Hello and welcome to the Super Science Update for May 2018, your one-stop spot for great ideas on how to get science discussion going at home. There are lots of ways to get discussion going below, which is linked to what each year group are covering in school, so dip in and start talking science!
The children in Nursery have been asking questions about archaeopteryx (pictured below). The children loved asking questions about what it was (many scientists see it as a ‘missing link’ between dinosaurs and birds) and Miss Webster reports that the language children were using was exceptional.
You could follow up this discussion by asking:
What kind of animal is this?
Is it a dinosaur?
Is it a bird?
Why do you think this?
Children in Reception have been learning about minibeasts. The children have been learning the names of different minibeasts and finding out where they live. You could ask your children:
What different types of minibeasts do you know?
What minibeasts might you find living near the ground?
What minibeasts might you find flying in the air?
Ask an adult to go outside with you on a minibeast hunt! What did you find?
Year One will be learning more about plants over the coming few weeks. Their focus will be on identifying and naming the different parts of plants. You could start discussions by asking:
What different parts of a plant do you know?
What are the different parts of a plant for?
Do all plants have the same parts?
Year Two have also been learning about plants. Specifically, the children have been learning about how seeds germinate and are now moving on to finding out which parts of a plant we can eat.
Which different parts of a plant do we eat?
What examples can you remember (for example, carrots are roots; apples are fruit; peas are seeds)?
What does germinate mean?
What do seeds need so that they can germinate?
Year Three are carrying on their learning about light and dark. A large part of their focus is on shadows. These questions follow on from the ones you might have considered before the Easter holidays, before Year 3 started their learning about light and shadow.
Where do we get shadows?
Why are shadows created?
What affects the size and length of shadows?
Year Four will be learning about teeth in the coming weeks. Their focus in the classroom will be mainly on human teeth and hygiene but your discussions at home can, of course, follow your children’s own interests and lines of enquiry. You might ask:
What different types of teeth do humans have?
What are they for?
What foods or drinks cause the most damage to your teeth?
Why do different animals have different kinds of teeth? (For example, horses have flat teeth whereas cats have sharp teeth.)
Year Five have been learning about life cycles, including those of plants and animals. They have been comparing the life cycles of different living things and have also gone into more depth about the life cycles of plants. You could ask:
What parts of a plant are for reproduction?
What jobs do they do?
What important process in flowering plants is needed for reproduction?
Year Six have been learning about the Titanic and this could lead to some very interesting scientific questions.
Where is Titanic now?
How do we know?
Why did Titanic sink? (Note to parents and carers- children in Year 6 should, I’m sure, be able to go into more detail here than simply “It hit an iceberg!”)
What might have happened if Titanic had hit the iceberg head on?
There’s a link to a computer generated reconstruction of the sinking below: