Password Game: Holiday Edition (free)

My students enjoyed playing “Password” and I created a Holiday Edition that I used just prior to our Winter Break. Here are the details:

Google Slides: Holiday Password (link)

Set up:
  • 2 chairs in front of the whiteboard, with their backs to the board.
  • 2 students stand behind desks facing the board and the seated players
  • rest of students on teams off to the sides.
  • students on each side will determine what order they go in.
  • once the round is over, the students giving the clues will now be the guessers
  • the seated person who was a guesser, goes back to sit with their team
  • a new person from the team stands to give clues
  • all students will rotate through
holiday-password-public
Classroom set up with 20 students, modify as needed
Giving Clues/Points
  1. Team 1 – gives first clue to their partner in the chair
  2. Student in chair guesses.
  3. If they are correct, their team earn 5 pts
    1. their team will then rotate, team 2 stays where they are
  4. If Team 1 is incorrect, Team 2 gives the second clue to their partner
    1. If they get it right, they earn 3 pts, everyone rotates
    2. If they are incorrect, Team 1 gives the next clue
  5. If Team 1 is right, they earn 2 pts and everyone rotates
    1. If Team 1 is incorrect, Team 2 gives the final clue
  6. If Team 2 is right, they earn 1 pt and everyone rotates
    1. If Team 2 is incorrect, no points, everyone rotates
Next round:
  1. Team 2 gives first clue, continue following steps above
  2. Each team has an opportunity to start a round, alternating rounds.
  3. If either team guesses it on the first try, the other team will stay since they did not have a chance to guess.
  4. Add up points and see who wins.

Vocabulary Bundle – Review Activities

UPDATED Jan. 4, 2017

I created new templates to create your own vocab cut and paste worksheets. The files are located in the Google Drive Folder and were made using Google Draw.

To edit the template, you will need to select:

  • “File” then “Make a Copy”
  • Rename the copy
  • Make edits for your science unit

vocab-template-page-1-termsvocab-template-page-2-definitions

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Google Drive Folder (link): I have all of my vocab sheets posted in one folder so they are easy to find and access. If I find or create any more vocab sheets, they will be included in this folder.

Below are some fun ways to incorporate vocabulary into your lesson plans:

  • Cut & Paste: Have students cut out the definitions and paste or tape them next to the correct word.
  • Flashcards: Students will cut out each vocab word and paste it to the front of an index card, then they will cut out and paste the correct definition on to the back of the index card.
  • Find Your Partner: Give half of the class a vocabulary word and the other half of the class a definition. They will look for their partner and record their answer. Have them come to you to pick up a new word and a new definition and find new partners.
  • Quiz, Quiz, Trade: Using the flashcards, give each student one vocab word. They will go around the room and quiz each other. After quizzing each other, they will trade flashcards and find a new partner.
  • Matching: Create a vocab set by laminating and cutting out the words and definitions. Place the words and definitions into a ziptop bag. Have each student or pair of students match the words with their definitions.
  • Go Fish: Using the matching set above you can play Go Fish. Deal out 3-5 cards per player (depending on the number of students and vocab words) and place the rest upside down in the center. Students will ask each other for a vocab word or a definition, if they don’t have it, they will say “Go Fish” and the student will pick a card from the pile. If they have a matching set, they will place it down. If not, they will add the card to their hand. The first person to place all their cards down wins.
  • Old Maid: Using the matching set above, you can remove one of the vocab words or definitions from the set. Students will deal out all the cards. Students will pick a card from the person to their right. If they have a matching set, they will set it down. The first person to place all their cards down, wins, the person left with the vocab word or definition without that doesn’t have a matching card is the “Old Maid”.
  • Dominoes: Using the matching set above, you can have 3-4 students shuffle the words and definitions and deal out to each student. Have one person start by placing a vocab word on the table. If the next person has the definition, have them place it on the table touching the vocab word. The next person will place a vocab word on the table touching the definition of the previous word, and so on until all the words and definitions are used. The first one to get rid of all their cards wins.  If a students doesn’t have a definition or new vocab word to put down, they will skip their turn.
  • Stations: You can set up stations around the room with different vocabulary activities and students can rotate through the stations.

To make any of these games more challenging, you can combine 2 or 3 related sets of vocab into the mix. If you have any other fun ways to review vocabulary, please add to the comment section below.

Note: If you are having trouble seeing the handouts in ‘preview mode’ and it seems to be stuck in the loading phase, click on the boxed arrow (pop-out button) on the top right to open the pdf and view the rest of the pages.Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 8.47.20 PM.png

Element, Compound, or Mixture? Identify & Sort

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Students can practice identifying elements, compounds, and mixtures

Materials:

Different ways to use this activity:

  1. Vocabulary reinforcement
  2. Students can review the slides independently as added practice and self check.
  3. This can be a guided mini-lesson for a whole class to reinforce the concept.
  4. Students can work in pairs to sort the cards into the 3 different groups, then discuss the answers as a class. Challenge – categorize the mixtures.
  5. Give each student one of the larger cards and have them do the activity “Quiz, Quiz, Trade

 

For more lessons related to this activity, please click on the tags below.

 

 

 

 

 

Science Prompts, Starters, Warm-Ups, & Do Nows

I used Google Slides to create my science prompts and students accessed the slides via Google Drive to complete for homework. They kept a marble composition notebook and wrote the questions and answers into their notebooks and we discussed each one at the start of class.

Next year, I am going to try a different approach. Some students had difficulty keeping their notebook up to date. Using a pocket folder with prongs (like this one) I am going to print 4 prompts per page and photocopy them ahead of time, essentially making a workbook with about 100 prompts on 13 double sided pages. This will help keep students more organized and have access to the information for review easily. This is on my summer list of things to do 🙂

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You can download the pdf file of the prompts (Science Prompts 2015-16 Public) I used this year with my 6th graders. Please keep in mind that many are from ScienceSpot.net and you can find her starters with answer keys sorted by category here and her Mystery Photos here – (the kids loved the mystery photo challenges!)

You can also use Activity Pages from BrainPOP.com (here is a free example) as starters or writing prompts. Almost every video has an activity page that you can download and use with your students.

Science Prompts 2015-16 Public

Additional samples of science prompts available – see the images below:

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Transition Metals Bingo Card – Free Template

 

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Downloads:

During our chemistry unit, playing games is a fun way to become familiar with the elements and the vocabulary associated with the periodic table.

Different ways to play:

  • Say the element symbol
  • Say the atomic number
  • Say the name of the element
  • Describe the properties of the element:
    • “I am the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature’
    • “I am used in light bulb filaments and have 74 protons”
    • “My atomic mass is 52”
    • “I have 29 electrons”

Different ways to win:

  • Any 5 spaces in a row that are vertical, horizontal, or diagonal
    • good for quick games
  • An “X”, “L”, or “T” formation
    • takes longer to win
    • “L” or “T” can be in any orientation such as sideways or upside down
  • After a few rounds, have students switch cards with their seat mate, if either one wins, they both win
  • Collect all bingo cards, shuffle and hand out, if someone wins, the person with the card and the person who made card are both winners
  • Small prizes such as stickers or other knick-knacks are fun to give out

 

 

Free & Ready to Print: “I Can” Statements for NGSS and “Big Idea” Posters

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Update 9.9.15 – Link is updated

Ready to print, with a choice of backgrounds – thank you Science Class

  • “I Can” statements (link)
  • Big Ideas (link)

Mystery Footprints – Observation vs. Inference

footprints-mystery-activity
Image Source: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998)

Materials:

  • Updated for 2015 – Mystery Footprints – Observation vs. Inference (Google Slides Public link)
    • You can download this Google Slide Presentation in any format
      • Click “File” then “Download as” and choose ppt, etc
  • Handout for Mystery Footprint Activity (pdf)
  • projector

Background

This is one of my favorite activities to practice making observations and inferences, it really helps the students differentiate between the two. As I mentioned in my ‘Boy in the Water‘ post, students tend to clump their observations and inferences together, they think they are the same thing.

For example, after viewing the first panel of the image, they will say that they ‘see two animals running towards each other.’ and my response is, “I don’t see two animals running towards each other, but I do see two sets of tracks”. After a few tries, they refine their answers and start to see the ‘facts’ of the image. Then we talk about the ‘story’ behind the facts.

When doing this activity, before I show them the first panel for the image, I stress how important it is not to share, or shout out, their thoughts or answers as soon as they see the image. Why is that important? Why can’t we share our answers right away? I stress to them that when they share their answers, they are taking away opportunities for their peers to think about what they are seeing.

For example, if someone asked you to name a vegetable, and I shouted out BROCCOLI, my answer would creep into everyone’s thoughts and BROCCOLI would push away any ideas about vegetables that didn’t have a chance to develop. Instead of sweet potatoes, or even yucca, you are now thinking about broccoli. It is important to let everyone have a chance to see the image, think about it, and to process and form their ideas. Their ideas may end up being the same as yours, but they may also think of something totally different. Once everyone has had a chance to process their thoughts, we can share our ideas and have a discussion where everyone can contribute and develop their thoughts further.

This activity was originally published in Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998) and the book is available as a free download. You can find more details on pages 87-89 for this lesson.

Boy in the Water: Observation vs Inference

goat_boy_water_observations
Image Source: Project Archaeology

Materials:

  • The original worksheet(pdf) for this activity is from Project Archaeology (link)
  • I also created Google Slides for this activity (Public)

Students often have difficulty distinguishing between observations and inferences, they often combine the two into one statement. For example, when asked to make an observation using the image above some students may say: “The boy fell into the water because the branch broke.” Another student may say: “The goat pushed the boy into the water when he was trying to pick up his sailboat.”

We then discuss the difference between the facts and the “story” that goes with it. The facts are our observations and the story is how we piece the facts together, or our inference.

Observations:

  • a boy is in the water
  • a goat standing next to the water
  • a broken tree branch
  • a sailboat is floating in the water

Inferences:

  • The branch broke when the boy was sitting on it, and he fell into the water.
  • The goat butted the boy into the water when he was picking up his sailboat.

After defining and discussing the differences between observations and inferences, students will have a chance to work with their partner to practice identifying and classifying the statements related to the image of the boy in the water. Once everyone is done, as a class, we then discuss each statement and confirm each as either an observation or inference.

Use the picture of the boy in the water to determine if the following statements are observations or if the statements are inferences. Place an “Inf” in the blank for inference and an “Obs” in the blank for observation.

  1. ____ The boy is in the water
  2. ____ The weather is cold
  3. ____ The tree branch is broken
  4. ____ If the boy crawled out of the water, the goat would push him
  5. ____ The boy fell off the branch
  6. ____ The goat is standing by the pond
  7. ____ The branch will fall on the boy’s head
  8. ____ The boy fell off the rocks
  9. ____ There is a sailboat in the water
  10. ____ The sailboat belongs to the boy
  11. ____ The goat will soon leave the pond
  12. ____ The tree by the pond has no leaves
  13. ____ There are three rocks in the pond
  14. ____ The tree by the pond is dead
  15. ____ If it rains, leaves will grow on the tree
  16. ____ The goat pushed the boy into the pond

Solid, Liquid, & Gas – Triple Venn Diagram Activity

Updated July 2016:

Materials:

  • Google Slides (Public) – this slide presentation will show the answers for the activity
  • Handouts: Includes blank venn diagram, slips to cut apart, and answer key Solid, Liquid, & Gas- Phases & Changes Venn Diagram Sorting Activity 
  • Statements: Different ways to use the 15 statements about Solids, Liquids, and Gases:
    • give each group 2-4 facts to discuss and place into the Venn Diagram
    • give each student or pair of students only 1 fact
    • give every student all 15 facts and have them glue it into their Venn diagram
    • give every student all 15 facts and have them ‘dry fit’ the statements then handwrite them into their Venn diagrams (you can laminate and reuse the statements for each class) (I prefer to have the students write the facts into their Venn diagrams.)

How to use this version of the activity:

Whole class activity

  1. Discuss what we know about Solids, Liquids, and Gases.
  2. Give each student one of the fifteen facts. They are not to share their facts with the class until it was their turn to present.
  3. They may or may not know the answer to their fact, and we discussed this first. I told them I would give them clues if they needed help and not to worry too  much about getting the answer ‘wrong’.
  4. After a minute or so to think about it, ask the person with Fact #1 to stand and read their fact to the class. The rest of class will think about the fact and where it might go into the Venn Diagram, but not share their answers.
  5. The person with Fact #1 will guess where the fact fit into the Venn Diagram. Once they give the correct answer, click on the Google Slide and the answer will pop up on the screen.
  6. Everyone will write fact #1 into their notes.
    • Optional:
      • Using a blue colored pen or pencil, the students will fill in the phrases related to the states of matter and their characteristics, such as definite shape or volume.
      • Using a red colored pen or pencil, they can write in the phase changes, such as evaporation. They will notice that all of the phase changes are placed where two states of matter overlap.
        • For example, evaporation is placed where liquids and gases overlap.
  7. Then ask the person with Fact #2 to read their fact to the class, and so on until all 15 facts are posted.
  8. We would discuss each fact and any questions they might have.
  9. If you have more than 15 students, you can have them work with a partner and guess together.

Cooperative Groups

  1. Instead of each student having only one fact, you can have the class work in cooperative groups and give one set of the 15 facts to a group of 4 students.
  2. They will cut apart the facts (or you can give them the facts pre-cut) and one student will work on fact #’s 1-4, another #’s 5-8, third on #’s 9-12, and the 4th on #’s 13-15.
  3. The students will discuss/share their facts within their group and come to an agreement on where it should go.
  4. They will place the facts on top of the Venn Diagram where they think it is the best fit.
  5. Once each group has had a chance to discuss their facts, you can go over the answers as a class.
  6. Starting with #1, have the first group tell the class where they think it belongs in the Venn diagram and why.
  7. If their answer is correct, show the answer in the Venn diagram and have each student write that fact into their notes.
  8. If it in incorrect, go to the next group and have them share where they think it belongs.
  9. Do the same for fact #2 goes, and repeat the steps above until all 15 facts have been placed into the Venn diagram and each group has had a chance to place a fact into the Venn Diagram.

Independent Seat Work, or as part of a Station/Center/Review

  1. You can also do this activity where each student will cut out all 15 facts and work independently to figure out where each fact would go in the Venn Diagram. They will then write in the facts as each answer is discussed.
  2. As a station/center activity/review, you can have a blank laminated Venn Diagram, a laminated answer key, and laminated facts. Students can guess where each fact goes into the diagram, then check their work with the answer key and write the answers into their worksheet

Older Version:

solid_liquid_gas_triple_venn_diagram
Phases of Matter Venn Diagram

This is an interactive/SmartBoard activity to show the relationship between the phases of matter and phase change.

Materials:

Part 1 – Discussion and Categorizing: Students will work in collaborative groups to determine where each statement will go into the Venn diagram. In their notes, they will pencil in an ‘S’ for solid, ‘L’ for liquid, ‘SL’ if it goes between Solid/Liquid, etc… next to each statement on their list.

Part 2 – SMART Board: Each group will have a turn to make a guess to place one of the statements into the Venn diagram. If the group is correct, it stays in the Venn diagram and each student writes the statement into their Venn diagram handout and crosses it off the list. If the statement is incorrectly placed into the diagram, the statement is returned to the list outside of the diagram. The next group chooses a statement, and so on, until all of the statements have been placed correctly into the Venn diagram.

Using a blue colored pencil, the students will fill in the phrases related to the states of matter and their characteristics, such as definite shape or volume. Using a red colored pencil, they can write in the phase changes, such as evaporation. They will notice that all of the phase changes are placed where two states of matter overlap. For example, evaporation is placed where liquids and gases overlap.

For more lessons about phases of matter, please see my Properties of Matter page. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MSScienceBlog

Quiz, Quiz, Trade – Apollo Missions

Recently, I tried the “Quiz, Quiz, Trade” (QQT) method of review to help my students study for their Apollo Missions assessment. How does it work? See the video below:

Materials:

Procedures:

Before starting the activity, I modeled how to ask, answer, and trade using student volunteers. We also discussed ‘quizzing etiquette’. What do you do if your partner is stuck? How can you give clues to help jog their memories? What are some things that you should or should NOT say if someone can’t answer the question, even with hints? After you go over the answer with your partner, are there any tips to help your partner remember the answer? I stressed the importance of helping each other learn. It is not just about getting the answers right or wrong and no one ‘wins’ if they answered the most questions correctly.

Each student was given one question to start the activity. Because I had more questions than students in my class, after a student makes 3 trades, I had the students hand in/trade their cards with me to introduce new questions into the mix as needed. Some students will answer more questions than others, and that is ok. The students quizzed/traded with each other for about 20 minutes. While they were quizzing each other, they kept track of which questions they answered correctly, and which ones they needed to work on using this handout: Quiz, Quiz, Trade Numbers  (pdf)

Sample Question Card
Sample Question Card

For the second half of the review activity, I divided the class into two teams. I would randomly pick one question to ask each team. Before I asked the question, I announced the number of the question I was going to ask them. The students on each team then looked at their sheets to see who had that answered that numbered question correctly and chose one person to come up to answer the question. If no one had the numbered question answered correctly (or did not have a chance to answer it during QQT), they would volunteer a ‘tribute’ to try to answer the question. If the first team answers correctly after I read the question to the class, they earned a point. If answered incorrectly, the other team had a chance to steal and earn the point. We really enjoyed playing QQT and I plan on using it again in a variety of ways.

This is also a great way to practice vocabulary words. Using index cards, students can write the vocab word on one side and the definition on the other. You can also use it for identification skills – show a picture on one side, and the identification on the other. For example, one side can have a picture of a beaker, and the other side will have the word ‘beaker’ to practice identifying lab equipment. Other ideas include: plant identification, constellation identification, cloud identification, metric conversions or abbreviations, etc…