Thursday, November 27, 2014

Human Body Organ Systems

Well, we all know that the human body is the most complex creation nature has made. But it's also the most exciting thing to learn about!
When my boy Dhruv  came home 2 weeks back saying 'The topic we started in school today is Organ Systems' , I was pretty excited !
Though there are 11 organ systems in our body, a third grader is introduced to 8 of them and they are all introductory of course!
I found a lot of interesting  and cute videos on youtube on the different organ systems and thought I must collect them together in this post.
I also made a bunch of worksheets to reinforce the topics.

Skeletal System
After explaining the skeletal system, I did a small cut and paste worksheet with Dhruv followed by additional worksheets on the functions of the skeletal system.

Skeletal System Cut & Paste Worksheet for grade 3 & 4

There's a youtube video on the skeletal system for kids which is pretty informative.

Digestive System
After explaining the concepts, we first did a cut and paste worksheet followed by worksheets on functionality of the digestive system.
Digestive System Cu& Paste Activity & Worksheet for Grade 3
For the digestive system too has a good video.

Nervous System
This musical video from SchoolHouse Rock is a real fun way of explaining the concept of the nervous system.
Circulatory System
Here's another fun video from SchoolHouse Rock on this topic.
A more educational video on circulatory system is also available but Dhruv prefers the fun one !
Respiratory System has a video for the Respiratory System (there is one mistake in the video- it says diaphragm is the largest muscle).
Of course, I made worksheets here as well.
To wrap up all the  11 organ systems there's an overview video by the Amoeba Sisters that I found useful.


Here's a small  quiz from Magic School Bus.

All my worksheets on Organ Systems is available in my TPT Product My Body Organ Systems- Worksheets for Grade 3 & 4
Organ Systems - Digestive, Respiratory, Skeletal, Muscular, Circulatory, Nervous, Excretory

A preview is available for download here  .


Friday, September 19, 2014

Birds - Adaptations and More

There's so much to learn about birds! Going by the text book was thoroughly confusing for my eight year old so I dealt with it through worksheets and small activities.
 I have covered the topics of Beaks, Feet , Nests and also a short introduction to feathers.
Beaks are mainly different in different birds due to their eating habits. I first discussed the different kinds of beaks, showing pictures and some real examples around us (sparrow, pigeon, crow, rooster)
Then I tested his understanding using several worksheets . Here's an example.

Bird beak adaptations for food - worksheet for grade 3 and 4
In worksheets for beak, I also covered beak descriptions, examples of which beak does a bird have and why a bird has a certain beak type.

For a group of children, it is also a good idea to conduct an experiment to see which kind of beak suits best for a particular kind of food. More about this is available in a video I saw on YouTube.
Another interesting and versatile adaptation in birds are their feet. I approached the topic in a very similar way to beaks i.e. with explanation and worksheets and also explained how birds need adaptations in both beaks and feet based on their eating habits and habitats  (e.g  : a duck has a strainer beak to strain out its food from ponds and webbed feet to paddle in water ). To make it interesting I drew birds with missing beaks and feet and asked kids to fill in the missing parts.
Bird adaptations- worksheet to draw missing beak and feet of duck & heron

The video below gives an overview of beak and feet adaptations.

Most birds build their nests on trees but not all. Also the nests on trees can be peculiar. I provided a worksheet for this- there's also an interesting video on Weaver Bird's nest building to watch.
There's also an animation I found explaining different kinds of nests.

I  made a worksheet on the two kinds of feathers: down feathers and flight feathers. When ever we are on a footpath these days, we watch out for feathers and identify them as flight feathers or down feathers!
 We also discussed flightless birds like ostrich and cassowary.
Additionally we did several worksheets covering overall topics on birds.
All the worksheets are available in my product Birds- Beaks, Feet, Nests and More on the TPT Store.
 Worksheets on Birds Beaks, Feet, Nests, Feathers
A preview of this product is available for download here .
After doing this topic my child has developed a new interest of feeding birds !

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parts of a Plant

This a fairly straight forward topic but is also pretty lengthy . I taught it to my son using the worksheets I made for this chapter along with some you tube videos.
Here's a youtube video to give an overall idea of the parts of a plant
The chapter is divided into the following parts.
I made worksheets to distinguish between tap roots and fibrous roots and to enumerate  various functions of roots.
Types of roots - tap root and fibrous root
I also showed my child tap roots from a bunch of coriander leaves and fibrous roots from a cluster of grass.
I explained the classification of plants based on stems like climbers and creepers, herbs, shrubs and trees. We also worked on functions of stems through discussions. We did worksheets for all the topics.
I explained the parts of a leaf and the process of photosynthesis. Here's a video of photosynthesis which my son really enjoyed.

We also worked on worksheets for photosynthesis and parts of a leaf.
Flower and Fruit
I did not go into the depth of pollination and parts of a flower as this would be too intense for a 8 year old.  I explained how a bud turns to a flower and then to a fruit and found this beautiful video showing pear blossoms turning into young pear fruits.

We did a simple worksheet on this topic.
We learnt what is germination . This video from eLearning came handy.

We did a worksheet on seeds.
Additionally we did several worksheets covering overall plant topics like identifying different parts of plants etc.
All the worksheets are available in my product Parts of a Plant .
Parts of a Plant - root, stem , leaf, flower, fruit, seed - worksheets
 A preview is available for download here.
After doing this chapter, my child has developed an extreme liking for plants. Hope yours does so too!


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Universe

My boy started third grade last month and the very first topic started in school is 'The Universe' -  a truly big topic for little ones whose known  territories are only home and school.
I realized that teaching the traditional way of starting with the big picture of the universe  and going down the path of galaxies, solar systems and planets is something the little mind does not comprehend well - it understands better what it already knows.
So I started with a little exercise  where I pulled up a globe and showed my boy our city, country and continent and Earth ,  and what fits inside what before I started talking about the solar system, galaxy and the universe.
I used a worksheet to reinforce the facts.
universe, galaxy, solar system, planet, milky way, city,  country, continent

After doing this small exercise , I was asked the unavoidable question - 'What is the Big Bang mama ?' (I had to write that last sentence in the exercise to dig my own grave!)  That is really a tough theory  to explain so I left the explanation to the man behind it all - Stephen Hawking. I know that this video is heavy but that's the best I could get and it does give the child an idea of space.
 Coming back to the topic of universe, I went on the explain the components of the universe - the galaxies and solar systems and most prominently our solar system.
Found this amazing picture of the solar system from NASA which serves as a good introduction.
Solar System with planets and asteroid belt
What is like most about this picture is that it clearly shows the asteroid belt .
I made a poster for each planet with its main facts- they serve as good pinups . Here's a snapshot of the posters together.
Planets of our Solar System Posters
There's also a solar system song I found on YouTube.   It is slow and  kiddy -  I guess that's why  my kid loved it !
I made worksheets on planets and their positions from the sun.
For older kids I would highly recommend to download NASA's Eyes on the Solar System   - an amazing application showing an exact 3D view of all ongoing  and past explorations done by NASA in space .
I also touched upon the topic of the planetary movements of rotation and revolution through this worksheet.
Planet movements- rotation & revolution

Additionally, I made some quizzes, match the followings and games  on the topics.
The kids enjoyed the package.  The package is available in my TPT Store under the name Our Universe, Galaxies, Solar System and Planets  .
Universe , Solar System , Planets - Worksheets for Grade 3
A preview of the package  is available for download here .




Monday, April 14, 2014

Teaching Time

I spaced out teaching time to my little one over a span of 2 years.
In Grade 1 we learnt about The Hour and Half Past.
In Grade 2 , we learnt about Quarter Past, Quarter To , 5 Minute Intervals, A.M., P.M., 24 Hour Format.
clock with arabic numerals
Teaching on the run becomes very easy if there is a wall clock at home with all the 12 hours in Arabic Numeral.
As soon as the kids know to read numbers, they are able to tell at which number or between which 2 numbers is the smaller hand pointing to .

Another very interesting thing for kids is to have their own paper clocks whose hands they can move easily. I avoid using pins. Here's the clock I made- an idea I saw at a Swiss Watch Company's product for kids.
make your own clock
You can use the following cutout to make one of your own. Remember to use slightly stiff paper.
Right click to save the image below to your computer.
Print it.
Cut out only along the bold lines.
Lift the central wings in the circle and slip in the two hands one by one.
Decorate and number your clock the way you like.
make your own clock outline cutout

You may also download  clock outline .
I introduced each of the concepts - The Hour, Half Past, Quarter Past , Quarter To  through posters and my paper clock.
time posters for hour, half-past, quarter past and quarter to

 I made different types of worksheets for  showing  and telling  time.
For grade 2 -I also made worksheets for telling start and end times of different activities.
I introduced the concept of A.M. and P.M. Here's the worksheet for it.

Worksheet to teach A.M. and P.M.
At the end of Grade 2, I introduced the 24 Hour Time Format.

All my posters and worksheets are available in my product 
Time- The Hour, Half Past, Quarter Past & To, Time Format Worksheets

Time hour , half past, quarter past , 24 hour format worksheets for grade  1,2 & 3

You can download the preview of this product .

Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Environment

This is my very first blog post so I chose a topic that needs awareness among our little ones along with being age appropriate.

When the Science topic of  'Our Environment' was being covered in school, I noticed that my Dhruv was a little perplexed.  It is surely a content dense chapter with many challenging concepts like deforestation, pollution and conservation.
I split the chapter into


We dealt with life in a forest and forest products. We did several worksheets on these and some creative writing too!
We understood what is deforestation and what are the causes and effects of deforestion.
We made a  T-chart on deforestation after sorting out causes and effects from a pile of pictures.

Deforestation Chart - Causes & Effects

Dhruv pinned his chart in class.


We understood causes and effects of pollution of the 3 natural resources-  air, land and water. We did several worksheets on these.
We understood what is acid rain through this lovely slideshow made by EPA .


We understood the '3Rs of Conservation'.
The 3 Rs of Conservation Poster

We discussed what we in our day-to-day life can do for conservation and then also did several worksheets.
There's also an interesting video for kids on pollution.

For all this and more,  have a look at my product  Our Environment- Forests, Deforestation, Pollution and Conservation .

You can download a preview of the product here.
Our Environment - Forests, Deforestation, Pollution & Conservation Worksheets