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Springtime Online


Does spring fever have your students all a-buzz? Use their boundless energy to help them learn about the bees -- and the flowers and the seeds -- as these Education World activities bring spring into your classroom and your curriculum. Included are activities for primary students, activities for students in grades three and above, and activities for all ages!

Each year, toward the end of March, Earth and the sun conspire to bring spring to Earth's Northern Hemisphere. The season's specific characteristics vary from region to region. For some, the final frost is months past. For others, it's still months away. Some places become green. Others become greener. The essential elements of the season, however, are universal. In every country, in every city, in every pond and forest and yard, life is beginning again. Introduce your students to those beginnings with some of the activities below.

WHAT CAUSES THE SEASONS?

"Long ago, Summer, a beautiful woman with long brown hair crowned with flowers and arms filled with blossoms, defeated Winter and used her special power to awaken Earth. The grass grew green and the snow ran down the rivers, carrying away the dead leaves. Old Winter wept to see his power taken away. Summer said, "Now that I have proved I am more powerful than you, I give you all the country to the far north for your own, and there I shall never disturb you. Six months of every year you may reign as before. During the other six months, I will come back from the South and rule the land."

You might begin with a Native American legend such as How Glooskap Found the Summer (summarized above). Invite students to read the entire story, or read the story aloud to younger students. Ask students to find or tell other legends and folktales that explain the changing seasons. They may even want to write their own.

When students finish, invite them to try some of the following springtime activities.

ACTIVITIES FOR PRIMARY STUDENTS

These activities are appropriate for children in kindergarten through grade 2. Some may also appeal to older students.

Science and art -- make a weather station. Help students follow the directions at Making a Weather Station, and then invite them to use the tools they make to learn about the weather. Encourage students to record the weather information in their journals.

Health -- learn about plants. Help students learn about the parts of plants as they make an online Plant-Parts Salad. If possible, arrange students into five groups and ask each group to bring real plant parts to class, including seeds, roots, leaves, stems, and flowers. Then make your own Plant-Parts Salad. This activity downloads onto the computer.

ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS IN GRADE 3 AND ABOVE

These activities may be too difficult for K-2 students.

Math -- make a graph. Invite students to become bird-watchers at home or school. Have them record how many of each kind of bird they see. Find the class total for each kind of bird and show the totals in a graph. Students can use The Great Backyard Bird Count: Bird Identification Guide to identify the birds and their sounds.

Vocabulary -- name that scientist. Ask students to discover what the following scientists study and to write a definition of each word.

  • phenologist
  • entomologist
  • zoologist
  • botanist
  • meteorologist
  • apiculturist
  • agronomist
  • geneticist
  • photobiologist
  • ornithologist
  • herbologist
  • lepidopterist

History -- create a time line. Invite students to read the information at When Does Daylight Time Begin and End? Then have them create a time line about the history of standard time and daylight savings time. Ask students to talk about the advantages of standardizing time throughout the world.

Math -- learn about measurement. Create a spring math lesson using the lesson plans at Integrating Math Into a Spring Thematic Unit.

ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES

The activities in this section can be used with, or adapted for use with, almost any age group.

Arts and crafts -- build a bird feeder. Invite students to visit Dinner? It's for the Birds! and Backyard Birding to learn about different kinds of bird feeders and bird food and the birds that are attracted to them. Backyard Birds offers an additional resource. Arrange students into groups, and help each group build a different kind of bird feeder. Place the feeders outside the classroom and encourage students to record the kinds of birds that are attracted to their feeders. Have students make a chart showing the information for each feeder.

Science -- conduct an experiment. Help students conduct the experiments at Plant Experiments for Kids to learn about photosynthesis.

Writing -- write a poem. Encourage students to learn about butterflies at The Butterfly and Moth Life Cycle. Then ask each student to write a poem about butterflies or moths. Encourage students to illustrate their poems.

Fun and games. Invite students of all ages to play the games on the National Wildlife Federation Games Page.

Art -- design a habitat. Encourage each student to select an animal or insect that might be seen in spring. Ask students to research their animals to learn where they live, what they eat, how they bear their young, and so on. Then have each student create a diorama of the animal's habitat.

Writing -- write about spring. Brainstorm with students sayings about spring, such as "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" and "April showers bring May flowers." Invite students to write and illustrate their own sayings about spring.

Ecology -- learn about water. As a follow-up to the previous activity, tell students they're going to learn where April showers come from. Have them read How the Hydrologic Cycle Works and discuss the water cycle. Then encourage students to write letters to a school or local newspaper explaining why clean water is important to all living things.

Arts and crafts -- go fly a kite. Finally, be sure to visit Soar Into Spring With Kites! for some great kite-flying information and activities. Use the information and links provided to help your students construct and fly kites -- a perfect spring activity.

'SPRING' INTO ACTION WITH ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The following resources will provide -- or help you create -- even more spring activities.

Spring Activities
Spring arts and crafts activities offer something for everyone.

Kaboose: Spring Ideas
The site includes activities, software, clip art, and more.

Kidz Corner Presents Springtime Observations
Here you'll find ideas for observing and recording the changes in spring.

Spring Art Activities
You'll find art activities for all ages from teachers.net.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © Education World

 


Last updated 02/20/2010

 

 

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