Elementary school kids

Students in 3rd through 5th grades are very interested in hearing about science from “real” scientists! They have begun to learn about natural phenomena all around them, but have many misconceptions as well. At this age, they will often have many questions and also want to share some of their understanding and experiences. Take a few minutes to read over the Best Practices for giving presentations in Elementary Schools to get a feel for what elementary school classes are like and some pointers for presenting to kids in these grade levels.

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 themes germane to the science and technology behind the GPM mission.  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.

3rd grade:

4th grade:

5th grade:

The key topic areas that are relevant to GPM and are 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.

If you want to include a hands-on activity, here are a few ideas that are good to do with 3rd to 5th grade students.

We have some “reading to be informed” articles which you could share with the teacher in case they wanted the students to read this information before or after your classroom visit.

We also have a longer brochure entitled “Understanding Earth: What’s Up With Precipitation?” which might be useful for the teacher to have access to in order to potentially add more content to your presentation at another time. You could also look over this brochure to get some ideas for information to share with students.

Finally, be sure to add a few slides or spend some time telling the students about why you decided to become a scientist. Share a few things that you were interested in related to science and technology when you were in elementary school. Give a little information about what you do in your job that require strong math, reading, writing, and communication skills.