Beacon Unit Plan Library

Unit Plans - Science

  • A "Sense"sational Christmas (Authored by Cathy Burgess.)

  • Subject(s): Health, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: You can’t stop teaching the standards at holiday time, so why not integrate science, health, social studies, and language arts while involving a Christmas theme? Christmas is rich in its appeal to the senses, so these hands–on activities will stimulate your students' awareness of their surroundings and how they learn about their world. Students explore the five senses with books, poetry, songs, movement, and experiments along with other traditional Christmas activities.

  • A Television In My Room (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Health, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: How can students show that they are responsible? This unit integrates science, mathematics, and language arts contents to help students discover ways they can show they are responsible enough to have televisions in their rooms.

  • Bedlam in Bedrock (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Bedlam in Bedrock explores the Earth's surface and how it changes over time. Students perform experiments to discover how forces change the Earth's surface. Students create projects using reference materials to obtain information and use sketches, diagrams, and models to demonstrate understanding of scientific ideas.

  • Eye on the Sky (Authored by Cathy Burgess.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: In this unit, students learn about the sky. They learn why we have day and night, why the sun is important, and why the moon doesn’t always look the same. Students also investigate the stars and planets. All the lessons are literature-based with hands-on activities and experiments. *Since it takes 28/29 days to fully observe the phases of the moon, send home the calendar observation sheet two weeks before you start the unit. See unit attached files to find the observation sheet.

  • Filling Up Florida (Authored by Shari Rodgers.)

  • Subject(s): Science (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: In this mini-unit, students study factors controlling Florida population growth and related environmental impacts. Students research natural community types and make maps (including a life-sized Florida) to be used as part of a role play/simulation activity. Students have a chance to see first hand how specific factors and events affect the outcomes. This mini-unit is designed for six days and provides activities that will appeal to different learning styles. Although there are no separate lesson plans, each day's instructions and assessment are described completely in the attached file, Unit Plan Overview.

  • Fun Photosynthesis! (Authored by Stephanie Callaway.)

  • Subject(s): Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Give your students a chance to be the sun! Creative dramatics are used to internalize knowledge of the process of photosynthesis. Students analyze and predict the relevance of photosynthesis as it relates to the food chain and survival of all organisms. Students construct meaning and assimilate new learning through sentence mapping, drawing, writing activities, and acting-out opportunities. This mini-unit addresses the Marion County objective as follows: The student will describe the process of photosynthesis.

  • Going to Grandma's (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: This literature-based integrated unit uses both fiction and nonfiction to explore modes of transportation and how things move. All five of the components of effective reading instruction are taught. Seven books plus an online book are included as part of this unit. Students learn from their active involvement in the varied activities. Because of the reading standards addressed in this unit, it is best taught near the end of the school year. This unit would make a meaningful, fun-filled conclusion to students’ kindergarten experience.

  • Happy, Healthy Me (Authored by Cathy Burgess.)

  • Subject(s): Health, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: What do you know about keeping fit and healthy? In the Happy Healthy Me unit, students learn about the heart and practice positive health activities to keep their bodies strong and in good condition. They are introduced to the food pyramid and learn the proper balance of nutritional foods. Students become taste testers and experience an alphabet of nutritious snacks. They also discover more about their muscles and bones and the importance of exercise. Later, children learn how healthy habits, sleep, and living tobacco free make for a healthy lifestyle.

  • How Can We Move Our Principal? (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Using the scenario of our principal needing our help to get around the school now that he/ she has a hurt foot, this unit combines the content of science with the skills of writing to entice students to become active learners. Students learn about simple machines and build a machine that affects human health or lifestyle. Students produce a report, published as a web page using the Beacon Learning Center SiteMaker, explaining their machines.

  • Inventions and Inventors (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: In this unit, students use a variety of references to read and organize information and demonstrate knowledge of selected significant people, their contributions to society, and ways the contributions impacted society. Contributions in the fields of communication and technology and significant scientific discoveries are explored. Timeline activities are included to promote understanding of order of events.

  • Living Things (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: The purpose of this unit is for first graders to learn about living things. Students will learn how to group living things, basic needs of living things, that there are many different living things and that each has an environment. They will also learn how living things adapt to both their environment and for survival purposes. Language Arts skills are reinforced using the science content.

  • Our Picnic, The Study of Matter (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: Do first graders understand science concepts? This literature-based unit uses scientific inquiry and strategies of problem-based learning in helping students discover the properties of matter. Through hands-on experiences, students discover how to protect their Popsicles from melting.

  • Outer Space and Cyber Space (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Space travel is an exciting adventure, but what is really out there in space? In this unit, students learn about our Solar System and compare and contrast characteristics of various planets. They explore mean, median, mode, and range and use these to further explore the characteristics of the planets. The sharing of information through expository writing, placed on the Internet as a Web page using Beacon’s SiteMaker tool, will bring outer space into cyber space.

  • Patterns, Patterns Everywhere (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Music, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: The purpose of this unit is to involve students in the process of recognizing, extending, describing, classifying, and creating a variety of patterns. Students become pattern detectives as they participate in hands-on activities in which they look for patterns in language, math, and science. Students create records of patterns, which will be combined into a picture pattern book for each child. This book serves as a daily record of the student’s activities and understanding as well as an assessment tool.

  • Sky High Counting (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: Have you wondered about the day sky and night sky? This integrated unit actively involves kindergarten students in understanding the day sky, night sky, and movement of the sun across the sky as they learn to count to ten. Students also use literature to learn to predict outcomes and relate events to their own lives. Students then use the math, science, and reading concepts taught to write their own counting books.

  • The Inside Story -- Cells, Organs, and Systems of the Human Body (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: You know that the human body is a wonderful system of interrelationships, but have you wondered just how your body works? Through various activities, students learn that cells are the basic unit of life. Cells work together to form tissue. Tissues work together to form organs. Organs work together to form systems. The various parts and functions of our body systems are unveiled as students learn the relationships between our systems and how these relationships keeps us alive and well. Reading in the content area and study skills such as note taking, outlining, graphic organizers, and illustrating are learned as students gather and organize facts about the human body. Although the overall size of the unit appears overwhelming, a user friendly routine is quickly established. This routine allows for progression to higher order thinking skills while remaining student and teacher friendly as the unit is taught.

  • Twin Traits (Authored by Melinda Dukes.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Explore the Nature vs. Nurture controversy. Participate in hands-on activities to discover how variation in species is due to exchange and interaction of genetic information from parent to offspring. An experimental design on identical twins concludes the lesson.

  • Weather Trackers (Authored by Jennifer Slichter.)

  • Subject(s): Mathematics, Science (Kindergarten - Grade 2)
    Description: This is a second grade unit on weather called Weather Trackers. Students experience fun, fascinating facts about weather through hands-on activities about the rain cycle, measuring rain with a rain gauge, conducting experiments with temperature and making a cloud booklet.

  • What Makes Me Who I Am? (Authored by Carolyn Garner.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: In this Beacon Unit Plan, students begin to understand who they are by first analyzing their genetics, and second, by taking a closer look into their cells and how these cells interact within the body. The students are formatively assessed throughout the unit in order to guide instruction and assess student understanding of the material. Finally, the students create a “What Makes Me Who I Am” picture book in which they explain to younger children the information they have discovered which makes them who they are. Created picture books are then shared with other students from lower grades.

  • Where We Come From (Authored by Suzan Smith.)

  • Subject(s): Mathematics, Science (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Can you roll your tongue? Do you have a widow's peak? In this unit students explore genetics and inheritance in an exciting way. Labs and hands-on, interactive activities include creating Marshmallow babies from an envelope of chromosomes, and decoding a riddle using the 4 components of DNA. Concepts covered in this unit are dominant and recessive traits, alleles, genotypes and phenotypes, heterozygous and homozygous alleles, Punnett squares, and DNA. Students enjoy this unit as they figure out where they came from!

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