Level 1A Science -Year 1

A year’s study of the natural world, concentrating on insects, birds and plants.

Time requirement: Two weekly lessons of approximately 30 minutes.

Teacher involvement: You will need to work with your child for these lessons

Key Texts:

Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman
Science With Plants (Usborne Science Activities) OOP, but used copies readily available
The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess

UK Alternative: Wayland Book of Common British Birds: a Photographic Guide by Nick Williams

The Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery
Home Science Adventures: Discovering Birds
Home Science Adventures: Discovering Insects

Further Resources:

Nature for the Very Young: A Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Activities by Marcia Bowden
Fun With Nature by Mel Boring
More Fun With Nature by Laura Evert
Wild Monthly – online nature newsletter from MacBeth Derham

Note: Some of the books included in the optional reading lists are books we know and can personally recommend. Others are titles that sound promising, but that we have not been able to pre-read.

TERM 1: Insects

READING (One lesson weekly)

[PROVISIONAL] The Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery

EXPLORATION (One lesson weekly)

Home Science Adventures: Discovering Insects (13 lessons)

Optional Extras

Simon and Schuster Children’s Guide to Insects and Spiders by Jinny Johnson
Big Book of Bugs by Theresa Greenaway
The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets by Jean Craighead George

Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White – classic fiction about a spider and a pig
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischmann

UK: See British Nature Study page for more resources


TERM 2: Birds

READING (One lesson weekly)

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess (available online)

UK Alternative: Wayland Book of Common British Birds: a Photographic Guide by Nick Williams

EXPLORATION (One lesson weekly)

Home Science Adventures: Discovering Birds (12 lessons)

Note: Lesson 3 optional; Lesson 14 to be done before a family trip

Week 1: Constructing Your Bird Feeder – Recycle a soda bottle by making it into a bird feeder.

Week 2: Putting Up Your Bird Feeder – Choose the best spot for your new bird feeder. (optional: 3-Other Types of Feeders

Week 3: What to Expect at Your Feeder – Use your Backyard Birds guidebook to complete a crossword puzzle.

Week 4: Observing Birds at Your Feeder – Learn how to make detailed observations of birds.

Week 5: A Bird’s Eye View – Investigate an owl’s depth perception and a songbird’s peripheral vision. While you’re at it, test your own.

Week 6: Birds of a Feather – Investigate the differences between flight feathers and down feathers.

Week 7: Making a Quill Pen – Make a flight feather into a quill pen, then use it to write a letter.

Week 8: Energy in Flight – Use a bird glider to investigate how kinetic energy can change into potential energy and back again.

Week 9: Gliding – Investigate how hawks use thermals and updrafts to conserve their own energy.

Week 10: Aerodynamics – Float a balloon over a straw to experience how an object is drawn toward a fast moving stream of air.

Week 11: Lift – the Key to Flight – Feel the lift on a flight feather. Learn how this lift is caused by the feather’s shape.

Week 12: Bird Song Safari – Learn how to identify birds by their songs. (see this activity)

Optional for a family trip:  Bird Watching on a Family Trip – This game can add a bit of fun to a family trip while pointing out birds you otherwise might not notice.

Optional Extras

All About Owls by Jim Arnosky
Looking for Seabirds: Journal From an Alaskan Voyage, by Sophie Webb
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies

The Trumpet of the Swan
by E.B.White
Coot Club by Arthur Ransome
Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome
Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard Atwater
The Wheel on the School by Meindert de Jong – story about storks set in Holland
There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices
 by Paul Fleischmann

UK: See British Nature Study page for more resources

Coloring pictures of birds (American)
Bird Pictures


TERM 3: Plants

READING (One lesson weekly)

Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman

UK Alternative: Provisional: A Child’s Guide to Wildflowers by Charlotte Voake

EXPLORATION (One lesson weekly)

Science With Plants (Usborne Science Activities) (out of print)

Week 1: Starting to grow (2 pages)

Week 2: Growing (2 pages)

Week 3: Plants and water (1 page)

Week 4: Make a bottle garden (1 page)

Week 5: Using light (1 page)

Week 6: Looking at leaves and leaf prints (1 page)

Week 7: Flowers (2 pages)

Week 8: Trees (2 pages)

Week 9: New plants from old (2 pages)

Week 10: Plants leaving home (2 pages)

Week 11: Plants and soil (2 pages)

Week 12: Useful plants (2 pages)

Optional Extras
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots, by Sharon Lovejoy – gardening for children
Catholic Traditions in the Garden by Ann Ball
Mary Gardens – website with lots of information about how to make a Mary garden, and flowers associated with Mary
The Flower Hunter: William Bartram, America’s First Naturalist by Deborah Kogan Ray
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt
Wildflowers and the Stories behind their Names by Phyllis E. Busch (out of print)


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