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As you may remember, we are using Trail Guide To Learning for our 3rd grade son. It is a unit study based curriculum that we absolutely LOVE! I mentioned before that Trail Guide also includes a science component that we are really enjoying. It would be a great science curriculum on it’s own, but my son has to be different.
My son’s favorite subject from last year was science from Nancy Larson Science. He looked forward to science days each week. It not only taught him science, but reading and study skills, also. When I told him we might do another science this year, he cried. Seriously. I thought 2 science curricula would be too much for him. Apparently not. We added Nancy Larson Science back into the mix and my son couldn’t be happier. Both curricula are working out great.
Science requires good observation skills. Observation is at the very foundation. Nancy Larson Science 2 starts out giving students the opportunity to practice their observation skills on day one.
We went outside and just sat in the backyard for a few minutes taking in all that our senses would allow. There were sights, sounds and smells. After practicing our observation skills, we went inside and made an observation list. We knew we were missing something so we went back outside with our lists and added more. My son thought it was interesting that there were some obvious things that we didn’t observe on our first trip outside.
Why is classification important? Classification is the fancy science word for sorting. You kids have been practicing sorting since their pre-school years. It allows us to put like things together and separate them from things that are different. The more we sort groups into smaller groups the more specific and similar the things in the groups are. This is an important scientific concept.
For young scientists, one of the first classification exercises is sorting things into living and non-living groups. Living things require food, water and air and they grow and move. Non-living things do not.
Using the list from our observation time in the backyard, my son sorted the list into living and non-living. This was our first step in classification. My son not only learned how to classify what he observed, but he also learned how important accurate observations are to the classification process.
I created these simple observation and classification lesson printables for young learners, so you can try this at home.
Of course, there is also the Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers from Maureen Spell….