Thanksgiving activities for Middle School Science

You know that last day or two before Thanksgiving? Kids are wired, some kids are already on vacation, and you have to entertain them for 2 days. This year in particular, I’m not planning to cover content on those days.  The Thanksgiving activities for my middle school science classes are activities that practice skills without moving forward on the curriculum. Here are 3 lesson plans you can use:

Lesson Plan #1 – Thanksgiving Science Jigsaw activityscience of Thanksgiving

Standards: This activity addresses the following NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

  1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  2. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Objective: Students will be able to read informational text and ask questions about the text and communicate the problems described in the text with their teammates.

Activities:

  1. Divide students into groups.
  2. Provide each group with informational text about the science of Thanksgiving including topics such as: Why is some turkey meat white and some dark?  Why do leaves change color in the fall? Does turkey make you sleepy? Are sweet potatoes and yams the same thing? Why are cranberries so good for you?
  3. In groups, students read and discuss the text. Provide each group of students with guided questions to help them analyze the text if necessary.
  4. Jigsaw the groups so that each student has the opportunity to share what he or she learned with a new group of students who read a different text.

Evaluation: Have students complete an exit slip in which they provide a 2-3 sentence description of what new and interesting information they will share with their families during Thanksgiving dinner.

Lesson Plan #2 – Thanksgiving Science Escape Room science of Thanksgiving

Standards: This activity addresses the following NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

  1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  2. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Objective: Students will be able to read informational text and ask questions about the text and communicate the problems described in the text with their teammates.

Activities:

  1. Divide students into groups.
  2. Create clues that lead to puzzles that help students understand  the science of Thanksgiving. For more information on creating a digital escape room, please read this blog from last year.

Evaluation: Have students complete an exit slip in which they provide a 2-3 sentence description of what new and interesting information they will share with their families during Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Lesson Plan #3 – Thanksgiving Science Lab Stations science of Thanksgiving

Standards: This activity addresses the following NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

  1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  2. Developing and Using Models
  3. Planning and Carrying out Investigations
  4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Objective: Students will be able to conduct controlled experiments and use models to collect data and draw conclusions about the science of Thanksgiving.

Activities:

  1. Students rotate through hands on stations to learn about the science of Thanksgiving. Stations include:

    1. Add vinegar to bones to remove calcium.

    2. How do cranberries float?

    3. How do you make butter?

    4. How does inertia work?

    5. How can you make music with glasses and water?

    6. Cranberry juice as a pH indicator.

    7. How do biscuits rise? (Generating carbon dioxide)

Evaluation: Have students complete an exit slip in which they provide a 2-3 sentence description of what new and interesting information they will share with their families during Thanksgiving dinner.

Published by JustAddH2OTeacher

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