Homeschool Curriculum Review – Engaging Chemistry Units

Looking for science homeschool curriculum? Lisa of Squishable Baby paired two of our science units together to create a comprehensive chemistry unit for her 4-6 grader. Her son learned about atoms, elements of the periodic table and more! To read her entire review of the Periodic Table Assignment and Bill Nye Worksheets, visit The Squishable Baby website.

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Wow, these assignments worked really well for my older son.  Through these assignments, he learned the basics about Atoms, how they work and how they combine together to create matter.  We then learned more about the periodic table, how the elements are grouped into rows and groups, what the atomic numbers mean – and about groups of elements and how they behave.  We then took it one step further to research 1 specific element and create a 2-3 minute Power Point presentation.  These activities provided a comprehensive introduction to chemistry.

An Introduction to Chemistry

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I started with this.  I purchased this on the Educents website.  My son enjoys Bill Nye.  He presents often complex material in a fun way a child can understand and appreciate.  Since we were finally working on the periodic table, I thought the Atoms unit would be a good place to start.  I think it was useful since he gave us an introduction to Atoms and matter.  My son watched the video, and then answered 10 questions based on the video to reinforce learning and understanding.

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After acquiring an introduction to Atoms, we dived into the WebQuest Periodic Table and Element Assignment.  There were a few different parts to this assignment.

  • Your child will look-up various website (given in the assignment) and answer the accompanying questions.   In this work, we learned about the Periodic Table and it’s layout and then properties of: Alkali Metals, Alkaline Earth Metals, Transition Metals, Metalloids, Non-Metals, Halogens and Nobel Gases.
  • Additional research – some of the questions require doing additional research.  I loved this aspect.  Your child will be able to perform Google searches to and look for more detailed information.  I like that every single question is not answered in the reading.
  • Lastly, your child will take the new-found information, pick an element he/she is interested in learning more about – and studying it more in-depth.  He/she has the option of using the stated pages, but is also encouraged to go out and find new information.  From that, he/she will create a 2-4 minute presentation on the element.  All recording sheets and skills that should be reviewed is in the assignment pack.

What I Like about The WebQuest Periodic Table & Element Assignment

  1. I really like how I was able to incorporate both the information from the Bill Nye Assignment in with the WebQuest assignment.  I think they worked really well together – especially for my child – who is just starting to learn the fundamentals of chemistry.  Note:  The Bill Nye and the WebQuest Assignment are TWO DIFFERENT Assignments.  I just happen to put them together to make one unit.
  2. I like that independent research was incorporated.  It wasn’t just about spitting back information.
  3. There are no rules.  You can do your independent research on the web, in the library, asking questions of scientists or a combination of those.
  4. The organized Power Point presentation.  This gives the homeschool student the opportunity to create an organized presentation on their own.
  5. The unit can be completed in 2-4 days.  It’s not a long and drawn out saga.  It’s quick and easy – and the time depends on how extensive the research is.  If you start this unit on Monday, you will for sure be done by Friday.

To read more about how Lisa uses Bill Nye and WebQuest assignments in her homeschool, go to her website, The Squishable Baby.