First Grade Science: Science Fun at Home

In the first grade and throughout elementary school, your child's science class is divided into life science, earth science, and physical science. This is as good a time as any to begin having some science fun at home. The concepts are fairly simple, and that makes the corresponding projects pretty easy.

Life science discusses the human body, the environment, and the basics of plants and animals. On of the major topics your child will learn about are the five major senses. While modern science explains that there are more than just five senses, and in fact the sense of touch can be broken down into several senses, in the first grade your child will be learning the traditional five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. Be sure your child reads the explanation of the five senses before proceeding to any of the three projects designed to show your child either how their sense works, or the degrees in which it can work. Your child will need help doing these projects, but they're pretty quick and easy to do.

In the realm of earth science, the simplest concepts of time (night and day), as well as what the earth is made of are discussed. For some first grade science fun at home, help your child discover the concepts of day and night, and the movement of shadows with the shadow diorama. Remember that a shadow changes shape and size depending on the position of the sun, and while you can't replicate this perfectly, you can come pretty close. Shadows also relate to time of day, but that lesson is for a higher grade level. For the subject of the earth, only three materials are discussed in the first grade: soil, sand, and mud. Other materials, as well as the earths layers are discussed later on. Help your child understand soil and basic decomposition by creating a compost pit. The child's section explains how mud can preserve an imprint, and it also explains types of sand. Read this section with your child as well.

Finally, for physical science, your child is introduced to force and motion (push and pull, basic measurements (long and short), as well as basic energy. The project under the first grade section shows your child how heat energy affects water. This is one of the simplest experiments, but it makes for some science fun at home! Your child is likely already familiar with the concept of melting ice, but evaporation might be new to them. Be sure to explain that it's heat energy which helps water turn to air. If you feel this is too complicated for your child, they will be learning the water cycle in a later grade, and you can help them remember this small project when they get to the concept of the water cycle.

The first grade is very easy, and you're likely to be very familiar with these concepts. You can read the lesson or concepts page with your child to make sure that they fully understand the concepts, and to make sure that they can directly relate the concept to the experiment. To test their understanding, you can ask them for other examples of the concept, or provide some extra examples of your own.


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