(Image courtesy of Creative Commons.)

Insects
ESSENTIAL UNIT OUTCOMES
In this unit, second grade scientists will
  • Express, record, and interpret their attitudes about insects.
  • Recognize and label the essential characteristics on insects.
  • Construct insect collectors and insect models.
  • Collect, observe, classify, and record insects and other small animals according to characteristics and habitat.
  • Observe and record the developmental stages of insects.
  • Demonstrate creative thinking through writing, speaking, and constructing models in each unit.
  • Summarize and present results in written and/or oral form.
 
Weather
ESSENTIAL UNIT OUTCOMES
In this unit, second grade scientists will
  • Create and demonstrate the use of a thermometer as a measuring tool to determine temperature.
  • Identify, manipulate, and record data from real instruments used to measure weather and construct models of real instruments.
  • Develop an awareness of water vapor through observing, measuring, and recording evaporation and precipitation.
 
A Sticky Situation
ESSENTIAL UNIT OUTCOMES
In this unit, second grade scientists and engineers will
  • Provide evidence from investigations that things can be done to materials to change some of their properties.
  • Based on investigations, describe what changes occur to the observable properties of various materials when they are subjected to the processes of wetting, cutting, bending, and mixing. Compare the observable properties of objects before and after they have been subjected to various processes.
  • Recognize that some kinds of materials are better than others for making any particular thing, for example, materials that are better in some ways (such as stronger and cheaper) may be worse in other ways (such as heavier and harder to cut).
  • Describe what can be learned about things by just observing those things carefully and adding information by sometimes doing something to the things and noting what happens.
  • Seek information through reading, observation, exploration, and investigations.
  • Explain that when a science investigation is done the way it was done before, we expect to get a very similar result.
  • Use whole numbers and simple, everyday fractions in ordering, counting, identifying, measuring, and describing things and experiences.
  • Provide reasons for accepting or rejecting ideas examined.  
  • Describe things as accurately as possible and compare observations with those of others.
  • Describe and compare things in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.
  • Have opportunities to work with a team, share findings with others, and recognize that all team members should reach their own conclusions about what the findings mean.
  • Explain that sometimes it is not possible to make or do everything that is designed.
  • Make something out of paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, metal, or existing objects that can actually be used to perform a task.
  • Recognize that tools are used to do things better or more easily and to do some things that could not otherwise be done at all.
  • Explain that a model of something is different from the real thing but can be used to learn something about the real thing.
 
HELPFUL PARENT TIPS
  • Encourage your children to enjoy science. Help them believe that they are scientists!
  • Take nature walks. Collect and/or observe insects, leaves, and clouds.
  • Read books, magazines and websites about science
  • Observe daily weather. Look for patterns.
  • Set-up and observe simple experiments: ice melting, water freezing, and paper fading in sunlight.
  • Take trips to local nature/environmental centers.
  • For more parent tips visit the U.S. Department of Education Website, “Helping Your Child Learn Science.” http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/science/brochure.html