This lesson covers a lot of topics in an integrated manner. The helicopter is the same as the one they build in the "Helicopter Rescue" activity in mathematics. In this lesson, however, we add a magnet and a light. Both of these additions address specific aspects of the educational standards. Once students learn "what the magnet sticks to" they modify the construction materials so that they can pick them up and haul them to a remote construction site. They draw their flight path on a map of the room so they can experience straight, curved, and zigzag lines. The construction materials are placed in an open-sided box with toilet paper across the top, simulating fog at the pick-up site. A classmate has to use light signals to direct the pilot for the right maneuvers to pick up the materials. Students are asked how they think the various materials will respond to heat and cold, but these experiments are not conducted, only discussed.
There is a lot packed into this lesson. First, students will experience sprouting plants. They will get to see what usually happens underground. This sprouting alone will be interesting and exciting, but this is only the beginning. Students will conduct an experiment to determine how water flows through various types of soil. They will use this knowledge as they select the soil for their flower pot (a 2 liter bottle). They will place their sprouts in the soil and care for them as they grow. Through this process they will observe how the new plant resembles its parents by comparing the new plant to the picture on the seed package. Finally, students will place their plants together to form a "forest." They will use a hand lens to look for signs that organisms (probably insects) have taken up residence.
The purpose of this lesson is to get the students to take notice of current weather conditions and changes due to seasons and the time of the year. This is accomplished by drawing pictures of possible weather conditions and displaying the appropriate picture each day. The display is enhanced by inclusion of the current phase of the moon. Also, how weather affects the students directly is addressed through the clothing that is worn during each season.
In this lesson, students will be classifying objects by their characteristics and applying their knowledge as they analyze a commercial product.
Students will classify plants and animals based on their characteristics. This begins with pictures and continues by using their own stuffed animals.