Summer Science Lesson Plans
You can use these lesson plans to incorporate some science into your summer.
By Jennifer Sinsel
Summer is often a time when school is the last thing students are thinking about! However, time off from math worksheets, reading assignments, and state assessments doesn’t mean learning needs to cease – in fact, summer can be one of the best times for conducting some great science investigations.
Take advantage of warm weather by having children do some amateur bird-watching. Countless opportunities exist for inquiry by watching birds, my favorite of which involves setting up bird feeders in different locations and monitoring how much seed is left each day. If feeders are set up in two populated areas and two less-populated areas, children can make predictions as to whether the presence of people might affect the number of birds in various locations. They will also be able to determine which locations attract the most birds. Science process skills of measurement, observation, and inference are utilized, and kids will love going out to check the feeders each day!
Ice cream is everyone’s favorite summer treat, and your students can make their own by obtaining a tin can and following a simple recipe. Concepts such as liquids and solids, physical and chemical changes, and freezing points can be reviewed or discussed, and students will have a tasty way to incorporate science into summer!
As the weather warms up and students spend more and more time outside, they need to be cognizant of ultraviolet radiation. UV Beads are great tools that provide a visual way of observing ultraviolet radiation, and they can be purchased inexpensively through many scientific supply companies. These beads appear white until placed in direct sunlight, at which point they change color. The more ultraviolet radiation, the brighter the colors appear. There are many excellent questions to investigate with these beads: Does sunlight travel through water? Do sunglasses actually stop UV radiation? How will different sunscreen SPF's affect the amount of radiation that reaches the beads? Kids will quickly develop their own questions to answer!
For more summer science lesson plans related to the above ideas, check out the following:
In this lesson students use the local bird population as a way to practice field observation, data-gathering, and research. They analyze how different factors can affect an ecosystem. They find out how humans affect bird life. Students discuss biodiversity and create spreadsheets to share their information.
Students learn about liquids and solids and chemical changes in this experiment. They learn how to make "Tin Can Ice Cream." There are additional ideas for activities as well.
In this lesson students learn about the sun and the energy it produces. They do research using various websites, and conduct experiments using UV beads. There are worksheets and activities provided.