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Elementary School Lesson Plans (91 results)

Science Buddies' elementary school science projects are the perfect way for elementary school students to have fun exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Our elementary school projects are written and tested by scientists and are specifically created for use by students in the elementary school grades. Students can choose to follow the science experiment as written or put their own spin on the project.

For a personalized list of science projects, elementary schoolers can use the Science Buddies Topic Selection Wizard. The wizard asks students to respond to a series of simple statements and then uses their answers to recommend age-appropriate projects that fit their interests.

Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-2nd
Your students have probably walked or ridden over a bridge at some point in their lives. In this engineering activity they will design and make bridges out of folded pieces of paper, and test how much weight they can hold with pennies. How does the shape of a bridge affect its strength? Let your students explore and find out with this lesson! This lesson can be expanded to a second lesson looking at how the material a bridge is made out of can change its strength; see second lesson for details. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build the tallest possible tower using nothing but paper and tape, but there's an additional twist on this classic activity. The tower must support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2021 Fluor Engineering Challenge is over, but you can still try this fun lesson with your… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Are paper airplanes a nuisance in your classroom? They don't have to be! Those distractions can be a constructive learning opportunity: use them to teach your students about the engineering design process. In this fun lesson, you will be the "customer" ordering a paper airplane, and your student teams will be engineering companies that will manufacture planes. Before they start making planes, they need to define the criteria and constraints of this engineering problem. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Lesson Plan Grade: 5th
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How do our everyday actions contribute to our ecological footprint? Can we change our individual actions to be more environmentally friendly and create a more sustainable lifestyle? In this lesson, students will evaluate their own environmental impact using an online tool called Your Plan, Your Planet, and evaluate simple ways to reduce their ecological footprint as an individual or community. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment.
Lesson Plan Grade: 5th-8th
Help your students learn about solar energy, physical forces, and other science topics with this hands-on engineering experience. This lesson plan will show you how to get your classroom started building solar-powered cars that your students can enter, if desired, in regional Junior Solar Sprint competitions. No previous experience with electronics or building things is necessary. Get the dates and location for your regional competition. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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This lesson will introduce your students to the scientific method using a fun, hands-on activity. A middle school version of this lesson plan is also available. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5—Science Practices.
Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
In this lesson, students explore firsthand what transparent, translucent, and opaque mean, and how they are related to light. They will place a variety of materials in front of an illuminated object and predict if and how well they will be able to see the object through the material sheet. In doing that, students will realize that different materials allow different amounts of light to pass through. Remote learning: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. The Engage section of the… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-3. Plan and conduct investigations to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-2nd
Get creative with your students in this hands-on lesson plan! Students will use mostly natural materials to build a shoebox habitat that mimics a real-life habitat for an animal of their choice. As they present their miniature habitats to each other, students realize that not all habitats are suitable for all animals. Each animal species needs the resources of a specific habitat to survive. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-ESS-3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
  • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.>/li>
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Forces, which we might instinctively describe as pushes and pulls, are acting on us at all times, but we cannot always see them. This hands-on lesson offers a fun opportunity to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance. Students will build parachutes and investigate how they allow skydivers to safely land. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
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