Elementary Science
Young children learn science best by living and exploring the world around them. Come and get some great resources, tips, and ideas for teaching elementary-aged children science and discovery.
Elementary Science Teaching Tips & Ideas
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
Things to See & Do in Texas
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
Contrasting spectacularly with its surroundings, Lake Meredith lies on the dry and windswept High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. The lake itself was created by Sanford Dam on the Canadian River; it now fills many breaks whose walls are crowned with white limestone caprock, scenic buttes, pinnacles, and red-brown, wind-eroded coves. Lake Meredith’s shores are dotted with mesquite, prickly pear, yucca, and grasses of arid plains. Up the sheltered creek beds stand cottonwoods, soapberry, and sandbar willows. The 50,000-acre national recreation area includes a 10,000-acre reservoir where visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities for a day or an entire vacation.
Dallas World Aquarium
The aquarium features more than 85,000 gallons (321,800 l) of saltwater with marine life from around the world. Walk through the 22,000-gallon (83,280 l) tunnel to experience a panoramic view of reef life. Many animals found at the top of the food chain can be seen in the Predators exhibit. Ten 2,000-gallon (7,571 l) displays present marine life from around the world - Palau, Southern Australia, Lord Howe Island, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Bahamas, British Columbia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan. Representing the waters of four continents, three oceans and various seas, the aquarium gives a glimpse of the underwater world. The South Africa outdoor, lagoon-like exhibit represents both plants and animals from the southern tip of the African continent. The Orinoco - Secrets of the River rainforest exhibit represents the relatively unknown South American Orinoco River basin.
The Texas Zoo
Located in Victoria, The Texas Zoo features animals exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
Fort Worth Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo has more than 5,000 native, exotic and endangered animals from 435 species, all in a lush, beautifully landscaped environment. Also offers special events and exhibits, and educational programs.
Big Thicket National Preserve
The Preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 97,000 acres. Big Thicket was the first Preserve in the National Park System established October 11, 1974, and protects an area of rich biological diversity. A convergence of ecosystems occurred here during the last Ice Age. It brought together, in one geographical location, the eastern hardwood forests, the Gulf coastal plains, and the midwest prairies.
International Exotic Feline Sanctuary
The inhabitants include bobcats, cougars, jaguars, leopards, lions and tigers, among other species. Sixty-six felines call IEFS home, with spacious habitats, pools and houses. A visit to IEFS includes a guided tour, during which your guide will share stories of how each feline came to IEFS and fascinating facts about similarities and differences between each feline. Your guide will also assist you with the privilege of up-close photography with some of the world's most fabulous felines.
Cameron Park Zoo
You'll find many rare species living together at the Cameron Park Zoo, the nation's newest natural habitat zoo, located in Waco. At the zoo, you'll see zebras run with giraffes and antelopes as they would in the wild of the African Savannah. Perhaps you'll even watch as a playful White-Handed Gibbon taunts a pair of black swans, just as he would in his native homeland.
El Paso Zoo
The El Paso Zoo is an eighteen-acre home to more than 600 animals of over 250 species in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Paraje, Birds of Prey, American Biome, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands, Asian Endangered Walk, and an Elephant Complex.
Amistad National Recreation Area
Situated on the United States-Mexico Border, Amistad NRA is known primarily for excellent year round, water-based recreation including: boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving and water-skiing. Amistad NRA also provides opportunities for picnicking, camping and hunting. The reservoir, at the confluence of the Rio Grande, Devils and Pecos rivers, was created by Amistad Dam in 1969. In addition to excellent recreation, this area is rich in archeology and rock art, and contains a wide variety of plant and animal life. Amistad NRA lies in southwest Texas, west of San Antonio between Del Rio and Langtry, downstream from Big Bend National Park.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
For thousands of years, people came to the red bluffs above the Canadian River for flint, vital to their existence. Demand for the high quality, rainbow-hued flint is reflected in the distribution of Alibates Flint through the Great Plains and beyond. Today this area is protected by the National Park Service and is the only National Monument in Texas. The monument can only be viewed by ranger-led guided tours. The Monument is located 25 miles north of Amarillo and 7 miles south of Fritch.
Gladys Porter Zoo
The Gladys Porter Zoo is a visitor oriented zoological and botanical park dedicated to the preservation of nature. The Gladys Porter Zoo is located on 31-acres in central Brownsville. The Zoo's living collections are comprised of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates from most major ecosystems. There are over 1,500 animal specimens, representing approximately 400 species, 47 of which are listed as endangered. The botanical collection is comprised of over 250 species and subspecies of tropical and neo-tropical plants.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Rising from the desert, this mountain mass contains portions of the world's most extensive and significant Permian limestone fossil reef. Also featured are a tremendous earth fault, lofty peaks, unusual flora and fauna, and a colorful record of the past. Guadalupe Peak, highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet; El Capitan, a massive limestone formation; McKittrick Canyon, with its unique flora and fauna; and the "Bowl", located in a high country conifer forest, are significant park features. While scenic driving in the park is limited to one 4X4 road, there are over 80 miles of trails that offer a wide range of opportunities for exploring. Other available activities include: backpacking, camping and wildlife viewing. Visitors may also see ruins of a stage station, or visit the Frijole Ranch History Museum (open intermittently).
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Just 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, visitors to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center can observe over 1100 animals representing 50 species and from five continents roaming free over 2700 acres. It is a safe haven for some of the worlds most endangered species including a host of native animals.
Rainforest at Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens in Galveston offers a rainforest in a 10-story glass pyramid. It features a 55-foot tall canopy of tropical foliage, which blocks out much of the blazing Texas sun. The Pyramid is a verdant jungle full of Tarzan-type air-root vines, vibrant flowers and luscious fruit such as bananas and papaya. Explore the mysteries of science at the Discovery Pyramid, and take a rocking and rolling ride through the universe at the Ridefilm Theater. See spectacular images leap from the screen of our six-story IMAX 3D Theater.
Caldwell Zoo
The Caldwell Zoo in Tyler has over 2,000 animals representing 250 different species. Visitors to the Zoo are provided with a close-up experience with lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras grazing in natural East Africa habitats. The natural rolling topography of the zoo provides a breathtaking glimpse of these magnificent animals with barriers virtually hidden from view. Visitors can dine with the animals at the Chakula Café and watch in wonder how lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras live in natural habitats in predator/prey relationships.
Houston Zoo
Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.5 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 3,500 exotic animals representing more than 700 species.
San Antonio Zoological Gardens & Aquarium
The San Antonio Zoo is located at the headwaters of the San Antonio River -- just minutes from the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Artesian water flows through the Zoo grounds, an abandoned rock quarry where tall oak, pecan, and bald cypress trees provide cool summer shade. Limestone cliffs surround the naturalistic enclosures and make dramatic backdrops for many of the animal habitats. Along the riverbank, humid, tropical conditions prevail, while a short distance away, semi-arid hillsides dominate. San Antonio's temperate climate makes it possible to keep most animals in outside enclosures year round.
Dallas Zoo
Founded in 1888, the Dallas Zoo is the oldest zoo in the state of Texas. Encompassing 95 developed acres, the Zoo offers a look at animals exhibits throughout the park. The Monorail Safari takes visitors on a one-mile tour, lasting about 20 – 25 minutes, through the six habitats. Passengers have the sense of gliding through the wilderness. Live educational narration during the ride adds to the sensation of being on a real African Safari. Also offers special events and educational programs.
Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, or El Rio Bravo del Norte, provides protection and maintenance of the pristine character of the Rio Grande from the Coahuila/Chihuahua, Mexico, state border upstream from Mariscal Canyon to the Terrell/Val Verde County line in Texas downstream. The Wild and Scenic River designation extends for 196 miles along the river’s course. Approximately 69 miles of The Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River designation lies within Big Bend National Park, and an additional 118 miles borders the Park. The National Park Service manages both the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, and the Rio Grande along the park’s boundary for recreation and preservation.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore, encompassing 130,454 acres, is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world, and offers a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as recreation.
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio, the world's largest marine life adventure park and family entertainment showplace, presents a splashy lineup of more than 25 sensational shows, thrilling rides, animal attractions and educational experiences for all ages. It's actually four parks in one on 250 acres: a show park, a rides and slides park, a water park and an animals park.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend is one of the largest and least visited of America’s national parks. Over 801,000 acres await your exploration and enjoyment. From an elevation of less than 2,000 feet along the Rio Grande to nearly 8,000 feet in the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend includes massive canyons, vast desert expanses, and the entire Chisos Mountain range. Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude. Big Bend National Park also marks the northernmost range of many plants and animals, such as the Mexican long-nosed bat. Ranges of typically eastern and typically western species of plants and animals come together or overlap here. Here many species are at the extreme limits of their ranges. Latin American species, many from the tropics, range this far north, while northern-nesting species often travel this far south in winter. Contrasting elevations create additional, varied micro-climates that further enhance the diversity of plant and animal life and the park’s wealth of natural boundaries.
Ellen Trout Zoo
The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin offers animal exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is located in Corpus Christi. Your experience begins on the walkways which feature images of whales, rays, dolphins, sharks, and the Gulf of Mexico itself. You enter the building by walking under our ignature "waterfall" representing a full submersion into the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteer guides are stationed throughout the Aquarium to explain exhibits and answer questions. You not only travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf but also have the opportunity to observe dive shows, feeding demonstrations, and have a "hands on" experience with sharks, stingrays, hermit crabs, and more.
Abilene Zoological Gardens
The Abilene Zoo is located in Nelson Park and maintains a collection of both plants and animals. The animal exhibits are surrounded by plants native to Texas. Highlights include a Discovery Center, the Hyena Exhibit, and the Black Bear Exhibit. Also offers educational programs, tours, and special events.
Elementary Science Activities & Experiments
ExploraVision
ExploraVision is a competition for all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. Territory or a Department of Defense school. Homeschooled students are eligible to enter. It is designed to encourage students to combine their imagination with their knowledge of science and technology to explore visions of the future. Teams of students select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then project how that technology may change in the future. They must then identify what breakthroughs are required for their vision to become a reality and describe the positive and negative consequences of their technology on society. Winning ideas have focused on things as simple as ballpoint pens and as complex as satellite communications. The student teams write a paper and draw a series of Web page graphics to describe their idea. Regional winners make a Web site and a prototype of their future vision.
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
Elementary Science Curriculum
Christian Kids Explore Chemistry
These user-friendly, unabashedly Christian, one-year science curriculums for elementary students include teaching lessons, coloring pages, hands-on time, memorization lists, review sheets, creative writing assignments, and a supplemental book list. The Chemistry text is intended for grades 4-8, and includes such hands-on activities as making model atoms, breaking covalent bonds, and making gas expand. It also lists chemistry terms, notations, and rules. The conversational style gives students the basic information they need, making this an ideal first course in life science, especially useful for those following a classical approach.
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Featured Resources

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A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportuni...
A Reason For® Reading
A Reason For® Reading offers a series of over 100 Leveled Readers that provide small increases in difficulty from level to level. These colorful books feature Scripture stories and Christian value themes. Story Guides include high-frequency words, teaching ideas, discussion questions, and much more.
Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series
Stand amid soaring Douglas fir in the great hall of Glacier Park Lodge or sit in the setting sun and gaze into the Grand Canyon at El Tovar. This beautiful gift book will transport you to the majestic lodges of our national parks to relive the glory of past vacations or plan adventures anew. This book and the PBS television series of the same title (to air in spring 2002) take armchair travelers into these architectural wonders and explore the surrounding natural beauty of our national parks. Lo...
The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques for Inviting Serenity into Your Life
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Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are taught. This reader is an invaluable teaching tool for children who need extra practice in the application of phonics rules. Find out more here.