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Science fun

Students test magnets to see what will connect to them.

Ms. Miller’s 4th grade class has been learning and discovering through their magnet and electricity unit in science. One of the things they did was test different objects to see if they were picked up by magnets. Some of the items tested were copper, iron nails, foil, paper clips, rocks, pieces of screen, straws, rubber bands, yarns, plastic, and popsicle sticks. Students discovered that the items picked up by magnets were made of either iron or steel. “I didn’t know that some rocks have iron in them”, said Ryan. “I noticed that a magnet can also connect to another magnet through wood,” said another student. Things in the classroom were also tested such as the desks, whiteboards, office walls, and the door. Students also learned how to light a bulb using wires and a D cell battery. “It was fun figuring out how to make the light bulb work,” quipped Haley. Some students quickly figured out how to create a short circuit using the same materials.

Another enjoyable science unit was on food and nutrition where students learned how to make healthy choices and take care of themselves. One of the most eye opening activities was when Ms. Miller had students write down what they would order at McDonald’s and then told them the nutritional value of each item. Ms. Miller believes students are making better choices in their daily lives when it comes to food. “I took the food pyramid home some days and I looked at it and I identified some of the foods that are in my household and I labeled them in order to make better choices,” boasts December. Ms. Miller’s class was very surprised to find out how much fat and sugar are in their favorite foods. 

Rocks and minerals was another favorite unit this year for the class. Trent learned that the lead in your pencil comes from a rock. Students observed rocks and tested them for hardness with a penny, paper clip, and finger nail. They also learned about the 3 different types of rock.

Animal adaptations were a big focus in the animal unit. Aside from going to the zoo on a field trip, we also created our own exhibits for animals based on their specific needs. We designed our own birds using different adaptations. The Mimic Octopus was an excellent example of mimicry witnessed by students via video. Students enjoyed a game of predator and prey which showed them how animals survive in the wild and must protect themselves.

Students enjoyed working in groups, discovering new things, and experimenting in Science this year. Brier says his favorite things were rocks and animals.


Written by: Erin Miller, 4th Grade Teacher
Posted: May 26, 2011 by Jennifer Williams

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