Aug 012013

Does your child excel with science?  Many learning abled kids DO!

Science is one of the easiest subjects to teach in a multisensory, hands-on way.

Science by nature is hands-on and visual which makes it easy to teach in a multisensory manner. “A growing body of research evidence suggests free-choice learning contributes greatly to public understanding of science in America” (Kola-Olusanya, 2005).

Free-choice learning opportunities improve a student’s level of interest in learning.

If your child is provided “multiple ways of achieving the same competencies.. students can choose the one they’re best at” (Dahl, 2005). In other words, if content is provided through multiple representations, and a child is given learning choices, he is likely to focus on the learning representation that is of most benefit to him, thereby increasing the child’s ability to learn.

Science is everywhere in our world and can easily be explored by taking apart a flower, using a field guide to identify as many species as possible, conducting experiments, and talking about experiences related to science. Check out the Science curriculum page and our index of online interactive science sites for more learning options.

For more hands-on visual experiences, you can take your child to museums, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, planetariums, National parks, science centers, etc. You can go exploring almost anywhere with Field Guides or Usborne Spotter’s Guides (links open in a new window), which are visually rich texts.

For additional multisensory science learning, you might consider videos or DVDs. The National Geographic DVDs cover Animals & Wildlife, Exploration, Science, and Nature. Science kits are also a great choice for multisensory learning. Kits usually include hands-on explorations, written materials, and sometimes include multimedia CD-roms or videos.

In the “Resources” section at the end of this tutorial, I’ve included information on where you can acquire good hands-on science materials to help create multisensory learning opportunities.

multisensory math instruction multisensory social studies instruction

Jul 312013
weather science

Whether your child loves learning about weather or you want your child to study weather science, I hope your child will love these sites. Exploring weather science through these sites can teach your child about weather in a fun, interactive way.

The sites below are ideal for auditory, visual, or audio-visual learners. However, the interactive sites should also work well for kids who are tactile learners.

Weather Science Sites for Kids to Explore:

EPA’s Global Warming Kids weather science site – Climate and the greenhouse effect are the main topics covered by this EPA site. Vocabulary pop-ups and pronunciation guides are great additions for teaching your child weather words. They will let your child accurately learn about weather concepts. Drawings will help your child if he is a visual learner. Animations are available too, but require that you have a Macromedia Flash Player on your computer.

Miami Museum of Science’s Hurricane: Storm Science – Hurricanes and killer storms are covered through interactive images. This weather science site provides online activities that will interest most elementary and middle school kids. The text is geared towards upper elementary or middle school. However, it will be enjoyed by almost any age child who wants to learn about storms. Check out their information on making a weather station too!

National Hurricane Center for Kids – The first link here provides great information for elementary aged children. However, the National Hurricane Center website also contains educational information for every level of learner. For more advanced weather science information for your older child, check out the items under the menu option “Learn About Hurricanes” on the main Hurricane Center website.

NOAA Education Weather – This site has a resource section for teachers. It also has tons of content for kids. This site has information about all forms of weather. It also has free resources that can be ordered or downloaded, and content at a variety of levels. The NOAA offers a “Weather School“. It also offers a “Storm Watch Center” which will help your child understand weather prediction.

The Weather Channel’s weather science blog – This blog website has all kinds of videos, photos, and articles about a wide variety of weather topics. Since it is a blog, the site is most suitable for undirected, exploration learning. The topics are not presented in any particular order, but it’s fun to look through the article topics and look at the ones of interest. I like “8 Weird Things That Have Shown Up on Radar“!

Jul 312013

Venomous Marine Animals Lesson Plan

venomous marine animals

1) Purpose:

Students will learn about venomous marine animals, the nature of venom, and the treatment of envenomation.

Students will conduct an experiment to learn / demonstrate how proteins such as venoms can be denatured and will explore venomous creatures through research and reporting.

2) Venomous Marine Animals Science Goal(s)

Students will be able to name at least six venomous marine animals, with at least three being sea creatures, and will be able to name the animal habitats and geographical locations.

Students will be able to define coagulate, denatured, envenom, protein, toxicologist, venom.

Students will be able to explain what happens when heat is applied to envenomated victims and why we would want to apply the heat treatment.

3) Venomous Marine Animals Science Lesson Objectives:

Students will successfully perform egg activity.

Students will look up and write down definitions for given vocabulary words.

Students will participate in classroom discussions.

Students will complete worksheets and specify an animal to research.

Students will write a two+ page report on the venomous animal they researched.

Students will present a short oral synopsis of the animal they are reporting on.

Students will participate in treatment planning (through extension student reports & group activity).

4) Target Audience:

High school level Biology class.

5) Materials and Resources:

  • raw eggs – one for each pair of students
  • bowls or glass beakers – one for each pair of students
  • table
  • spoons – one for each pair of students
  • heated water
  • compresses – one for each student
  • dictionary access
  • Computer Internet access and/or Library/Research time
  • Worksheets

6) Venomous Marine Animals Science Anticipatory Set:

Write in LARGE, colorful letters on the board:  jellyfish with tentacles + hot liquid = ?  

The answer students will learn: “denatured venom”

7) Venomous Marine Animals Science Lesson:

Step-by-step instructions for teaching Venomous Marine Animals Science lesson.
a. Explain:
Toxicologists report that venoms represent some of the most complex chemical compounds in nature. There are many fish species with spines capable of injecting venom. This ability is nearly always a protective mechanism, but is occasionally used for incapacitating prey. The spines may be concealed, as in the stonefish, or displayed, as in the lionfish, as a warning to predators. Many venoms are actually proteins and as such can be denatured through special techniques including heat treatment.

b. Show the film: Secrets of the Ocean Realm episode “Venom!”, or create small groups to research venomous sea creatures on the Internet or in the library.  Have them recall geographical locations of these creatures.

c. Have students call out the venomous sea creatures they recall from the film or research.  Write these on the board.  Responses may be coral, jellyfish, sea urchins, lionfish, sting rays, or others.  Have them recall information about the ocean habitat for each creature listed (coral reef, ocean floor, tidal region, etc)

d.  Explain: There are ways to treat envenomation of a victim.  One way is through heat treatment.  You all are about to be envenomated by an egg!!  We must subsequently prepare our denaturing treatment!

e. Perform the experimental denaturing treatment activity.

f. Explain: Venomous animals are common among insects, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles.

There are no venomous birds, and only one venomous mammal-the duckbill platypus of Australia. (The latter has venom glands in its hind legs and delivers its venom by scratching with specially adapted claws.)

Explain that each student will choose an example from these groups to write a report on, to share with the class, and will have one week for library or other research.  Tell students to consider the potency of venoms, how the animals deliver them, what their purposes are, as well as information about the geographical location and habitat of the animal.

f. Hand out Venomous Marine Animals Science worksheets.

g. Explain to extension students they will become “team leaders” for an “Envenomation Rescue Group”. They will need to research alternative methods of treatment other than heat application and lead a rescue planning session with their group in two days.  Assign student groups with each “team leader”.  On the day of discussion, each group will discuss alternative treatment plans, decide which treatments they will use and why, and decide what course of treatment they would prefer if they were envenomated.

They will develop a presentation to be given on Friday. (Students may work on independent research and/or in their Envenomation Rescue Group as daily activities.)

8) Guided Practice:

Venomous Marine Animals Science Experimental procedure:

1. Have students break an egg into a bowl/beaker and remove the yolk using a table spoon. (Tilt the beaker in order to make removal easier).

2. Save the white in the beaker. This white, a protein compound, will be used to represent the venom of a marine animal.

3. Now, using volunteers from among the students, carefully pour the “venom” onto the backs of hands or arms. (These limbs are the ones most commonly envenomated during accidental contact with marine animals.)

4. After soaking the compresses in hot water (not scalding!) apply the hot compresses to the envenomated areas. After a few moments, remove the compresses and observe the results. What has happened to the “venom?” Is it now more readily removed from the limb?

Explain Venomous Marine Animals Science:
Most fish venoms, being proteins, are readily denatured by the application of heat. In much the same way the egg white solidifies when heated, venoms coagulate under heat treatment. This coagulation inhibits their circulation under the skin, in the case of punctures by spines or injections by fangs, and allows their ready removal in the case of surface stings such as delivered by jellyfish and corals.

9) Independent Practice:

Students will complete the provided worksheet and choose an example from among insects, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles to write a report on and to share with the class. They will have one week for library or other research.  Students must consider the potency of venoms, how the animals deliver them, what their purposes are, as well as report information about the geographical location and habitat of the animal.  Reports should be at least two full double-spaced, typed pages, font size 12.

10) Assessment of Learning:

Verify student mastery of content or measure student progress.


Point Value

Full participation in egg-speriment.


Worksheet completed and definitions for given vocabulary words.

Each vocabulary word 5 points: 30

Discussion question: 10

Participated in classroom discussions.


Two+ page report
on the venomous animal (30 pts)

Venom nature: 05

Venom purpose: 05

Habitat Info: 10

Venomous Marine Animals Geographical Location: 10

Presented a short oral synopsis of their animal.


Participate in treatment planning (through extension student reports & group activity).

10 Bonus

Total Points


Other Considerations for Venomous Marine Animals Science:

11. Venomous Marine Animals Science Subject connections: Geography (location), Reading (research), Writing (report), Public Speaking skills.

12. Venomous Marine Animals Science Accommodations:

Let students work in pairs on egg-speriment.

Have an assistant read research content to students or have books on tape available.

Provide a scribe to take dictation of students’ worksheet and report content.

13. Venomous Marine Animals Science Modifications:

Let students explore eggs – provide a large bowl and apron.  Practice

“gentle” egg handling, observing changes when pouring hot liquid in with the eggs, etc.

Let students look at or read basic books on sea creatures.

Provide students with pictures of sea creatures.  Teach them to identify the creatures.

14. Venomous Marine Animals Science Extensions:

Have students research articles regarding envenomation by marine animals at:

American Family Physician’s Poisoning, Envenomation, and Trauma from Marine Creatures (p.3-6).

eMedicine’s Echinoderm Envenomations Treatment.

Prepare comments regarding effective treatment choices other than heat therapy. 

Assign each extension student an “Envenomation Rescue Group” to lead. Have them lead their group in discussions regarding rescue choices. Have the group decide what course of treatment they would prefer if they were envenomated!

Jul 312013

The Water Cycle for Kids : Options for homeschool science

water cycle science kit

USGS Water Science for Schools – A complete guide for studying everything about water including the water cycle. From the chemical make-up of water, to rivers and streams, experiments, water supplies, and water usage, this site contains virtually everything your child will want to know about the water cycle and water supply on Earth.

BBC’s Rivers and Coasts – The water cycle, how rivers and coasts change, and the affect of rivers and coasts on the lives of people. There are printable worksheets and some animated graphics, but the site is primarily linear learning using a “next” feature to page through the informational content. This site is well-suited for elementary or middle school aged children to learn about the water cycle.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Ecosystems – site for kids to explore acid rain, watersheds, preservation, and protection of our natural resources. Additionally, there are links to other interactive sites for exploring ecosystems. While this site isn’t specifically about the water cycle, the information is primarily regarding the importance of clean water for man, animals, plants and the preservation of our world. Also check out the EPA’s water cycle animation.

Hydropower – Electricity from Moving Water – A website about energy resources, both renewable and non-renewable. Hydroelectric power is explained with graphics that help children see concepts. The explanations are thorough and reluctant readers will benefit by having the content read to them. This site will help your child why water and the water cycle is important for people in additional ways.

Tsunami Animations – Students interested in water phenomenon may also be interested in tsunamis or tidal waves. PBS’s Savage Earth animation contains text explaining how a shift in the earth’s plates can cause a tsunami. The Office of Naval Research’s Ocean in Motion animation explains how earthquakes, landslides, and volcanoes can all cause large waves. The site provides in depth information about oceans and waves.

Jul 312013

Solar System Science options for homeschooling your learning abled kid.

solar system planetssolar system science for kids

The solar system is a great, hands on science topic. From magnetic planets like those pictured, to full solar system planets models, there are great resources for teaching your child. It doesn’t matter if  your child is a visual, hands on, or kinesthetic learner, there are kits and tools to help teach your child all about our planet’s system.

NASA – Complete Space Exploration site. This site could fit into many categories including astronomy, discovery, weather, etc. There are grade leveled teaching resources and information on NASA explorations. Videos requiring RealPlayer or Quicktime are on site. These are exploration videos or simulations (as in the Mars Rover landing on Mars). We’ve used this site for solar system studies. We found almost everything we wanted to know easy to find here.

Amazing Space by Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach – Interactive lessons about our planetary system and the exploration of space. This site explores the physics of space, comets, black holes, etc.

National Maritime Museum Greenwich Observatory – My favorite on this site is the scale image of the solar system planets. The NMM Observatory site has information on each planet. It also has interactive games, historical information, etc. While it’s not the most colorful or interactive site, it does contain solid content for learning.

solar system planetsplanets

National Geographic’s Virtual Solar System – Go on an interactive tour of the solar system planets. IF you have 3D Glasses3D solar system planets handy, there is a 3-D version which can be great fun for your kids. It is fun to see with a pair of 3D Glassesglasses, if you can stand to wait for them to arrive!

Day and Night: Views from the Southern Hemisphere – Animated movies showing the rising and setting of the sun, revolution of the Earth, Earth’s orbit, and phases of the moon. Each of the movies has high level explanations. These video animations are fun to watch, even for big kids!

Jul 312013

Plant Kingdom Online Science studies for homeschooling your learning abled kid.

New Hampshire Public Television’s Plants – Learn about different categories and species of plants. Information about structure, growth, habitat, and species diversity are provided through the linked page and the main menu. Although the site primarily has animal information, information on the plant kingdom is a great beginning for any student learning about plant life.

University of Illinois Extension Great Plant Escape – A detective adventure for elementary students to help locate missing plants. This is a GREAT option for teaching about the plant kingdom in a fun way. The “Case Briefs” educate children on the structure, life, and habitats for plants in a fun, interactive way. An accompanying Teacher’s Guide provides information on the unit, resources, activities, planning hints, and a resources reference page that may help with further exploration.

Smithsonian Institute’s Department of Botany – While this site requires some digging to find any specific piece of information, it does make a great exploration site to learn about a wide variety of plant species. Perhaps the most useful elements are the geographically related resources for determining which plants can be found in different regions.

plant kingdom

California Native Plants Education Resources – Perhaps the smallest site listed, there are two learning units provided here, but the information is excellent, visual, and unique. Why do fires HELP some species of plants? and Why do plants have flowers? The first question, in particular, is clearly answered and has great graphics to aid understanding of the plant kingdom.

Family TLC Soda Bottle Terrarium – A simple activity to let your child watch plants grow, or a complex activity on complete ecosystems. These terrariums can be great teaching tools. This is a basic terrarium to get you started with your plant kingdom study. For more sophisticated information, check out

Jul 312013

Oceanography Sites and teaching tools for your Learning Abled Kids

ocean scienceocean

Oceanography is a fascinating area of study. The oceans cover 3/4ths of the world and affect climate zones across the globe. Oceans are a critical to our world, so they require good care from every person on Earth. Learn more about our awesome oceans through the wide variety of sites below.

These links were gathered by our boys during their Ocean Odyssey First Lego League Robotics quest. It was a fun study! Feel free to use the resources below to help your learning abled kid learn all about Oceanography.

I’ve listed all of the resources we gathered. They are not listed in any particular order. You can glance down through the list to find sites you’d like to check out. There are certainly a lot of sites to choose from!

All about oceans and oceanography

NASA Oceanography.
NASA’s Climate Kids explore the oceans.
Ocean Literacy.
BBC’s Earth – How the Earth Works.
NOAA’s National Ocean Service – Oceanography .
PBS’s Secrets of the Ocean Realm.
National Marine Mammal Laboratory.
Discovery Channel – Science of the Ocean.
Office of Naval Research – Ocean in Motion.
Jason Project – Scroll down for Ocean Expeditions.
Reef ball.
Shifting Baselines.
Monterey Bay Aquarium.
New jellyfish.
How Sonar Works and How Animals Use It.

Other Topics In Ocean Science

Declining Predatory Fish Populations (PDF file).
Australia & Albatrosses.
Albatross Action.
Coral Reef Ecosystem.
Really deep creatures.

Engineering & Research

Underwater habitat for humans.
Deep sea robot.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
Dive & Discover Expedition Logs.
Underwater Volcano Seafloor Observatory.
Underwater Robots you can build.


oceanography study kitocean science

SS Republic.


Women Oceanographers.
Ocean Science Careers.
Oceanography Career site for kids

If you find additional sites you’d like to share, feel free to add a comment below. The comments are not posted until approved, so we can screen out spam. 😉 Thank you for sharing great resources with our Learning Abled Kids community!

Jul 312013

Physics and motion websites and learning kits for teaching your learning abled kid.

physics science kitphysics

My Physics Lab – That is the name of the site although it’s not really a lab. This site has some physics explanatory content, but is mostly java animations of motion using various objects like springs, pendulums, roller coasters, and molecules. The similations include a point graph to show the pattern of movement within the object. The navigation is easy because your child can page through the demonstrations by using a “next” button in the upper left corner.

Your Weight on Other Worlds – Force and Gravity play a role in motion and physics. This site has explanations and an interactive activity that lets kids enter their Earth weight and see how much they weigh in other worlds. Just as much fun (but not related to motion) is the “Your Age on Other Worlds” page.

Worsley School Science’s Simple Machines – Simple explanations about simple machines with excellent graphics. The page is readable too, so you can use it to study physics. This site also has great teacher resources and excellent science files.


Science Master’s Gravity and Inertia – The front page has an explanation of gravity and inertia. By choosing the activity, the student can try to land a module on a planet’s surface. It’s a demonstration of the affect gravity has upon the craft. It is very difficult to land the module, but fun to try over and over again. (I have yet to land without crashing!). Your child will enjoy this simple physics activity while learning about these concepts.

Siltec’s Physics Mechanics – Animations of motion in the universe. Each concept has a page to explain the motion, and an animation of the motion for visual understanding. This site further explores physics through optics, waves, and thermodynamics. You do have to use a Windows media player or similar software to view the animations.

Jul 312013

An Elemental Elements and Molecules Lesson Plan

elements and molecules

1) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Purpose Statement:

Provide students with an understanding of elements, atoms, molecules, and of the energy potential contained in atoms.

2) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Goal(s):

  • Students will be able to explain why vinegar and baking soda, when mixed, can pop open a film canister. [Energy is released from atoms when electrons rearrange themselves and create new molecules with new characteristics].
  • Students will identify the primary categories of elements [alkali metals, non-alkali metals, noble gases, etc].
  • Students will diagram the structure of basic atoms [protons, neutrons, electrons].
  • Students will be able to state the difference between an atom and a molecule.

3) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Target Audience:

Upper Elementary Science students

4) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Materials and Resources:

  • Periodic table of elements poster
  • Empty soda can
  • Ice water in a bowl
  • Boiling water
  • Tongs
  • Empty film canisters (one for each student)
  • Box of facial tissues
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A Sunny day
  • Internet Access

5) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Anticipatory Set:

Start the class with a “Molecules on the Move” demonstration. Have an empty soda can in boiling hot water. When the class begins say, “Watch this.” Using the tongs, speedily lift the soda can out of the boiling water, turn the can upside down and immediately submerge the opening of the can in the ice water. The can should collapse instantaneously [very dramatic]. Ask students, “What happened to the can?” Students will generally respond that the cold air condensed. This is correct. Ask the students, “Within the air molecules, what changes to make the air “condense”?” [Reponses vary] Explain that the matter we see, or don’t see, all consists of molecules. In the case of condensing air, the particles in the air molecules suddenly jump closer together. This condenses the space needed by the air to make it smaller. Think of a hot day when you want plenty of room to spread out versus a freezing day when you want to huddle together to keep warm. Our class could take up this whole classroom or we could take up one small corner, but we would still have the same number of students in the class. The point is.. Molecules Move and they can take up more room or less room.

6) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Lesson:

Step-by-step instructions for teaching this lesson.

a. Explain the structure of atoms.
Draw examples on the board. Show how electrons can move from one atom to another and change the element(s). Explain that movement of electrons releases energy stored in the atom. Explain that molecules are the combination of more than one atom which creates a unique type of matter with unique characteristics. Draw H2O on the board showing how the separate atoms come together to form a molecule. Explain that ALL matter on earth is the combining of atoms into molecules to form the variety of matter types we see every day. Show the class the Periodic Table of Elements. Explain this table shows each kind of atom we know about in the world. Ask them, “What do you notice about this table?” “How many different Groups do you see?” [18] List table groups. Discuss defining characteristics of some groups.

Alkali metals Table group 1; silvery colored, soft, low density metals.
Alkaline Earth Metals Table group 1; the oxides of the alkaline earth metals are not affected by fire; silvery, soft, low density.
Lanthanide 14 rare earth elements; typically placed below the main body of the periodic table.
Actinides 14 chemical elements Alternative meanings: classical element with atomic numbers 89 and 102 inclusive; typically placed below the main body of the periodic table.
Transition metals A transition metal is any of the thirty chemical elements 21 through 30, 39 through 48, and 71 through 80. This name comes from their position in the periodic table of elements.
Poor metals Usually shiny, have a high density, usually have a high melting point, are usually hard, conduct electricity and heat well.
Metalloids Have properties between those of metals and nonmetals; usually semi-conductors rather than conductors.
Nonmetals Highly electro-negative; gain electrons more easily than they give them up.
Chalcogens Table group 16; common as ores and minerals.
Halogens Table group 17; require one more electron to fill their outer shell and have a tendency to form negatively charged ions.
Noble gases Table group 18; all have full outer electron shells, and so do not form chemical compounds easily.

b. Time permitting: Watch one of these films:

  • IDEALLY – Watch THIS video’s “Atoms” segment – Bill Nye the science guy The Magic Lantern Video CollectionAtoms & Motions. Disney Educational Productions; [distributed by] Magic Lantern Communications, c1999. 1 videocassette (52 min.)Atoms: What’s the big deal about atoms? They’re too small to see with our eyes, so what good are they? Bill Nye explains how atoms combine to form molecules in this fascinating episode. Grades 4-6 * Grades 7-9
  • How about atoms and molecules? [videorecording]. / by Quentin Durham. Huntsville, Tex.: Educational Video. 1990.
  • Bill Nye, The Science Guy’s: PHASES OF MATTER – how atoms form solids, liquids or gases depending on energy.

c. Tell the class they are now going outside to release energy in molecules by rearranging the structure of molecules into new substances. Go outside and release energy by creating “Film Can Poppers”.


  1. Measure and pour 1 teaspoon of vinegar into film canister.
  2. Carefully place an unfolded tissue over the top of the canister, taking care not to let it get any vinegar on it.
  3. Measure and place 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda on top of the Kleenex directly over the canister opening.
  4. Carefully snap the lid onto the film canister.
  5. Pick up the canister by the sides (do not hold the lid on) and gently shake.
  6. Chemical reaction inside should pop canister lid open with a nice “PoP!”

d. Explain the baking soda and vinegar shared their electrons and created CO2
(carbon dioxide) gas. “Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Vinegar contains acetic acid dissolved in water. Sodium barcarbonate reacts with most acids.” The products of the baking soda and vinegar combined reaction are carbon dioxide gas, sodium acetate, and water.” [From Science Fun at] The gas molecules required room to expand and popped the lid off the canister.

e. Explore Periodic Table of Elements as per “Guided Practice”

f. Assign homework as per “Independent Practice” and close.

7) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Guided Practice:

Have students explore the periodic tables on these websites. Tell students to look for an element that interests them because they will be writing a paper on a selected element.

WebElements –

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Chemistry Division’s Periodic Table of
Elements –

Corrosion Source –

8) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Independent Practice:

– They will each write a First Person description of their element in regular ink (to turn in). They will write another one using invisible ink for the class. For example,

“I am the lightweight champion of the periodic table. My atomic weight is a fraction over one and I have one electron. I also make up 3/4ths of the mass of the universe, making me the most popular guy anywhere! I am an non-metal. My name is Hydrogen.”

Tell students to be creative and HAVE FUN!!

Invisible Ink : Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 teaspoons of water. Use this ink to write an invisible message to the class on a piece of paper using a toothpick or cotton swab. The next day when students bring in their papers, have them hold their paper near a light bulb. When the writing becomes visible, have them post their message on a bulletin board. If they don’t have the ingredients, they can use lemon juice to write their message.

When class begins, ask students why they think the ink appeared when holding it near a heat source. [Answer: The “ink” we used is mildly acidic and acid weakens paper. The acid remains in the paper after the juice has dried. When the paper is held near heat the acidic parts of the paper burn or turn brown before the rest of the paper does. From “How Invisible Ink Works”.] Be SURE to have a copy written in regular ink to turn in.

9) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Assessment of Learning:

Student participation in “Popper” activity: 20 points
Student participation in research activity: 20 points
Student writing contains all facts: 20 points
Student writing is mechanically sound and first person: 20 points
Student writing is creative: 10 points
Student participate in class discussions: 10 points
100 points


10) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Subject connections:

Written Expression – creative writing; Grammar – usage and expression; Mathematics – measuring.

11) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Accommodations:

This activity is “Hands-On.” It should require few modifications.

  • For research, pair students with reading difficulties with excellent readers. Have them work in read-aloud pairs to read about elements and molecules.
  • Pair students with physical challenges with classmates to assist in research and popper activities.
  • Let students choose alternate creative ways to present their selected elements and molecules. Let them turn in a “Fact Sheet”.

12) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Modifications:

  • Let students “play” with different substances to feel texture differences [Suggestions: toothpaste, liquid soap, therapy putty, water].
  • Have students help build a “molecule model” out of tinker toys or similar manipulative.

13) Elements and Molecules Unit Study Extensions:

Let students write a complete story or develop a presentation for the class to convey the unique aspects of their chosen element.