Typically completed by 5-11 year olds, CREST Star and SuperStar challenges relate to everyday experiences. Children complete eight activities to gain a CREST Award, with each activity taking between 45 minutes and one hour to complete.
The activities are designed to be easy-to-run and low-cost. You don’t need to be a teacher, have a science background or have access to specialist equipment to run them. The packs contain helpful hints and tips for you to use, explaining the scientific themes and offering guidance on conversation topics for your children.
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Uncle Astro Aunt Stella Discovery Bag Organiser’s Card Cosmic Gem About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about trees, and the life that trees support, and begin to be aware of the differences between trees. Uncle Astro has made a ‘discovery bag’ for Cosmic and Gem. They think the bag has parts of trees inside but they are not sure. They want to find out more. Through this activity you will support children to: • Think about the similarities and differences between different trees • Think about the different parts of trees • Identify natural and man-made objects Kit list • Pencils, crayons, paper and glue • Magnifying glasses • Photographs of trees and/or tree guides • Large cloth or paper bag containing: - Parts from a selection of a minimum of two trees e.g. twigs with leaves on, bare twigs, bark, fruits, cones or things such as galls, if you can find them. - Other interesting items not from trees Include enough material to fill the bag. It doesn’t matter if parts of the same tree are repeated. What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story. 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Explain that they will be exploring their own discovery bag. Discuss safety issues. See notes on what to watch out for to find more details. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Talk about how each different type of tree has unique leaves, fruits and bark and how to use the magnifying glass to make close observations. Discuss sorting, grouping and matching the tree parts. Prompt questions: • How can you tell if something is part of a tree? • How many different types of trees do they know? 5. Support children to conduct their investigation and make their own records of their results. Let them talk together about what they have found out. How many trees do the parts come from? Have they seen any of these trees? Was there anything else in the bag? Encourage children to make detailed drawings of some of the tree parts to show similarities and differences. 6. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group, they can be as creative in their presentation as they want. They could create a collage using the different tree parts or take bark or leaf rubbings.
Things to think about Adding items other than tree parts to the bags will help to create more challenge and discussion. These could be parts of other plants such as flowers, vegetables and fruit, or things made from wood, or anything else that takes your fancy! Children could use a simple tree guide to help them to identify what they have. Let them investigate as much as possible without your support. It helps if children can go outside to try to match the parts to real trees. Alternatively, encourage them to look closely at trees they might see on their way home or at the local park. Keywords • Natural • Man-made • Leaf • Bark • Seeds • Cones • Twigs Watch out! Some plant parts can be poisonous, toxic (e.g. Laburnum seeds) or have sap that can irritate the skin. Check that your tree parts are safe to use. Remind children not to eat anything and to wash their hands afterwards. Find out more This activity relates to one of the OPAL environmental surveys. You could talk to children about ways to get involved either through school or home. To find out more visit www.opalexplorenature.org/crest British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236
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