P/J Annotated Science Resources
1. BBC Bitesize. (2016). Retrieved January 21, 2016, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z6svr82
This website addresses the science curriculum in almost all strands and grades. For the purpose of this assignment, I will look at the first strand (Understanding life systems: needs and characteristics of living things) in grade one. For grade one, specific expectations 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 3.1 are addressed throughout many of the games and activities. This website has numerous videos and games relating to the science curriculum. While this is an educational website with origins in the UK, much of the content overlaps with the Ontario curriculum. Students can choose their appropriate level (since the UK uses a different system to categorize students, the teacher would first have to look at the levels and decide what is appropriate for their students – I looked at the KS1 section). Students then can choose from a variety of subjects, and then sub categories where they will find games, short films and activities related to the curriculum topics. This is an excellent resource as in the science section alone, there are approximately one hundred videos and activities available. This website is also frequently updated and added to, meaning that it stays relevant and up to date with the most current information. BBC Bitesize is unique because it provides students with several different materials from which they can learn. Students can watch videos, play games, take quizzes and keep track of their progress through this website. This website also has a number of projects and experiments that students can do at home or in the classroom with their teacher. It really encompasses the science curriculum and can be used at a number of grade levels. Teachers and students could use this resource in a variety of different ways. First, it can be used as a wrap up for lessons. Once students have a base knowledge of some of these concepts, they could go through the activities and really tie what they have learned together. It can also be used to help students to research for projects and activities due to the informative nature of the videos. This is a great resource that students can use in class or at home to reinforce the science curriculum at the primary level.
2. Bancroft, H., G., V. G., & Davie, H. (1997). Animals in Winter. New York: Harper Collins.
The book Animals in Winter fits well into the grade two curriculum under the strand Understanding Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Animals. It touches on overall expectation number 2 – investigate similarities and differences in the characteristics of various animals. It touches on the specific expectations 2.2, 2.3, and 2.5. Animals in Winter, talks about how different animals survive in the winter, including birds and squirrels. It gives a good comparison of how animals survive harsh climates and what strategies they use in the cold winter months. It has really nice illustrations and provides a lot of interesting facts and information about the different types of animals listed. This book is a great resource as it is a fairly easy read, however students will take a lot from the book. I also really liked the detailed pictures that were included, which make the story more interesting than many other non-fiction children’s books. This book is unique because it manages to tell an engaging story about the different creatures and their winter habits, while still providing factual information to the reader. This book would be a great way to introduce students to comparing animals. This resource could also be used for students to do a research project on animals and how they survive the winter. It touches very well with the grade 2 curriculum and gives a good basis on one way that animals can be compared. If I were to teach this unit to students, I might read this story to students and then brainstorm other ways that we can compare and contrast animals. From there, the teacher could give students the opportunity to make their own list or project about the differences between certain animals and then present their thoughts to the class.
3. Beaty, A., & Roberts, D. (2013). Rosie Revere, Engineer.
Rosie Revere, Engineer fits very well into the grade 2 science curriculum under the strand Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Movement. This book touches on overall expectation 2 – investigate mechanisms that include simple machines and enable movement; as well as number 3 - investigate mechanisms that include simple machines and enable movement; and hits specific expectations 2.2, 2.4, and 3.5. Rosie Revere, Engineer is an excellent book that tells a story relating to the Structures and Mechanisms science strand for grade 2. The book tells the story of a young girl, Rosie, who is shy but loves to make inventions. Eventually her aunt asks her to build a machine to fly, when she does so the machine breaks and Rosie is very embarrassed. Her aunt replies to this that she had an excellent first try and should keep working on her inventions. Not only does this item tie well into the strand Understanding Structures and Mechanisms, but it also tells an important message for young student – never give up and if your first attempt doesn’t work out, try again. This is a great story with beautiful illustrations and a wonderful message. This book is unique in that it tells a story that incorporates a life lesson. I like that this book talks about students who are shy or less confident and explains that they should still do their best. If I were to teach a unit on structures and mechanisms at the grade two level, I would present this book to students as a warm up or introductory activity. This book would inspire students to get creative and would show them the fact that they’re first effort may well be a ‘flop’ as the author puts it, but they should try to modify their work and create something that is effective. After reading this story with students, the teacher could ask students to create a mechanism that moves or even flies like Rosie’s. This is a great way to put inquiry based learning into practice, just like in the story.