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Professional Learning
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Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Share

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog

7 Ideas to Engage Primary Students in Earth Science

Posted by Tiffany Anderle on Apr 4, 2022 10:56:34 AM

Creative digital projects in Wixie make a fun and engaging way for students to learn about Earth Science topics included in the Next Generation Science Standards. Wixie includes a range of standards-aligned templates that focus on geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Use the seven creative project ideas below to engage students in meaningful work that will build upon their understanding of earth science skills and informational writing!

To save the following ideas to your personal Wixie account, select the link to the Wixie templates below to view the file. Then use the Log In button in the upper right side of the page, go to the File menu, and select Copy to My Projects.

1. Five Senses Weather Walk

You may already take your students on a five senses walk, but have you ever used this experience to focus on observing the weather? Ask students to use their senses to describe how they feel when they are outside. Is it hot or cold? Do they feel a breeze? How does the soil look, or perhaps any grass or plants?

wixie-sample-5senses-observations

Take your tablets along and when you sit down, have students use the Five Senses Observation template to share their observations by drawing or adding pictures and text. Have them orally capture their observations by recording voice narration or a video clip.

2. Water Cycle Stories

Wixie's Water Cycle activity provides students with a space to showcase their understanding of the hydrologic cycle. Students drag arrows and labels to the correct position and add color and stickers to finish their model. If your students are ready or prefer a more open-ended approach, have them design starting from a blank Wixie page.

wixie-sample-water-cycle-1

If want to include writing across the curriculum, use the Cycle Stories lesson plan to have students craft a narrative showing the water cycle through the first-person perspective of a water droplet. 

Diary-of-a-snowflake-1

3. Newspaper Headline

Students can use Wixie to explore the structures and processes on earth. Nurture your student’s budding inquiry to learn more about their world and research how events on earth can happen quickly or slowly (2-ESS1-1). 

wixie-sample-news-headline-volcano

Once students have completed their research on events such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or perhaps erosion, ask students to write an exciting headline for a news article to describe the information that they have learned. Assign the News Article Headline template to get students started.

To encourage your budding scientists, work together to design experiments they can do on their own. As you explore various earth science activities, listen to their conversations and, in particular, their questions. Then use the 

Students can utilize the Inquiry organizer to direct their work. 

4. Interactive Interviews

Kick off students' understanding of the moon phases using Wixie's Phases of the Moon activity. Then, ask students to showcase their learning by interviewing the moon!

Students can start from a blank canvas or use an Interview template to showcase their learning. Students draw or add a sticker of the interviewer and interviewee and type questions and answer about the moon and its phases. 

wixie-sample-interview-moon

With Wixie, it’s easy to share their work with their community. Each project saves as a unique URL. Copy the URL and share it on your school forum, or use the embed code to share it on your school or class website.

5. Chart the Weather

Use the Weather this Month template on your interactive white board to collect data about the weather as a class. Ask a new student each day to drag the icons to indicate the current weather so they can see and chart the weather patterns over time.

wixie-sample-weather-chart

Encourage your students to think like a scientist by looking for patterns and order in their observations (K-ESS2-1). Promote classroom discussion with questions like: 

  • Is it warmer in the morning or afternoon? 
  • How many rainy days are there versus sunny days? 
  • Can the sun tell us the season? 

To direct students learning on the task of data collection, be sure to hide additional tools to keep students focused and engaged. 

6. Modeling and Design Thinking

Young learners can, and want, to take an active role in solving problems! Encourage students to complete the engineering or design thinking process and present their ideas and processes for designing a “structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area” (K-PS3-2). Use Wixie's 4-step Design Process to support their thinking throughout the process.

wixie-template-design-process-primary

Students may even want to get started with an Empathy Map organizer to guide their work as they narrow down their solutions.

Producing an empathy map provides students with a big picture view of their idea and provides you with a tangible artifact to assess student understanding.

7. Informational Documentary

Encourage your young students to use their emerging visual, oral, and written skills to raise awareness. For example, have students showcase information on various bodies of water and where they are located through a documentary (2-ESS2-2). Students can use the Storyboard template to organize their thinking.

Starting from a blank page in Wixie allows students to showcase their knowledge their way. They can use the paint tools to draw models, type text, or use the recording feature to discuss their learning. Students may even choose to capture a video recording. 

wixie-sample-water-storyboard

Once students have finished their documentary, they can simply export it as a movie to share it with others. 

Consider hosting a film festival where students can showcase their documentaries. Share the projects on the board in your classroom and allow students to walk through their documentary and share their hard work with others. 

It's Time to Get Started!

Digital tools like Wixie allow students to capitalize on their natural curiosity and creativity to solve problems and showcase their learning in meaningful and authentic ways. 

Wixie-static-science-primary-1
For more ideas visit Engaging Primary Students in Science with Technology to inspire digital project work in your primary science program. Happy creating!

Topics: Wixie, earth science

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