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.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

Win a HueHD Prize Pack!
We’re sending you Back to School with HueHD! Join the Maker Movement with Hue’s Animation Studio, HD Pro Document Camera, and Tablet Stand. Every week in September, one lucky teacher will win the ultimate classroom and STEAM bundle. Encourage students to create, innovate, tinker, and explore! Enter Now!

2016 Presidential Elections
Election season is here. Help your students understand the process of our national elections, from the President down to local representatives, with our election activities. Read short biographies of presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), explore mock election ideas, create presidential trading cards, learn election vocabulary, play election bingo and more!

September Calendar of Events
September is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: U.S. Constitution Week (9/17-23), International Day of Peace (9/21), Autumn Begins (9/22), and Banned Books Week (9/25-10/1). Plus, celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Classical Music Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), Hunger Action Month, Hunger Action Month, Library Card Sign-Up Month, National Sickle Cell Month all September long!