KS2 (7-11)

It's Christmas!!

A very short post today as the pre-chrimbo lethargy is settling in as I suspect it is in most schools across the country.

However, I am aware that you may need some lessons to keep the children both entertained and educated so I present you with a couple of Christmas-themed physics lesson ideas which are suitable for KS2 and KS3 classes. More

Snow business

Down in the South of the UK where Snapshot Science hails from, the snow has long since melted and is it now practically tropical compared to the chilly North.

Assuming you are not sick to death of the very mention of the s-word, here are some snowy ideas for fun science lessons for the end of term which you could use (if school is open of course). More

Moonwatch

The story

The society for Popular Astronomy is organising a Moonwatch event which starts this Wednesday (17th) and runs until the following Sunday.  During this time the Moon will go through a number of phases from crescent to full.

They have a website dedicated to the event which encourages teachers to study the Moon with their classes as it is visible after school from about 4:30pm onwards.  They advise using a telescope or binoculars if you want to study the surface of the Moon and have pages on the website which detail the features that you will be able to spot.

Teaching idea and resources

Inspired by the Moonwatch event I have uploaded a Moonwatch PowerPoint which contains some simple starter questions which can be used with a class when studying the solar system.

When I taught this in the past I used to tell my class that the Moon changed shape because it is made from cheese and space mice ate it.  When the whole Moon was eaten it disappeared, only to be replaced by a new ball of cheese from the Mouse God who lived behind the sun.  Of course – they told me that this was total rubbish but it made them think when I asked them how they were so sure – what proof did they have that my theory was wrong?

There is also a moon phases worksheet that asks students to predict what the Moon will look like from Earth during various points during its orbit.  They can check their answers by watching one of the animations linked below.

If you want your students to take part in the Moonwatch event but don’t have the equipment to view the moon, why not ask the students to complete a ‘Moon diary’ for the event?  They can view the Moon every night at home and then draw each phase.  You can then use their observations as a basis for discussion in the classroom.

Weblinks

The Moonwatch week website

Simple animation showing the phases of the moon.  Suitable for KS2/3 students.

More complicated animation suitable for high ability KS3 students and KS4.

Space tourism

The story

How long will it be before visiting space will be as common an event as boarding a flight to Spain?  And will we be holidaying on Mars rather than Marbella in the future? More

Teaching science using chocolate

Image: André Karwath

The story

Today is the start of Chocolate week in the UK.  This event celebrates the country’s favourite sweet treat with a host of cocoa-filled happenings around the country.  And what a great excuse opportunity for some science lessons using chocolate. More

Attack of the killer shrimps

Photo:Heyrocker/Flickr

The story

It may have been killer piranhas hitting our cinema screens this summer but now something not quite as scary but potentially devastating to British wildlife has hit our water ways.

Dikerogammarus villosus is a tiny shrimp of between 3 and 30mm but has been given the moniker the killer shrimp because of its aggression and nasty habit of killing and maiming other small invertebrates which it often doesn’t eat. More

Kill germs dead to stop the spread

The story

Now the new school year is in full swing how long will it be before the latest nasty pathogen sweeps through the corridors causing illness in both staff and students? Fingers crossed that the latest antibiotic resistant superbug decides not to further its education and stays out of schools. More

Multi-functional albino alligator

albino alligator

courtesy of iamdonte

Meet Alistair the albino alligator (he hasn’t actually got a name but I feel the need to give him one).

He is the latest animal to be homed at the South Carolina Aquarium in the USA.  As well as being a fascinating creature to observe, Alistair is living in an aquarium because of his poor chances of survival in the wild.   The website states that albino alligators only manage a mere 24 hours of life before being eaten by predators. More