Lesson Plans

stomp rocket science lesson plan(1)

Stomp Rocket Science: Free Lesson Plan and a Giveaway

After being cooped up all winter with textbooks and indoor activities, even moms get spring fever! With the sun starting to make its debut and the weather turning warmer, now is the perfect time to get out from behind those text books and get some hands-on science lessons outdoors.

Give Spring a Science Boost with Stomp Rockets

Maybe you remember Stomp Rockets as a kid, or you’ve seen them in the store? After all, they have been around for almost 25 years. If you have’t played with them yourself, you can tell it’s going to be fun, just from the name. Stomp Rockets!

Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is 100% KID powered: Run, jump and STOMP to launch these rockets up to 150 feet in the air! Click to turn on the powerful LED light inside, and these Stomp Rockets will really shine in the night sky, so it’s fun to play outdoors after dusk and on gloomy days too. Light up the night with vibrant color. The LED lights inside these rockets make them bright enough to double as a flashlight! Stomp Rocket Ultra LED is strong and durable, and great for active, outdoor play. Stomp Rockets have won lots of awards from industry experts, including iParenting Media, Dr. Toy and Creative Child Magazine. Includes a Stomp Launcher and 4 foam-tipped Ultra Stomp Rockets with bright LED lights inside. Refill rockets also available (item #20502). For kids ages 6 and up.

As if running, jumping, stomping and launching rockets into the air wasn’t just great all by itself, there are a TON of science experiments and concepts to learn from all of this fun.  Concepts include force, gravity, trajectory and so much more.

You can do a quick Google search to find some activities but did you know there is a corresponding curriculum you can use with your Stomp Rockets???

Use the “Stompin’ Science” book with Stomp Rocket Launch Sets to make science a blast! Kids can learn about things like gravity (what goes up must come down), trajectory, force and more by running, jumping and STOMPING to launch rockets — so learning is fun, interactive and active! Plus, the “Stompin’ Science” book makes teaching easy. It contains lessons for students of all ages and grade levels. Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents who’d like to have some educational fun with their kids.

Here’s a peek at the lessons included in this book:

  1. Top Secret Toy Testing (grade K-8)
  2. Exploring Force and Motion (grades 3-12)
  3. Exploring Force and Mass (grades 3-12)
  4. Angling for a Stompin’ Good Time (grades 3-12)
  5. Speed Rockets (grades 3-8)
  6. What Goes Up ….. (grades 3-8)
  7. What Goes Up … May Not Come Down (grades 8-12)
  8. Up, Up and Away (grades 8-12)
  9. Get a Blast of Energy (grades 10-12)
  10. Analyzing Projectile Motion (grades 10-12)

Those are just the lesson plans. There’s another 16 pages dedicated to science fair projects!

Aren’t you super excited to get outside and use your stomp rockets to teach science now?!?!

To give you even MORE motivation, I’ve got a two special treats for you!

First, I’m give you lessons plans to teach Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion using your Stomp Rockets. This lesson plan has 3 adaptable experiments you can do in your own back yard and note booking pages to use too. This lesson plan is free, but for a very limited time only, so be sure to grab yours while you can (link at the end of this post).

Here’s the other special treat (I’m giddy with excitement!) …. one lucky Modern Homeschool Family reader is going to win his or her own Stomp Rocket set and science project guide!

Enter to Win Stomp Rocket Science

[contesthopper contest=”4910″]

If you just can’t wait to get started using Stomp Rockets and the lesson plans, you can find them on Amazon Prime:

Stomp Rocket Science Lesson Plan with Printable Worksheets and Notebooking Pages

As promised, here’s the lesson plan. Don’t forget, it’s only free through May 3rd, so download yours now!

Free-Sea-Turtles-Lesson-Plan-Featured

Free Sea Turtles Lesson Plan

This is a homemade Sea Turtles picture book project, designed with homeschoolers in mind. It’s fun, relaxing, and is a great way to assist children in learning about one of our planet’s most fascinating endangered species.

Click the link below to read more.

ABCs of homeschooling

ABC’s of Co-Ops

A guest post by Jessica Hulcy.

ABCs of homeschooling

I began experiencing the benefits associated with homeschool Co-Ops before I even knew what they were. Carole Thaxton prayed for someone to homeschool with, and God sent me as an answer to her prayer. Before I knew it, Carole had given me assignments and stated what she was going to do. That was “Co-Oping”—a group of parents sharing the responsibility of teaching their students. The information provided below is taken verbatim from the KONOS Compass and the KONOS DVD Creating the Balance, but it is germane to all units and all kinds of Co-Ops.

Benefits Galore

  • Co-Ops give children the best, even when you are exhausted, by sharing teaching with other moms. Kids still get fabulous activities from one mom, while the other moms do errands or nap!
  • Co-Ops allow children to benefit from the talents of other moms, and moms to benefit by receiving feedback on their children from other moms.
  • Godly moms are not only fabulous role models for your kids but also serve as an intimate prayer support for all moms and kids.
  • Groups offer ways to gain much more information. Instead of one report by one child on one tribe of Native American Indians, if there are eight kids in the Co-Op, then there can be eight reports on eight different tribes wearing eight different tribal costumes! This is the ultimate in reinforcing learning as kids see and hear again from other kids what they learned. Also, the many families provide an instant audience for all performances!
  • Homeschoolers are often attacked by non-homeschoolers for isolating their children and depriving them of social peers with which to interact. Co-Oping solves that problem, but with the twist of parents get to pick the peers!

Guidelines for “Good Co-Oping”

Co-Ops are very much like marriages in that moms need to like the moms and kids need to like the kids in the Co-Op. No one is going to be perfect, but never start a Co-Op with moms just because they live near you and your kids are in the same grade. Past liking each other, solid Co-Oping happens when the moms share the same spiritual, emotional, and academic vision for their kids. Without a shared vision, you are beginning a relationship unequally yoked. Once you have chosen your Co-Op partners, the group can establish goals and workload. What you do not want is for moms to have divergent goals about what constitutes a “good Co-Op day,” e.g., one mother wants a play day while another mother plans for kids to video an interview with a Holocaust survivor and a WWII war veteran, tour the Holocaust museum, and write a first-person report as a survivor or as a soldier using what they learned from the interviews. Those are very different goals! Remember: If you exceed twelve children in your Co-Op, you have forfeited the tutorial method of teaching and moved into classroom method. The tutorial method of one-on-one instruction the type of education that was reserved for nobility in ancient days, as well as the method that has made homeschoolers test in the 80% on the average. I do not recommend abandoning the tutorial method for the sake of more help. On forming two smaller Co-Ops instead of one large one . . . It is best to group kids into readers and non-reader groups. That division helps immensely with activity instructions.

Policies Solve Potential Problems

The more you iron out before hand, the less wrinkles and tears you will have in the middle of the school year. General housekeeping questions concerning days, hours, carpools, lunches, dress, etc. need to be answered. In two or three summer meetings, those items can be addressed. Co-Ops can be weekly, twice a month, or monthly. My vote is for the regularity of weekly, and as long as you have taken dressed kids to someone else’s house, I vote for a full day of Co-Op. This is not a day of seatwork and reading that can be done independently at home. Co-Op day should be reserved for Barnum and Bailey activities that take time to organize and work better with a group. As long as you are getting eyeballs to dissect, you might as well pick up twelve of them! Discipline is always a concern when you take care of another person’s kids. Personally, I can work with a known felon—if I am in agreement with his authorities or parents about what my response should be and what their response to unruly behavior is going to be. With many families involved, be sensitive to money issues and dress issues. While one family may have expendable income for craft materials and field trips, another may not. Dress is also an issue. You don’t want Janey’s special dress ruined by paint, and you do not want the kids to go to the museum representing homeschoolers looking like ragamuffins. Communication is the key. Confucius says, “Faintest ink better than strongest memory.” Discussion that establishes agreed-upon, written policies before issues arise gives everyone policies to refer back to when issues arise, thereby putting the focus on established policies rather than on personalities. Above all else, add a covering of prayer for each other and each other’s children.

Jessica Hulcy, co-author of KONOS Curriculum, the first curriculum written for homeschool, is an educator, author, and formerly popular national homeschool speaker prior to her near-fatal wreck in 2009. A graduate of the University of Texas, mom to four grown sons, and “Grandear” to grandchildren, Jessica lives with her husband Wade on acreage in Texas. Recently Jessica and Wade started the ultimate online help for homeschooling moms called Homeschool Mentor. Visit www.homeschoolmentor.com and www.konos.com.

Copyright 2013, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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Fun and Easy Homeschool Science Experiments

Teaching science – it’s one of those things that homeschool parents either love or hate.  Whichever side of the camp you’re on, these fun and easy homeschool science experiments from Educents can add some creativity to your lessons!

Check out these science experiments, science freebies, and science books that will make science fun for everyone.

Science Projects - Educents Blog

Magic School Bus Polymer Group Pack

Seat belts everyone! Get ready to grow amazing polymers! Young Scientists grow super balls, snow, rainbow beads, crystal gels, and polymer flowers while learning about the importance and science of super-absorbent polymers.

This kit provides enough materials for 30 students and is great for the co-ops, science enrichment, boys and girls scouts, camps, and a Magic School Bus birthday Party!

Discounted Magic School Bus Polymer Group Pack on Educents

 

FREE – Osmosis: The Colorful Celery Experiment

Celery Experiment - Educents Blog

Are you teaching your kids about osmosis?
Perhaps it is a part of your science curriculum, or maybe you want to just do a little experimenting… The Colorful Celery Experiment is the perfect introduction to Osmosis. Your students will learn how water moves with this fun experiment.

It’s Science Time! Osmosis Freebie on Educents

 

Science Story eBooks – 50% OFF

BRIANIACSFollow Merrin and Pearl to combine science with adventure in Brainiacs.

Also learn about the nervous, digestive, immune, skeletal and circulatory system with a five part series from Human Body Detectives eBooks.

Human Body Detectives eBook Collection – 50% off on Educents

Magic School Bus Inspired Planet Study – 30% OFF

Plan games, worksheets, and coloring pages to expand your young astronomer’s understanding of space!

Planets

 

Discounted Interactive Planet and Lunar Study on Educents

 

More Science Resources

Looking for more inspiration for science experiments? Check out these resources:

  • The Young Scientists Club – Engage boys and girls around the world in an educational science adventure that lasts a lifetime.
  • Science printables for older kids – Teach With Fergy offers printable task cards, complete science units, PowerPoint lessons, and more!
  • STEM Mystery Books – Teach science and math with these books full of dozens of one-minute mysteries that kids love to solve!

Summertime Botany Unit

Summertime Botany Unit Study

A guest post by Jessica Hulcy.

Summertime Botany Unit

On the first day of class, my Botany professor at the University of Texas held up a tomato and informed the class, “Every time you eat a tomato, remember you are eating a ripe ovary.” Ugh! That was information I could have done without! But admittedly, I was intrigued by this off-the-wall professor.

His teaching style was equally unconventional as we chased him through meadows and along roadsides, keeping up with him as we gathered wildflowers that he pointed out and scratched his every word in our notebooks while walking. In Texas, the state flower is the bluebonnet or more specifically Lupinus texensis . . . and, of course, there is a state law against picking them. Naturally, our professor had been picking bluebonnets one day when a state trooper attempted to ticket him . . . until the professor challenged the officer as to whether the picked flower was Lupinus texensis, the true state flower, or Lupinus havardii, a look-alike. The officer finally tore up the ticket. I loved this professor’s teaching and learned as much from him about how to teach as I learned about botany.

Collect, Compare, and Categorize

First, you collect plant specimens and press them in a phone book or plant press, and then you begin to study and compare them, noticing all their similarities and distinctives. Comparing finally creates categories, which turn out to be plant families. My college professor taught us this rule: “Do not obsess over grouping plants by genus and species but rather examine and group plants by like characteristics to find the plant families.” I followed his lead years later when I wrote a unit study on plants1 but with a twist—the incredible similarities were all a part of God’s incredible design!

Members of the grass family, the most important economic family to man, all have hollow stems, tiny flowers, and parallel veined leaves, from crabgrass to bamboo to wheat to oats to corn to rice to sugar cane. The mint family members have square stems and usually have a strong odor: mint, basil, rosemary, sage, and lavender. The rose family does not simply include the thorny beauties, but it includes all those edible fruits such as strawberries, apples, pears, peaches, and cherries. Members of the rose family have five petal flowers coming from a floral cup that develops into a fruit like the fruit rose hips! The pea or legume family has flowers that look like a mouth and seeds that grow in pods, such as beans, peas, peanuts, bluebonnets, wisteria, and mesquite trees.

Composites or Asteraceas make up the largest family in the world and are actually a number of tiny flowers clustered together to look like one flower. When you give a daisy, a sunflower, a mum, a dandelion, or a thistle, you are essentially giving a bouquet of flowers in one flower— a very economical bouquet!

Eat and Review

As you learn about plant families, it is always fun to cook and eat representatives of each family. Summertime is a great time for salads, and salads can provide great review of not only plant parts but also of what family each plant comes from. Start building your review salad with lettuce or leaves from the Composite family. Next, add flowers from the Cruciferae family by adding pieces of broccoli and cauliflower plus roots and stems from the Mustard family with sliced carrots and celery. No salad would be complete without tomatoes and sliced bell peppers, both fruits or ripe ovaries, from the Nightshade family. I personally like to add marinated buds from the Composite family by adding artichokes. Even the olive oil dressing is squeezed from the olive fruit and seasoned with a bulb or enlarged stem from the Lily family called garlic. Salad . . . not only good for your body, but a good test for your mind!

Recline, Read, Think Deep

Poetry provides wonderful literature to accompany your plant unit. Tons of poems about flowers, plants, grass, and even weeds are found in my poetry anthology of choice, Favorite Poems Old and New by Helen Ferris, from the Bible to classics to humorous poems—all perfect for children’s minds and hearts. Teach poetic devices such as personification, similes, metaphors, symbolism, and synecdoche to kids of all ages as they appear in a poem rather than teaching them as separate, independent lessons.

The meat and meaning of poetry speak to the heart and are worth mulling over, as in “Flower in the Crannied Wall” by Tennyson. In that poem, the poet tries to understand the complexity and beauty of a simple flower, recognizes his inability to understand something so wonderful, and surmises if he could understand a flower, he also would be able to understand God and man. This is a complete theology lesson fit for a seminary student—in a poem! What worthy thoughts to ponder as you read and recline on a summer day.

Endnote:

  1. KONOS Orderliness unit.

Jessica Hulcy, co-author of KONOS Curriculum, the first curriculum written for homeschool, is an educator, author, and formerly popular national homeschool speaker prior to her near-fatal wreck in 2009. A graduate of the University of Texas, mom to four grown sons, and “Grandear” to grandchildren, Jessica lives with her husband Wade on acreage in Texas. Recently Jessica and Wade started the ultimate online help for homeschooling moms called Homeschool Mentor. Visit www.homeschoolmentor.com and www.konos.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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Free Minions Math Printables

This blog post is brought to you by Educents.  If you haven’t check them out – do so now!  They offer great deals on all sort of things like:

What makes you happy? Minions? Freebies? Well, how about Minion Freebies?

Minion Freebie - Educents 3

These free math activities on Educents offers 22 printable pages of math activities for Minion fans. It covers addition, subtraction, measurement, money, and more!

Minion Math Centers Freebie

  • Minion Addition (to 12)
  • Minion Subtraction (to 12)
  • Minions Making Ten
  • Minion Measurement
  • Minion Money Match
  • Missing Minion Numbers
  • Minion Number Cards

Minion Freebie - Educents 2

If you’re looking for more ways to make math learning fun, check this out:

Early Math Musical DVDs

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This DVD set from Rock ‘N’ Learn is a fun way to boost math skills for the early grades. Like the Minions, these DVDs have fun characters your little ones will love to get to know! Math facts are easy to learn with fun music and exciting animation. Learn all about counting coins and bills and practice making change. Kids will learn to tell time to the hour, half hour, and minute using traditional analog clocks. Includes Addition & Subtraction Rap DVD, Money & Making Change DVD, and the Telling Time DVD.

I hope this math freebie made by Amy of Teaching in Blue Jeans makes you happy. Download the Free Minion Math Centers, then go ahead and do a little dance! 🙂

Free Fungi Lesson Plan

Backyard Science: Learning About Fungi

 

Free Fungi Lesson Plan

Fungi is an entirely unique group of living things that most people, including children, are curious about. Most children recognize the most common form of fungi, the toadstool mushroom, because it has been used for generations in children’s literature and designs. There are so many different forms and type of fungi around us, and it is important that kids understand how they fit into the ecosystem around them.

 

Use these prompts and activities to help children learn more about fungi right in their very own backyards.

 

Go on a Fungi Hunt

Look around the backyard for different types of fungi, including toadstools, shelves and creeping fungi. Where are you finding fungi? Is there a common place where children notice fungi growing? Steer them towards dead or decaying trees and plants, look near wooden pilings and fencing and then inspect the yard for fungus growing in the soil. Help children snap pictures of create illustrations of the fungus they find.

 

Compare Living Things

Fungi are entirely unique because they are not considered to be plants or animals, but are an entirely separate classification of living thing. Children might notice right away that fungi share the same traits as living things that are considered plants and living things that are considered animals. When identifying fungi, ask them to observe what they notice about the fungus in question. Where is it growing? How is it feeding itself in order to grow? Point out that some fungus grows in the soil like plants, but they do not need sun to grow like plants do.

 

Fungi as Food

Talk with children about fungi being a source of food. There are safe and unsafe fungi, so discuss the importance of never eating fungi that they might find. Take children with you to the grocery store to find and purchase some of the safe types of fungi, including yeast, and bring it back home to make a meal with.

 

Fungi Place in the Ecosystem

Fungi are important to the ecosystem, and children might have already discovered their role without realizing it. Discuss where they commonly find fungus and discuss the ways in which fungus feed and break down dead organisms in order to soil and organic material that can feed plants.

 

Build a Fungi Garden

Fungi are able to grow in so many areas, but to help children learn a little more about the needs and growth of different types of fungi, set up a fungi garden. Because they are quick to develop where dead, organic material is located, help children set up an open compost pile with garden debris that is wet and left alone. Observe the pile for growth every couple of days and see what types of fungi grow. Are animals and insects attracted to the pile and fungi?

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