In first grade, children visit the lower school science lab each week. With every visit, they make careful observations and predictions about the ‘Animal of the Day,’ an unusual and likely unfamiliar animal projected on the whiteboard.
Every science class brings a combination of hands-on activities, opportunities to practice collaborative work with partners, and time to share ideas and listen to our fellow scholars.
In a unit on liquids, students work in pairs to make a system out of PVC pipe pieces for water to flow from one location to another. At the end of the class, pairs take turns explaining their designs to their attentive classmates and describing what they noticed about the ‘rules’ of how water flows.
Two of the projects in first grade science are part of larger interdisciplinary units:
–Coordinating with the ‘Farm to Table’ unit, first grade scientists learn about soil composition, soil types, erosion, and agriculture.
-Connected with both writing and art, first graders research the habitat and food chain of a North American mammal. From this research, they write and revise a detailed report, and create a life-like papier-mâché mask. This interdisciplinary unit ends with a public service project in which the first graders design their own posters to teach the community tips about how to be good neighbors to our Rhode Island mammal friends.