Explore the interactions of living (plants, animals) and nonliving (water, light and air) parts of the environment. Then think about what living things need to grow.
- If you have dry beans at your house, soak them and see if they sprout. See if they can grow without air, without water, without light, or without soil. https://lifeovercs.com/germinating-seeds-bag-science-experiment-kids/#:~:text=
- Keep fruit or vegetable scraps in a cup covered with saran wrap. Watch the food scraps get moldy and break down (decompose). (Lettuce works great if you have it!) https://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/mold.html
Videos and Readings:
Videos: What Do Animals Eat | Plant Structures | Fruit and Vegetable Decomposition | The Dirt on Dirt | Kid’s Worm Farm | Photosynthesis Video | Food Web
Readings: Characteristics of Life (Create a free online account.) | CK-12 5th Grade Life Science Texts | Photosynthesis: Changing Sunlight into Food by Bobbie Kalman
Questions to Ask:
- When eating a meal: Where did the energy come from that made the plant or animal? (Ultimately, energy in our food comes from the sun.)
- Why would a plant die if it didn’t get enough water or light? (It wouldn’t have the energy or matter needed to make its own food, and therefore couldn’t grow.)
- What do you think a plant does with the air it “breathes” in? (It uses it to make sugar, which is used by the plant as food.)
- What is the mold doing that grows on moldy food or bread? What if there were no decomposers on our planet? (The mold is cycling the matter of the food by breaking it down. If there were no decomposers, dead things would not break down as easily.)
Vocabulary Flashcard Practice
Summary Activity: Brainstorm ways you can protect the living things in your yard. Dream up a plan to install a bird feeder, butterfly garden, bug house, or native garden in your backyard.