Practices of Science


  • Zoom In

    Plum sends Oliver, Gabi, and Cooper on a mission to observe a small patch of Earth and record what they find, in this animated video from PLUM LANDING. Oliver thinks there’s nothing in the patch of weeds he’s observing—or is there? Gabi follows a sound she hears in the trees—what does she find? And Cooper manages to frighten himself with the notes he records! 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Discover the Mountains

    Join two families as they learn how mountains change from the bottom to the top while hiking in Massachusetts and Colorado, in this media gallery from PLUM LANDING. Throughout their mountain adventures, the families use mathematics and model science process skills such as observing, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Clem Marvels at a Mangrove

    Clem documents the many different animals living in a tree in a mangrove swamp—in the canopy, on the trunk, and among the roots—and discovers that it is like an “apartment house for animals,” in this animated video from PLUM LANDING.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Follow the Water

    Ella and her dad, Mike, track the path of melting snow on a warm winter day, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They follow it out of their driveway, to a small brook, through a tunnel, and eventually all the way to the ocean. On their journey, they discover how water carries trash and pollution with it.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Favorite Places in Nature

    In this media gallery from PLUM LANDING, a group of friends share observations of their favorite places in nature, from a pond in the park to the clouds seen from a fire escape. Throughout these four videos, they model science process skills, such as observing and recording data, and also show that you don’t need to look very far to find nature! 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Visit a Vernal Pool

    Kiana, Kaya, and Kalea visit a vernal pool, a temporary pond that forms in some places in the spring after the snow melts, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They make observations and record data, such as the height of the water and the kinds of animals that live in the pond. In the fall, they return to the pond and document how the vernal pool changed over time. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Race to Save Water

    Two families compete to see which can conserve the most water over one week, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They calculate and record how much water they use in their daily activities, such as showering, brushing their teeth, and flushing the toilet, and talk about ways to use less water for these and other activities. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Water Carries Everything

    Ella and her friends work with a scientist to measure the quality of a river’s water after it rains, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They collect water samples and run a series of tests. They record the water’s temperature, test for pollutants called phosphates, and measure how cloudy the water is. They find out that the water is fairly healthy and learn how they can help to keep it that way by preventing pollutants and trash from going into local waterways. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Biodiversity Bingo

    A group of students participate in a scavenger hunt activity to explore and document biodiversity in an urban park, in this video from PLUM LANDING. As they walk around in search of various plants and animals, they also find litter and talk about its negative impact on animals.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Catch Me If You Can

    Ella and her friends experience how animals use the features of their habitats, such as trees, bushes, or rocks, to hide from predators or to help them sneak up on prey, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They also see how an animal’s size affects how it moves through its habitat. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Evaporation Station

    Three sisters paint with water outside on a sunny day and experiment to see how sunlight and shade affect how their water paintings evaporate, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They also compare how the water evaporates on different surfaces and what happens when water evaporates inside a sealed plastic bag. They talk about where the water goes after it evaporates. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Habitat Sweet Habitat

    Three siblings talk about where a group of imaginary animals would find food, water, and shelter in their backyard, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They make drawings of the imaginary animals, scout out ideal habitats for them in the backyard, and create posters highlighting the habitat and how it meets each animal’s needs. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • Roots and Shoots

    Kaya, Kiana, and Kalea model how a plant’s roots, stems, and leaves take up and store water from the environment, in this video from PLUM LANDING. Using sponges, waxed paper, and water, they compare how different characteristics, such as leaf thickness and a protective waxy coating, help plants store water and keep from drying out.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Sound Safari

    Three friends record the many different sounds they hear in their neighborhood, in this video from PLUM LANDING. By walking and quietly observing, they notice a range of sounds, from nature sounds like birdcalls to sounds made by people, like a jogger’s footsteps and the notes from a musician’s saxophone.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Build a Watershed

    Students build a simple model of a landscape to see how water droplets flow and how the shape of the land helps collect water, in this video from PLUM LANDING. By adding materials such as food coloring or paper to their landscapes, they also see how water carries pollutants.

    Grades: 1-4
  • Build a Rain Barrel

    Sisters Kiana, Kaya, and Kalea care for their garden throughout the summer, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They document their garden by taking photographs, making sketches, and building a simple rain gauge to measure how much rain falls every week. Later in the summer, they build a rain barrel to help their garden survive a dry spell. 

    Grades: 1-4
  • All About Ants

    Plum sends Brad and Clem on a mission to observe a group of ants, in this animated video from PLUM LANDING. Brad describes the ants as “awesome monster creatures” that start an ant war with another colony. But Clem sees the ants working together as a team to gather food. So what are ants: scary creatures or cute, friendly insects or a little bit of both? 

    Grades: 1-4

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