This is a series of at-home activities designed for students to easily do on their own with some adult supervision, using tools which can be found around the house to develop exploration and observation skills. Perfect for families, homeschooling, or pre & post activities for online class programs.
Senses Children learn how to use their five senses to discover the world around them.
Snoop Act as a scientist doing every step of field research: collect data about what is alive in an outdoor area. Then “write a report” by drawing pictures of what they found.
Finger Detectives Children use their sense of touch to explore items that they cannot see and describe them.
How Do You Know? Categorizing things from their environment that are alive, were once alive, or were never alive. They give reasons for how they know based on 6 things all living things do (breathe, drink, eat, move, grow, and reproduce).
1st Grade: Structure and Function
Mammal Movement Looking at pictures of various animals, their feet structures, and whether they are flat-footed walkers, toe walkers, or toenail walkers. Comparing one “design” to another to see the function of each of these structural “designs”.
To Be a Bee. Draw a bee from memory, name the parts they drew. Look at pictures of bees, and draw a second bee to reflect the new information with a discussion of the functions of the bee’s body parts.
Plants and Their Parts Explore the different parts of a plant and apply this learning to plants commonly eaten and found in stores.
2nd Grade: Water On the Move
Erosion Set up a variety of models using dirt or sand and items such as rocks, toothpicks and sticks to explore the impact of water on the land.
Water Water Everywhere This is an activity in which children discover how the water travels through the environment to get to their house.
Water Experiments Do experiments to learn about the properties of water through scientific investigation.
3rd Grade: Adaptations
Salt Marsh Plants Explore two aspects of salt marsh areas; how plants survive the wave action from tides and is how salt marsh cleans runoff before entering the bay.
Bay Treasure Hunt Explore the Palo Alto Baylands with this treasure hunt. See how many special adaptions to the salt marsh habitat you can find (plants, beaks, feet, etc).
4th Grade: Power Generation
Wind Power at Home Make a pinwheel, explore how it turns and photos of wind turbines showing how they produce electricity. They discuss why wind power is a renewable source of energy and it’s advantages/disadvantages.
Home Power Scavenger Hunt This home-centered scavenger hunt (with adult assistance) explores the types of power used in homes, where it comes into your home and how to measure usage.
4th Grade: Earthquake Geology Field Trip Video (now with Spanish subtitles)
5th Grade: Human Impacts
Loathsome Litter To develop a sense of responsibility for litter, this lesson shows how long common items left in the environment take to decay.
Landfills Students will pretend they are city council members and will report to the council on the companies vying for the town waste disposal contract by evaluating the proposals and selecting the best option.
What is Waste? Students will study a flow chart showing the main steps in manufacturing aluminum cans deciding the steps that use energy/water, produce waste, and cause habitat damage.
Where Does Waste Go? Find ways to responsibly reuse, reduce, recycle, compost, and dispose in a landfill, objects that you can no longer use by playing this game!
Recycling Game Just for fun! This game shows how recycling reduces our impact on the environment by connecting it to everyday concepts.
If you have any feedback or comments on these activities we would love to hear from you. Email us at Kits@environmentalvolunteers.org
Photos by EV staff