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Physical Sciences Teacher Resources
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Sixth graders discover heat is conducted in a variety of ways. In this physical science instructional activity, 6th graders investigate various conductors of heat, they explain their findings, and discover how energy is exchanged between objects through radiation. To conclude the instructional activity, students write predictions in their science notebooks to questions prompted by the teacher.
Second graders study physics through the investigation of magnets. In this physical science lesson, 2nd graders watch a PowerPoint about magnetism and complete a magnet experiment. Students review terms associated with magnets and complete a chart of items in their classroom that would be repelled or attracted to magnets. Students complete a map by identifying objects that a magnet would attract.
The concepts involved with static electricity are typically taught in upper elementary physical science units. The lab described in this resource has pupils examine the behavior of small pieces of paper and a balloon when a charged piece of cellophane tape is brought near. They also investigate of the interactions between the different pieces of tape. Know that there is no lab sheet provided, so you will either need to create one, or have learners write up their own lab reports. The bonus in this resource is the links to associated reading materials from the same publisher.
Given the depth, temperature, and salinity of ocean water, physical science classes use an online seawater density calculator to determine the density and sigma values. With the data, they assess the relationship between density and other factors. Then, they consider what happens to buoyant larva in these areas. This is a useful activity to help middle schoolers make the connection between physical environment and species survival.
Take a closer look at hydroelectric and geothermal energy with your physical science class. Do the benefits really outweigh the costs to the surrounding areas? After doing some reading about each, small groups discuss and create a presentation about one of the two energy sources. Though this is not a unique assignment, the images, articles, and other resources provided are first class! Links to other related resources and lessons allow you to build an entire unit as well.
Play "Would You Rather" with your physical science class as an anticipatory set. Each game question is related to the pressure put on an area of the body. Let this activate a discussion on forces, pressure, and area. Give your class Newton's second law of motion and the formula F=ma. With the concept in mind, your class will explore pressure using a variety of hands-on materials. Finally, they apply their learning to the real-world scenario of deep-sea diving. A video about James Cameron's ocean exploration, handouts, detailed teacher's notes and background information, and a link to an online mapmaking activity combine for a richly detailed lesson plan!
Students examine bioluminescence and camouflage of deep sea creatures. In this deep sea creatures lesson, students investigate the visible and near-visible light spectrum. They work in small groups to complete a light, color, and camouflage activity using the given worksheet.
More than a week's worth of investigation is provided in this source. Physical science stars experiment to describe specific heat, conduction, convection, and radiation. They also discover the relationship between mechanical and thermal energy. These activities are all illuminating. You do not need to use all 12 to thoroughly introduce learners to thermodynamics concepts, but each of them is sure to ignite understanding!
Four activities demonstrate the chain reaction of nuclear fission to your physical science fans: falling dominoes, snapping mouse traps, throwing paper wads, and igniting a series of matches. They perform additional laboratory activities to help them understand the concept of half-life in radioactive materials. All in all, this is a comprehensive and user-friendly unit to use when teaching about nuclear energy in your physics class.
Physical science learners conduct a simple experiment using the heat of their hands to affect the fluid pressure. They place a balloon atop a freezing cold bottle and observe what occurs as it warms up. Both activities demonstrate how increasing temperature creates higher pressures. With this knowledge, they construct a fountain and a thermometer. Detailed background information, materials and procedures, reading suggestions, and assessments make this a valuable resource for your physical science sessions.
Physical science scholars discover an array of heat sources. They experiment to connect radiation to heat. They begin to understand thermal equilibrium. Then, they test to see if mass affects the rate of temperature change. Choose a few, or use all of the eight effective activities to provide practice using thermometers and hands-on learning about the nature of thermal energy.
Chemistry or physical science fledglings get comfortable identifying acids and bases with a variety of pH indicators. They discover that different indicator solutions have different ranges, practice testing soil acidity, and use antacids to neutralize vinegar. You can rely on the National Science Teachers Association to produce top-notch lesson plans such as this one.
Middle school science stars observe and record data on the solar radiation reflected off or transmitted through various materials. They predict properties for various materials, and test their predictions by touch. This lesson becomes practical as the gleaned knowledge is applied to making consumer choices when it comes to characteristics of a car. Comprehensive resources are provided for you in this writeup, including background information, materials and procedures, lab sheets for learners, and review questions.
Scientists need to have mastered algebraic slope-intercept concepts in order for this lesson to be effective. They will measure and graph solar panel output as a function of the amount of radiation striking it, discovering that there is a linear relationship. With the information collected, they also determine the calibration curve for the solar panel that they are working with. This is a top-notch lesson plan in that it gives physical science learners practice using a multimeter, solving problems, and applying math skills.
Investigate deep sea discovery through the emerging technology being built. In this physical science instructional activity, students analyze the different types of motion available in the human arm. Students research educational websites discussing deep sea research and complete worksheets.