Elementary Science Resources

Students looking through microscopes
Fourth grade students look at diatoms under a microscope and learn about their function in the ecosystem. (Source: Alaska Fisheries Science Center)

This special Elementary Collection includes just a few of the science education resources that are available from NOAA for K-5 audiences. Additional resources appropriate for teaching young children can be found in the topic-based Collections that are found throughout this website.

The resources included in this Elementary Collection have been selected to help teachers as they plan lessons and learn about specific topics, such as severe weather, the water cycle, tornadoes and food webs. These resources may also be useful in teaching larger concepts such as change over time, analyzing patterns, relationships between organisms and their habitats, the interdependence of living things, and energy transfers. The types of resources available include short videos, handouts and lesson plans, data sources, background information and professional development opportunities for teachers. These resources can provide students with the opportunity to collect and interpret data and engage in hands-on activities (in the classroom and outdoors), make observations, and participate in other scientific processes.

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Resources by Type



Background Information

    AMS Climate Systems Course
    AMS Climate Systems Course

    Free online Climate Systems course designed for teachers and produced by the American Meteorological Society.

    Ocean Facts
    Ocean Facts

    Brief descriptions and explanations about a wide variety of ocean related topics.

    Whale Species Fact Sheets
    Whale Species Fact Sheets

    Background fact sheets, designed for kids, about different whale species.


    Lessons and Activities

      Backyard Water Discovery
      Backyard Water Discovery

      Classroom and outdoor activities that help students investigate their local aquatic habitats and environments.

      Cloud Spotter Wheel
      Cloud Spotter Wheel

      An easily made wheel, and a cloud chart, that students can use to identify and classify clouds.

      Cool Weather Stuff
      Cool Weather Stuff

      Puzzles, games, word searches and online coloring activities related to understanding and predicting weather.

      Earth Systems Storybook and Lessons
      Earth Systems Storybook and Lessons

      This storybook, and accompanying activities, demonstrate the interactions and interrelationships of the abiotic and biotic parts of Earth’s systems.

      Food Webs of the Great Lakes
      Food Webs of the Great Lakes

      Small printable diagrams illustrating food webs found in the Great Lakes.

      Lightning Safety For Kids
      Lightning Safety For Kids

      This website provides information and activities about lightning and lightning safety for kids.

      Make Your Own Weather Station
      Make Your Own Weather Station

      Instructions for making six simple instruments that students can use to measurement the local weather.

      Manatee Curriculum
      Manatee Curriculum

      This third grade curriculum is designed to help students learn about the biology and ecology of a manatee and humans’ impacts on these animals.

      Nim
      Nim's Island Educator Guide and Resources

      The Educator's Guide includes activities to teach students about the Ocean and stewardship of the Ocean.

      Ocean Pollution- Marine Debris
      Ocean Pollution- Marine Debris

      Activity books, brochures and other information about marine debris causes, impacts and solutions.

      Plastic, Plastic Everywhere
      Plastic, Plastic Everywhere

      In this set of lessons students investigate how plastic shopping bags can become ocean pollution, they determine their family's use of these materials and explore ways to reduce their use.

      Water Cycle
      Water Cycle

      Background information, lessons, and activities for kids about the water cycle.

      Which Location is Right For Me
      Which Location is Right For Me

      Students compare weather and climate, gather online climate data, and use the data to determine the region to which they would like to relocate.


      Multimedia

        Estuary Video Series
        Estuary Video Series

        Short videos in which students investigate estuarine habitats.

        Medicines From The Sea Video
        Medicines From The Sea Video

        This three minute video describes how new medicines can be found in the Ocean.

        Restoring Coral Reefs- Video
        Restoring Coral Reefs- Video

        A two minute video that shows some of the efforts that scientists are using to restore damaged coral reefs (Flash, 2.5 min).

        Saving Springer
        Saving Springer

        A 25 minute video that tells the true story of an orphaned baby killer whale that was reunited with its family pod (Quicktime)

        Sounds in the Ocean
        Sounds in the Ocean

        Recordings of the sounds made by many marine animals.

        The Turtle and The Tree
        The Turtle and The Tree

        A short video that describes the impact that the planting of non-native trees had on sea turtles.


        Real World Data

          Climate Maps of the U.S.
          Climate Maps of the U.S.

          Printable maps of the U.S. that show average temperatures, precipitation, snow fall and even the chance of a white Christmas.