Wednesday, September 1, 2010

4th grade Science: Physics

For the first year whiles studying the ancients N learned about those things the ancients could see - animal life, the human body and plants. In the second year he studied facts about the earth and sky designed to go along with the medieval-early Renaissance period when men like Copernicus and Tycho Brahe would have been watching the heavens.
The third year was focused on basic chemistry - atoms and molecules, what elements are and how they interact. History lessons were in tandem and N studied the years when the first great chemists lived.
Now, in the 4th year as he studies modern times in history, N will be learning basic physics and will be introduced to the elements of computer science.
The divisions of Science studied in this order, move from the most concrete to the most abstract and movess with the student's ability to process and idea and understand the concepts.

A classical education is organized around reading, writing, math and history so especially in the early years, science tends to take a secondary place and some classical academies leave it out altogether. However this young age is such a time of discovery that I think it should be studied gently and at the students leading within the divisions.

"Physics is simply the study of the physical world and how it works. The way sound travels, magnetism, the laws of electricity, energy, and motion -- these are the concepts of physics"(The Well Trained Mind).
Tuesdays and Thursdays, priorities this year will be experiment focused.
Topics will cover
*Mechanical Energy and Machines
*Magnetism and Electricity

A physics notebook will be divided in half: "Experiments" and "Finding Out More"
*2 experiments per week
*9 experiments per chapter

After reading the science lesson, complete narration, perform experiment and fill out an experiment page in the notebook.

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