Patterns in the Sky Science Unit for Kinder and 1st Grade
Hey, y'all! One of our first units when we head back to school is our patterns in the sky unit. It kicks off our month-long study of patterns, weather, and seasons, and is so much fun!
We start the unit off by keeping track of the moon cycle. Is it getting bigger or smaller? What does that mean? How does that work? We also track the daily highs and lows. Why is it hotter during the daytime and cooler during the night? Hmmm. Budding scientists are all over this!
Tuesday through Thursday, students visit a series of stations exploring the moon cycle, sorting day and night activities, reading emergent readers about what's in the sky and our solar system, making their own moons with play dough and constellations with construction paper and flashlights, and more! It's open-ended, hands-on, and so, so engaging!
You can setup stations a couple of ways. First, you can have students do rotations of 10 or so minutes each. I usually start the year off this way and then relax things a bit as students get used to things. You can put a few or all of the stations out and have students choose where they want to go, or you could do each station whole group. Up to you.
My district is pushing for student voice and choice and I've been doing science stations so long that I usually go over directions and expectations and let them have it. We spend a TON of time practicing how to do stations successfully and the kids are always so engaged that we have like zero behavior problems during this time.
At the end of the week, we go over the questions at the bottom of our moon tracker and discuss the patterns we see with the temperatures. Then we do a little compare and contrast activity about day and night as a quick assessment of learning. The kids are so excited to show what they know at the end of the week!
Like I said before, this is the beginning of a unit on patterns, weather, and seasons so it builds on the other lessons we'll be doing that month. Those units will be added to my Teachers Pay Teachers store soon so check in and/or follow my store for the latest updates.
I hope you found some new ideas for your classroom and that this makes teaching science a little easier for you. Check back soon for new resources and ideas and I'll talk to you soon. Have a great week!