Observing Spider Webs


Did yoy know that you can tell the species of spider from the pattern of the web? The garden orb weaver on the right spins a classic orb web, but there are many variations. Samuel Zschokke has a great selection of spider web images at spider web construction gallery. I put together a slideshow for the kids from that web site and few others. I also put copies of webs on the walls from How to Know the Spiders by Barbara Kaston, et al.

Introduction to Observations: Five Senses


For the first science class of second grade, we made observations using all five senses. This lesson was adapted from “Confection Connection” which I found in Teaching Science Process Skills, which has many excellent activities for grades 6-8. Since I teach science in the morning, I didn’t want to use the candy idea from the original lesson. I chose raspberries for the mystery objects. Before class, I used two different sized cups to hide one raspberry for each student and set them on a side table.

Stop Motion Animation


Below are our first results where the class was able to make their own animations. Each student created their own clay figures then a group of students worked together on a single production. The students came up with ideas about how to have their characters work together and then Max and I helped make it happen. In the first group, the students placed the figures, I did the motion, and Max recorded the animation.



A spaceship named Cassini left Earth before most first graders were born, and two weeks ago the Huygen’s probe landed on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and sent back pictures. I did a lot of web research and borrowed a friend’s projector (thanks Max) and presented my first current events in science class. I gathered images of early astronomers, pictures of the spaceships and best-of-all picturs of the planets and their moons.

Intro to Measurement


Typically I prepare for science class at the last minute and I’ve been really lucky. All my science experiments have worked out when tried the night before. I may have gotten too ambitious in creating my own ferrofluid (I made ferromud) or building my own thermometer (too easy to make the play-dough appear to change the temperature). At the last minute, I decide to go back to basics. How could I think about teaching measurement of temperature before teaching measurement of length?