Early Childhood

Elementary school kids

Students in K-2nd grades are eager learners, and will love having a scientist come to visit their class! They can be a talkative bunch and often like to share their experiences and ideas. You might want to look over the suggestions in the document below to get a feel for Best Practices for giving presentations in Elementary Schools.

There are many ways in which the science behind the GPM mission is meaningful and engaging to children in these grade levels. Here are some of the Next Generation Science Standards (followed by most states across the country) that relate directly to some themes you might present on to children in these grades. Note that you aren’t attempting to teach everything in the standards below- rather the information in the standard will give you a sense of what ultimately children in that grade level need to know and do to demonstrate their knowledge. You are just one small step toward helping them achieve these rather broad and complicated standards of science. 

Kindergarten:

First Grade:

Second Grade:

The key topic areas that are relevant and related to students in these grade levels center around the water cycle and freshwater availability/resources.  You can find many of the lessons plans and videos we have developed and gathered related to each of these topics below. You might look over these to get some ideas, and could also forward the lists to the teacher to offer them additional resources.

I have developed PowerPoint presentations that you might want to use (and feel free to modify) for each of these topics. You can download them for each of these topics below.

Here is a really nice and very age-appropriate hand-on and/or demonstration activity you could do in addition or instead of the PPTs if you want to add another dimension!

Rain Cloud in a Jar Science Experiment:

Now you can do a demonstration for the students showing them what it looks like to see the rain passing through the clouds and onto Earth. The directions for this demonstration activity are here.  Show the activity to the teacher ahead of time so s/he can have all the materials ready for you. S/he will know if the students are ready for using the printables or not, and can also have them ready to be used if needed.

If the teacher feels the students are able to handle it, they may have some stations where the students can do this in small groups. Perhaps they will add this activity to one of their “stations” for students to do after your visit.