Do Monkey's Really Eat Bananas? {1st Grade Science}

6/05/2011
This is the question Malachi and I explored in science recently.



I was happy to find this at Barnes and Noble.  With my educator's discount (20% off) it is still less expensive at Amazon, but I couldn't wait. This is the resource I had been looking for.

I wanted something that was simple to do, correlated to state standards, activity based, included hands on activities and that we could use to supplement our Five in a Row science lessons. It's fun, not too workbookish ~ more like a work-text, and includes teacher lesson plans that are scripted.

Here is what's inside this book:
  • 6 'Big Idea' units 
  • 4 weekly lessons per unit ~ each week a different question is asked and new vocabulary is introduced
  • Unit review (comprehension, vocabulary, visual literacy)
  • A hands-on Activity for each unit
Our big idea our first week: Living things have basic needs that help them stay alive. 

Week 1 question: Can a rock grow?

The basic concept that Malachi got this week is that: "livings things grow. Non-living things don't." 

His vocabulary words this week were: grow, living, survive, nonliving.





Week #2, our question was: Do monkeys really eat bananas?

Big ideas:
  • Living things eat food to get energy.
  • Animals eat food that grows where they live and that is easy to get.
  • People eat food to get energy.
In Malachi's words: "Cat's eat fish, cows eat grass and birds eat worms." [Why do they eat food?] "To get them energy." We had fun talking about why fish don't eat worms (unless they are on a fishing hook) ~ because a fish lives in water and worms live in soil.

Here are some snapshots of pages he completed this week:



Malachi drew himself juggling fruit. =)

The lessons only take 5 minutes to complete. My plan is to do this daily and relate the concepts to books we are rowing.

For example, while rowing The Tale of Peter Rabbit and to reinforce the concept that animals get food where they live and food that is easy to get, we recalled that "Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail were good little bunnies and went down the lane to gather blackberries: But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden." (Peter learns that food is not so easy to get from Mr. McGregor's garden.)

During week #3, as we continued our row, our question was: Do plants have mouths? This tied in wonderfully with our gardening unit for this row.

During week #4, Malachi learned that living things need water.

Week 5 is a unit review with a Hands-on Activity called "Watch a Plant Drink."



We will also be using Usborne Science Activity Books for experiments and more hands on activity to supplement Five in a Row science. Whenever possible, I will tie it in with the book we are rowing. . . that may not always happen, and that's okay. {But I will try!} [That last link will take to you an Usborne eShow that I am hosting through the month of June ~ more on that soon!]

I still plan to use Apologia Elementary' Young Explorer series {I have used the whole series with my older boys}, but I want to wait until Mali and Elli are both ready for them (which will probably be next year when she is 5 ~ and by then, the Junior Journals will be out!). For now, Daily Science, Grade 1 is a perfect supplement for Mali's science, and Elli's science will be all hands-on activities and experiments from our Five in a Row lessons and Usborne books.

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