Earth Science Lessons: Preschool – 5th grade
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) lessons are adaptable to various developmental levels of students. Grades noted next to descriptions are mere recommendations.
Agents of Weathering and Erosion
Students will design and construct a landscape to observe how plant and rocks affect soil erosion.
Students will learn about wind energy and construct a working anemometer, then collect and record data.
Build an Earthquake Proof Home
Students will discover how the earth relieves stress through volcanoes and earthquakes. They’ll put their engineering and architectural skills to the test by building an earthquake proof home.
Students will build a model beach and see how waves affect the shoreline of the beach.
Building Dams; Be a Beaver
Students will be introduced to some of the issues engineers face in building dams: they must be both waterproof and strong enough to withstand the pressure of water.
Cars From the Future
Students will brainstorm alternate ways to power a vehicle to reduce emissions. Student teams design an eco-friendly car using the engineering design process and make a presentation to showcase their product.
2-3 class periods recommended.
Students will discover the path of water as it condenses to form a cloud, is rained or snowed for precipitation and then evaporates in the sky again by wind or sunshine through hands-on experiments.
Cold Colder Coldest!
Students will learn about temperature and properties of insulators, then complete an insulation experiment.
Earth - Round like a ball
Students will explore characteristics of earth and discover what causes seasons, day and night.
Students will identify examples of energy in their everyday lives and environment through interactive activities.
Students will create a “web” to identify and demonstrate the interactions among the living and non-living parts of an environment.
Students will explore real fossils, learn about how fossils are made and make a fossil to bring home.
Fun with Fossils
Students will discover differences between trace fossils and petrified fossils through hands-on activities.
Gravity - The Mystery Force
Students explore the effects of gravity on ping-pong balls through various experiments.
If You Find a Rock
Students will discover properties of different rocks, explore their uses and become a rockhound.
Students will perform plate tectonic experiments.
Layers of the Atmosphere
Students will study earth’s atmosphere and discover what happens when warm and cold air masses mix, why we see shooting stars and more.
Let’s Talk Trash - Recycling vs. garbage
Students will compare and contrast recycling vs. garbage
Let Your Ears Do the Walking
Students will experience a simulation of echolocation, using the sensory method to walk along a path while blindfolded.
Mission: Clean Water
Students will examine pH and make a working water filter that cleans dirty water.
Students will examine the environmental effects of oil in a lake and shoreline, then perform an oil spill clean up.
One World Ocean
Students will discover how much of our planet is covered by ocean and examine ocean habitats.
Students will implement the engineering design process to create a sail to help move a “boat” across the water using their breath as the wind.
Shadow Patterns & Sundials
Students will build sundials and collect data based on their observations.
Skittles Erosion Lab
Students will compare and contrast mechanical and chemical weathering and erosion.
Students construct a working solar oven and learn about solar energy.
Students will use their sense of hearing to discover the range of activities and inhabitants that occupy the space around their school grounds or nearby areas. The purpose of this lesson is to teach students how to draw and read a map using symbols and legends. It also helps them learn how to observe their surroundings thoughtfully using their senses and offers an introduction to categorizing species.
Students will explore air pressure, Newton’s laws of motion, mass, gravity by constructing working stomp rockets.
The Effects of Acid Rain
Students will conduct a simple experiment to model and explore the harmful effects of acid rain on living and non-living objects.
2 class periods, approximately 4 days apart preferred
This Land is Your Land
Students will consider the environmental effects of the different types of land use. Students will act as community planning engineers to determine where to place a new structure that will have the least effect on the environment.
2-3 class periods recommended.
Students will explore components of a thunderstorm and understand how a cloud makes rain and what causes thunder and lightning.
Students will experience the components of the water cycle on our planet.
Students will design and build a working water wheel and calculate how much work is being performed by it.
Waves of Sound
Students will discover that sound is a form of energy that moves in waves and experiment with “seeing” and hearing sound waves.
Students will measure wind speed and construct a building that can withstand strong winds.