Building Science Skills
Tips for Parents
Close observation is a primary objective of the science program. Youand your child can examine a rock, a tree, a leaf, an animal, or an insect. Taketurns asking, "What do you see?"
Observe the sky together. Ask, "What shapes do you see in the clouds?""Where will you find the sun in the early morning?" "At noon?""In the evening?"
Observe the moon together over several weeks; note whether you are lookingat it at the same time every day or at different times. Note its location anddraw its various shapes; be aware of the stars around it. Examine the moon chartin the weather section of your daily newspaper or on a calendar.
Can your child locate the North Star? Can he or she explain how it hashelped explorers and outdoorspeople?
Ask about the scientists your child has studied. What does he or she knowabout them?
Walks afford many opportunities to identify objects in the environment. Youcan ask, "What do you think that is?" "What kind of bird is that?""Let's see how many different kinds of flowers we can identify in thisblock" (or park, or outdoor mall).
Together you and your child can name various parts of the body: the heart,lungs, blood, and bones. Talk about their functions.
Ask why it is important to get exercise, to rest, to eat well, to dressappropriately for various weather conditions, and to see a doctor when you aresick. See what your child is learning about health.
Engage in physical exercise together. Point out how important exercise isto good health. This is a good invitation to ask your child what he or she islearning about staying healthy.
Science in school increasingly gives attention to the sources of commonthings and to everyday processes. You and your child can investigate questionssuch as, "Where does our water come from?" "Where does our sewagego?" "What is the source of our electricity?" "How does amotor work?" "How does a plant grow?" "What causes cement tocrack?"
Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 3rd Grader by Vito Perrone, published by Chelsea House Publishers.
Copyright 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co. All rights reserved.