By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki
They say March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb. It depends on where you live whether that is true in 2018.
But one thing we do know for sure: Spring officially starts on Tuesday, March 20. And early signs are popping up all around us – crocuses blooming, tulips emerging from the soil, birds chirping in the early morning, buds forming on trees.
Spring is the ultimate teachable moment – teachable season, really – for science teachers. All the changes nature makes as the season turns vividly illustrate the cycle of life on our planet. So get outside and learn!
Why March 20?
Why does Spring start on March 20? Because the first day of the spring season is the day of the year when the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving northward. This day, which can fall on March 20 or 21, is known as the Vernal Equinox. Learn all about it on Curriki with Wonderopolis.
On the Ground
All around us we see plants and trees coming to life again after a winter of dormancy. Let’s use our observations to study science!
- Hands-On Spring Activities – In this resource, students will participate in a variety of spring-themed projects, including planting a flower, creating a daffodil, building a bird feeder and going on a spring hunt – all so they can gain a better understanding of spring and all the things that happen in nature during this time of year.
- Plant Glossary – The useful glossary will give your students the vocabulary to discuss plant concepts.
- Parts of a Plant – In this lesson, students observe and document similarities and differences between parts of plants.
- Plant Growing Lessons – This unit for primary grades is an experiment to show what seeds need to grow and, by extension, what plants need to thrive.
- Plant Journal – Get outside! The new plants that push up from the ground at the advent of spring provide an opportunity for your students to start a Plant Journal (in text and pictures) to chronicle what they witness.
- Can Plants Think? – Plants may be more intelligent than you and I are! This video explains how plants survive and function for proliferation.
- Plant Adaptations – Examine the way plants adapt to survive in different ecosystems, such as desert, grassland, tropical rain forest, temperate rain forest, temperate deciduous forest, taiga, tundra and water.
In the Air
The other big thing we notice when spring arrives is the busy sky as flocks of birds return north from the south, where many spent the winter.
- Do All Birds Fly South In the Winter? – Join Curriki and Wonderopolis as we learn a bit about migration and see how we can help our feathered friends forage for food instead of flying farther south.
- Flapping Birds – This Lego We-Do project examines bird adaptations, asking why there are so many kinds of birds, and how they differ to survive in many different environments.
- Bird Populations – Follow the movements of bird populations with this lesson from BirdSource, managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.
These activities should keep your class busy well into April. Happy Spring!
Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org. Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!
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