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Holiday Science: Shiny or Dull?
Holiday Science: Shiny or Dull?

 

venable1By Debby Venable

Oklahoma STEM Ambassador

 

Hey, want to integrate science into your holiday season? There are a multitude of STEM activities that are just screaming to be shown to your students during this time of year. I find that with the holiday spirit comes the excitement to discover new and fun things. After all, the holiday season is full of things to explore.

 

One activity that I like to do with my students is a sorting or classifying activity with holiday themed items. They are actually getting immersed in scientific procedures, and they are learning in spite of the fun involved in this activity. You are going to let your students sort or classify articles that are either “shiny” or “dull”. Go ahead make it difficult or easy, be Santa or the Grinch, you decide.

 

Shiny things reflect light while dull items don’t reflect light well. A high interest science lesson for holiday, students will have fun shining a flashlight on items to determine whether the item is shiny or dull. Many holiday items are shiny and plenty are dull, so this activity will acquaint students with popular items associated with the holiday season. Books that might to add the experience for your younger scientists can be read to them about the activity are Is it rough? Is it smooth? Is it shiny? by Tana Hoban [Greenwillow, 1984] and Shiny and Dull by Angela Royston [Heinemann, 2003].

 

Shiny items include:

  • tinsel
  • foil wrapping paper
  • ornaments
  • metallic ribbon
  • jingle bells
  • metallic holiday cards
  • glittery items.
Examples of dull items for this activity are:
  • felt holiday stocking
  • flat toned wrapping paper
  • miniature holiday wreath
  • candle
  • ornaments made of fabric
  • ribbon

 

Click here to download the worksheet

 

A holiday themed science activity adds hands-on learning fun to your afterschool program. All aged children will spend plenty of time immersed in science activities in your program with a holiday theme. Engage children with holiday activities that use the senses and explore science in a fun way. That is what science is all about. Shiny or dull, it doesn’t matter; little minds will light up with curiosity and wonder.