Learning Science and Watching Movies with Kids, Tweens and Teens
I love it when learning for the kids includes me watching a movie. Especially a movie that we both can enjoy. When I can I try to switch up educational activities. Worksheets and answering questions about what they read can get really monotonous – for me and for them. Given that our entire family loves a good movie, I do my best to make the most of a learning moment while watching. After watching a movie I either have the kiddos actually write about what they learned, or I just point out significant details and have a conversation about it later.
This week we’ve got science on our minds and movies lined up to get the brain juices flowing! Happy learning!!
What will they comprehend? How to plan and analyze scientific investigations First, make sure your teen scholar reviews the steps in a scientific investigation Ask questions to (1) generate hypotheses for scientific investigations, (2) refine models, explanations, or designs, or (3) extend the results of investigations or challenge scientific arguments or claims. A little rusty on the significance of scientific investigation? No worries this Bill Nye video is a great refresher Lastly, review the claim in the documentary Super Size Me on the effect of fast food on the human body. Morgan Spurlock ate only food from McDonald's for 30 days: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He was thoroughly tested by doctors before he started his "diet" and periodically tested throughout the 30 days. By the end of his experiment, the changes in his blood chemistry and the stress on his organs approximated the liver failure seen in advanced alcoholics; his cholesterol had risen to dangerous levels; and he had gained 24 lbs. Ask your teen if they feel the documentary represented a true scientific investigation? Why or why not? To really step it up a notch ask them what they would like to investigate and send them off to find the answer!
What will they comprehend? How systems in the human body, specifically the circulatory system, work together to support the essential life functions of the body. First, have your high schooler review the circulatory system with the 3D Heart and Circulatory Premium 2 App Next have them watch the movie, Something the Lord Has Made In 1944, Vivien Thomas, a black high school graduate, and his white mentor and employer, Dr. Alfred Blalock., in association with Dr. Helen Taussig, designed and carried out the first blue baby operations. The success of the blue baby operations confirmed that surgeons could operate on a living human heart. Afterwards, Thomas trained young doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical School in methods of heart surgery. After the movie either have your middle school scholar write down or talk with you about: Whether or not they like the blue baby surgery performed by Dr. Blalock was full open heart surgery? Why was cardiac surgery referred to as the "Mount Everest" of medicine before November of 1944? Lastly, your teen can look up deformities of the heart and compare 1944 and 2014 advancements in surgery. Or they can look up even more about Vivien Thomas. (Bonus, this educational activity can also cover history!!)
What will they comprehend? Claims that human activities (such as conservation efforts or pollution) affect the land and oceans of Earth. (Fourth or fifth grade) First, your whiz kid can review this site on the different causes of air pollution. Next, have your whiz kid use this wonderful app, Pollution. This app will inform you about your local pollution sources, and their measured exposures. Lastly, check out the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age. After the movie discuss with them the impact they feel humans have on pollution. Do they believe what happened in the movie is possible or a bit far-fetched?
What will they comprehend? How animals use their body parts to obtain food and other resources, protect themselves, and move from place to place.
Finding Nemo is a great place to start. You can read the book and watch the movie! Point out and look up the different animals in the movie Clown fish, sea turtle, shark, coral reef, octopus, blowfish, pelican, crab, seagull, jellyfish, whale. Research with your budding scholar on your iPad or phone the different foods each fish needs to eat in order to live. Pull out the map (it’s great when you can teach more than one thing at a time – geography in this case).
Introduce the concept of a journey to your kindergartner (or you can also call it a trip). Show them how far Nemo traveled. You can also look up information about Australia too!
Here's to Closing the Achievement Gap!