Friday, August 16, 2013

Countdown to School: a closer look at the first science units

I like Donna Young's handy outlines for Apologia Science, and especially the vocabulary bookmarks (see "Bookmarks for Lesson Plan #2).  But I realized that, for the first few weeks, especially having an every-other-day science class, it would work better to figure out our own schedule.  So Donna Young gets the credit for the original of this plan, and Dr. Jay Wile gets the credit for  the actual content of General Science (I added the part about lab safety rules); but the rest of it is a Mama Squirrel plan.

This should take us partway into October.  "Days" refer to the first day we do science, the second day we do science, and so on (not the first day of school, second day of school).  After that, we will probably just use Donna Young's schedule for the rest of the term.

Science Outline, Weeks 1-6, using Modules 1-3 of Exploring Creation with General Science, 1st Edition.

Assignments and Experiments
Read the beginning of the book, notes and introduction.

Read handouts for lab safety (school and home).
Creatively present the importance of using equipment and materials safely.  Your choice of format: comic, poster, song, drama script.  Due in two days.

***Vocabulary: Learn these terms: science, papyrus, spontaneous generation, counter-example, hypothesis, theory, scientific law, experimental variable, control, blind studies, double-blind studies, subjective/objective data; any other vocabulary listed on the bookmarks for Modules 1-3.  Use drills and games on to practice vocabulary (whenever appropriate).
Read textbook pages 1-3, The First Inklings of Science.
Read pages 4-8, True science begins to emerge.
Be able to identify (briefly) significant events / people in science history.  Make a timeline to illustrate this, as you study the chapter.  You may want to just keep notes now, then set up the timeline later.  It must be done neatly, on good paper, and not just in pencil.  Illustrations or cutouts will make it more visually effective.
Know the acceptable format for lab reports for this class.  Carry out the simple experiments from these chapters, as practice for later lab work. 
Experiment 1.1: Density in Nature.
Experiment 1.2: Atomic motion
(Pages) 8-12 Three other notable Greek scientists
12-16 Be able to tell what happened to science during the Dark Ages. What changed this situation?
Experiment 1.3: a chemical reaction
16-19 Science begins to pick up speed again
19-23 The Renaissance
Experiment 1.4: mapping the paths of the planets (optional)
23-25 The Era of Newton
25-26 The Enlightenment and the industrial revolution
27-29 The rest of the 19th century
29-31 Modern science
31 Summing it up.  
Homework: do the study questions for module 1.
Write test for module 1.  Completed timeline to be handed in with test.
Module 2: Read Introduction;  What science is not.
Experiment 2.1: how weight affects speed
Experiment 2.2: more about weight and speed
Read 40-44 : The Scientific Method.  Be able to describe the scientific method verbally or with a diagram.  What is it used for?  Why is it important? 
Experiment 2.3: the broken flashlight
Read 45-48 Failures of the scientific method
Read 49-55 The Limitations of science; Science and Christianity. 
Homework: do the study questions for module 2.
Write test for module 2
Experiment 3.1: a floating egg?
Experiment 3.2: which boat will move?
Experiment 3.3: what does soap do to water?, part 1
Experiment 3.4: what does soap do to water, part 2
Complete lab reports for experiments done previously.
Read pages 59-69, From Introduction; stop at “Recognizing experimental variables when they are not obvious.”  Do the “On Your Own” questions.
Read 70-73, Recognizing experimental variables when they are not obvious
Read 73-76, Interpreting the results of experiments: study  the chart in fig. 1.1
Homework: do the study questions for module 3.
Write test for module 3.

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