Gonzalez
490 Activity Points

Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:12 PM

That's a great idea!

Alina Gumbs
Alina Gumbs
315 Activity Points

Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:17 PM

I love this idea. I think visual students will benefit from this the most.

Maryan Loaiza Betancourt
Maryan Loaiza Betancourt
7530 Activity Points

Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:27 PM

Very creative idea! Will definitely use one day.

Karey McHugh
Karey McHugh
245 Activity Points

Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:19 PM

Wow, I love this idea. It is so creative. What I especially like is that it presents content in a fun and non-threatening way. I say non-threatening because as a student I was always intimidated by science and still am in some way today. This activity really is a fun way to introduce a science concept in fun way that will grab students attention and interest them.

Skye Rodriguez
Skye Rodriguez
2165 Activity Points

Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:14 PM

What a great idea! I bet they enjoy that. It's great how you took a fact and made it engaging and concrete for them. They are more likely to remember that and it even incorporates math!

Raquel Bruner
Raquel Bruner
755 Activity Points

Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:27 PM

That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Rosalinda Salinas
Rosalinda Salinas
1510 Activity Points

Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:25 PM

I really like this idea. It's a good cross-curricular activity that allows students to practice both their math and science skills. I believe that to be incredibly important for student's and it also makes it easier for teachers considering the students are learning something meaningful yet they are also doing something they consider fun. Not to mention, it is also a good activity that can allow students to become comfortable with one another or to perhaps introduce a new topic. Thank you for sharing, I will definitely be using this in my future classroom.

Ashley Gonzalez
Ashley Gonzalez
2650 Activity Points

Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:54 AM

Wow, this is a great idea. Simple and get's the students engaged easily. I love how they can come up with the fact themselves without knowing it at first. They must love it and thinks it's amazing! I can see myself using this little activity in my classroom in the future.

Alexis Martinez
Alexis Martinez
2970 Activity Points

Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:49 AM

This is a neat idea! Thanks

Jodee Fuhrmann
Jodee Fuhrmann
305 Activity Points

Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:08 PM

Great idea, Thank you for sharing

Carole Moreno
Carole Moreno
1898 Activity Points

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:25 PM

That's an awesome idea! Thanks!

Brendan Trache
Brendan Trache
1365 Activity Points

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:42 AM

Hello,
The first day can be challenging but in all a great day for everyone to get to know each other. You could have the students write down where there are from and an earth science fact about the area( your topic). Since a lot of the students are going to be from the same area you have some students do the same for a place they may have visited before. Then have start to randomly toss around a ball and have the student stand up give 1 fact about themselves and their science fact. I hope this helps !

Asya Ammons
Asya Ammons
1065 Activity Points

Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:17 AM

Hi Brendan, I think I may be able to help. I have been developing a YouTube Channel called FunScienceDemos which is home to hundreds of free science demonstrations for young learners. They are all common core aligned and can easily be recreated in the classroom. They cover a variety of topics and any of these demonstrations would catch your students' attention and get them engaged in the science lesson.

Check it out and subscribe to our channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/funsciencedemos
Best,
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D.,
Temple University

George Mehler
George Mehler
695 Activity Points

Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:39 PM

Leslie Bolton
leslie bolton
405 Activity Points

Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:04 AM

Great idea about the inflatable globe!

Melissa Leal
Melissa Leal
1465 Activity Points

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:15 AM

What a great way to start a lesson. This is great for a Set to get the student's thinking about the topic as well as engaged and using prior knowledge about the topic. I really enjoyed reading this and it is a great little way to encourage students. 

Janelle Sardinas
Janelle Sardinas
1840 Activity Points

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:19 AM

What a great way to start a lesson. This is great for a Set to get the student's thinking about the topic as well as engaged and using prior knowledge about the topic. I really enjoyed reading this and it is a great little way to encourage students. 

Janelle Sardinas
Janelle Sardinas
1840 Activity Points

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:26 PM

Danielle Bergstrom
Dani Bergstrom
1160 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:40 PM

This is a great way to access students prior knowledge and to engage them in the lesson. 

Adriana Castillo
Adriana Castillo
1015 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:33 PM

We do this activity also, but actually figure the percentages mathematically. We toss the inflatable globe 100 times and record whether the thumb hits land or water. The percentages are really easy to figure for elementary students. They always seem to work out! About 70% water and 30 % land. Afterward students really want to spend time researching and adding more information to what they thought they knew about water and land on Earth. You can do this in small groups and compare data as well.

Frieda Lamprecht
Frieda Lamprecht
1485 Activity Points

Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:23 AM

Wow! I should really try and see if I can get those same results with the inflatable globe. I want to see how many repetitions it would take to start getting those results. 

Jonathan Marin
Jonathan Marin
435 Activity Points

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:31 PM

I really like that globe idea! It really would make them think about how much of the Earth is composed of water!

Lily Walden
Lily Walden
65 Activity Points

Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:21 PM

Hi! I really like the globe idea as well. It's very informative, yet it keeps the students attention because it requires that they pay attention to where the globe is being tossed in the classroom. Perfect for all of those little active learners :)This is a great class activity for a lot of grade levels, especially the second graders that I hope to teach one day!

Becky Cady
Becky Cady
1575 Activity Points

Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:13 AM

Agreed, this is definitely something I can teach my students when they get back to class. gamble her med spilleautomater og bli en vinner.

Benjamin Golan
Benjamin Golan
10 Activity Points

Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:37 PM

I'm a new science teacher (third grade). I'm looking for ideas for hands on activities for teaching the 3 types of rocks.

Athena Matte-Breaux
Athena Matte-Breaux
415 Activity Points

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:26 PM

What a great idea Cris!! It's a fun and entertaining way to learn the bodies of water and any other features of the world!

Jennifer Rosales
Jennifer Rosales
830 Activity Points

Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:59 PM

Once my niece, who is only six years old, asked me: "Emily, tell me, please, is that truth  the earth is round?" I was surprised and confused, what to answer to my little Interested in the world girl. Then she wanted me to prove this is true! It was very stiff tast for me. I even think now about science that is more hard and complicated to explain everything to little children then to make dissertation or soon.

Emily Puttock
Emily Puttock
125 Activity Points

Thu May 19, 2016 1:57 AM

Teaching Earth Science for the first time is such an exhilarating experience for a teacher like me. I really enjoyed reading this and it has great tips to encourage students to learn more about the subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmpaqbwQy6Q

Hunter Pugh
Hunter Pugh
10 Activity Points

Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:33 AM

long sought this site, thanks to the author, I am pleased to join your community!

Malkova Mali
Malkova Mali
20 Activity Points

Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:57 AM

useful information, thanks to the author!

Bad_account Bad_account
Ted Hunter
20 Activity Points

Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:50 PM

Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:40 PM

This activity comes from (or at least one source for it) Project Wet, which includes an impressive collection of activities for teaching about water.
You have to be certified from a training to access the whole curriculum, but even without you can find some interesting ideas.
http://www.projectwet.org/

Rebecca Blumenthal
Becky Blumenthal
100 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:41 PM

There are some activities that I found online. I hope the website can give you some ideas.

Attachments

Chien Hui Chen
CHIEN HUI CHEN
840 Activity Points

Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:02 PM

Thanks so much!

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
73505 Activity Points

Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:15 AM

Now that the first day is well over, how did it go? How are you feeling about it now?

Cara Cook
Cara Cook
5795 Activity Points

Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:17 PM

Hello there!!

Congratulations on teaching 8th graders! I am sure you are doing a great! Earth Science is such a fantastic subject with endless possibilities of hands on activities!

Lorena Solis
Lorena Solis
820 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:10 AM

I am too nervous about teaching this topic in early elementary when they are fresh to the topic, but I saw some great ideas on here to help. Thanks ya!

Yoksiana Zacarias
yoksiana zacarias
775 Activity Points

Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:47 PM

With our Hawaii State Standards I started out our 3rd grade Water Cycle with that activity. We'd sit in a circle and toss the inflatable globe around and when the students caught it, where ever their right thumb is on the ball (you can use whatever fingers you choose, but keep in mind it needs to be a constant variable), we'd keep a tally mark of land or water. Usually the results should end of with 70% more water.

The next thing I do is come up with a list of places on Earth that fresh water can be found (atmosphere, glaciers & icebergs, ground water, soil, rivers & streams, lakes (from the top of my head I can't think of the last one if there is one...lol). Anyhow, we do a visual experiment of how much fresh water is in each of those places (there is a resource online if you search water cycle or fresh water on Earth). This teaches the students: 1) how much fresh water is actually available to us, 2) Why we need to take care of Earth and not waste water.

The next activity I do is a water cycle game in which the students pretend to be a single water drop and they travel through different water cycles depending on the luck of the draw (they roll a dice and the number tells them where to go next or remain in the same place). This game teaches them how water moves around earth through the water cycle steps: Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Collection, etc...

Avory Abordonado
Avory Abordonado
295 Activity Points

Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:44 AM

Another great way to integrate sciences is to do activities on sand. I'm from Hawaii, so we are surrounded by sand, but there are many different components that make up the sand, some of which are living, and some not. Dissecting microscopes can be used to separate out different components. Magnets are good too. And of course, vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate. Concepts in physical science, biology, chemistry, physics, marine science and earth and space science can all be learned utilizing sand! While listening to NPR last week, I learned that next to air and water, SAND is the most used natural resource, and that due to the explosion of construction in places like India, China and Kenya, we are facing a global sand crisis. Sand is used to make all concrete, glass, and also computer chips. However, not all sand is alike. The sand in Hawaii is not granite sand, so isn't used to make glass or computer chips. Engineering questions can also be tackled using sand. In my science department, as we are finally moving toward full implementation of NGSS, we are considering using the formation of sand as a "phenomenon" to be investigated across all science disciplines in some way.

Cecelia Romero
Cecelia Romero
2334 Activity Points

Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:15 AM

Thanks for the suggestion Cecilia!

Maybe I'm wishing I was back on the beach, but your comment about sand reminded me of a few resources.

Start with Science describes how sand became the focus for many investigations. This was published in Science & Children, but I think there are ideas for secondary classrooms, too. Especially if students think that sand is only found at the ocean.
http://static.nsta.org/files/sc1209_32.pdf

The Science of Sand is a collection of images and data from sand samples submitted by people from around the world! It was started by a teacher and his students. (Several of the samples from DE beaches are mine!)
http://www.scienceofsand.info

Mary B.

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
6740 Activity Points

Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:15 AM

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
6740 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers