Our youngest students naturally have a keen interest in life science. From an early age they may follow a bug’s progress across the floor, laugh in delight at the antics of their kitten, or watch in wonder as the tiny pea they planted in the garden produces food for their plate.
Because of their interest, students often begin this unit of study with a large body of knowledge that they can build on. Life science study provides a perfect opportunity for students to practice some more complex skills that they will need in all areas of their science learning.
In our Life Science Book, kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students are able to explore the living world around them. They will identify the basic needs of living things, review the life cycles of multiple plants and animals, seek out camouflaged creatures, review the different types of habitats found on Earth and even practice the 3 R’s– reduce, reuse, recycle!
In Life Science at Science4Us, students practice and hone skills such as classifying, categorizing, observing, and record keeping, all while playing games, participating in hands-on activities, and testing their knowledge with animated online evaluations.
The Life Science Book is divided into two units with three modules in each. Living Things contains the modules Living and Nonliving, Plants, and Animals. Balance in Nature contains modules on Food Webs, Habitats, and Eco Awareness.
Though some living things are obviously alive, others are not so clearly living. For example, a clam and a rock are hard on the outside. Both may lie still for a long time. When observing them, neither one may seem to be alive. So students must learn four characteristics of living things to help them determine whether something is alive or not alive. As their study moves to animals, K-2 students can begin to categorize animals into mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
At Science4Us, the Living Things unit is filled with learning experiences that K-2 students love. Animated characters teach important concepts, such as a friendly dinosaur who leads a discussion about extinct animal species. Online games allow students to master vocabulary and content in an interactive way, while hands-on activities engage students in learning through first-hand experiences. The Living Things module readies students for further learning in Life Science and further use of their improved classification and categorization skills. Read Living Things K-2 for more detailed information on the unit and activities.
In the three modules of the Science4Us Balance in Nature unit: Food Webs, Habitats, and Eco Awareness, students learn how living things interact with the world around them. Each of these very complex topics is introduced in a developmentally friendly way. Students approach food webs by remembering what they’ve learned about energy and food in the Physical Science Energy Sources module, literature activities and lessons build students’ knowledge from food chains through food webs. Students learn new vocabulary including, omnivore, herbivore, carnivore, predator and prey, and even have the chance to build a food web made of yarn. Habitats begins with an animated story in which students visit different animal habitats at the zoo and expands to include animal and plant habitats around the world. The Eco Awareness module explores how plants and animals interact with their environment, and gives students in-depth knowledge about how they can positively change their own environment (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). It also introduces students to the concept of endangered and invasive species. Read Balance in Nature K-2 for more detailed information on the unit and activities.
Many of the concepts in these modules will be new to young students, but each module is begun with students’ prior knowledge, linked to previous Science4Us content and taught through engaging online and offline activities all the while developing skills in classification, observation, and record keeping to use in future science learning.