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Feb 27, 2015
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Science (6032 resources)
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Building Science Skills

Grade 6
Tips for Parents

  • Observe the moon together over several weeks; note whether you are looking at it at the same time every day or at different times. (You and your child could do this exercise once a year for several years -- perhaps at a different season each year -- and learn something new each time.) Note the moon's location and draw its various shapes; be aware of the stars around it. Examine the moon chart in the weather section of your daily newspaper or on a calendar. There is almost no end to the astronomical observations you and your child can make. If, like many parents, you are not especially familiar with the sky, this exercise will be a good learning experience for you as well as for your child.

  • Ask about the scientists your child is currently studying. Are men and women represented? What about people of color? What does your child know about these scientists and their work?

  • What does your child know about the effects of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin? Keep in touch with what your child is learning about drugs and drug abuse. Does he or she show a growing awareness of drugs as a problem? You should be aware that many sixth graders are beginning to experiment with drugs. Your local library or a counselor can suggest books that will help prepare you to discuss this subject with your child.

  • See what your child knows about the digestive system. Ask, "How does food change as we digest it?"

  • What does your child know about the different functions of red and white blood cells? (The red carry oxygen; the white fight infection.)

  • Ask what happens when we inhale and exhale. (Inhaling draws oxygen into the body; exhaling expels carbon dioxide.)

  • Science studies in the sixth grade continues to give attention to the sources of common things and to everyday processes. You and your child can investigate questions such as "Why do magnets pick up some metals and not others?" "How does electricity travel?" "How are movies made?"

  • Your child is studying the role of technology in society. Ask about how television has changed people's lives. What was daily life like before television (not all that long ago)? You can also talk about how medical research is keeping people alive longer, and how robots are doing much of the work in automobile factories.

  • Go birdwatching (or bird counting) with a local nature group. Invest in a paperback pocket guide to the bird species commonly seen in your area; together you and your child can learn how to identify species and study their habits. Each time you go to a park, a wildlife preserve, or a bird sanctuary you will learn something new about birds. Your child -- and you -- may discover a lifetime of enjoyment in observing nature.

  • Inquire about the local ecosystem. What does your child know about the food chain and how species of birds, fish, insects, and mammals fit into it?

Reprinted from 101 Educational Conversations with Your 6th 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.

Highlights

Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

Handwashing Awareness
Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

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Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.

Teaching with Comics
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guide to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series, as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stores.


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