BASIS Lesson Plans

A sample of lessons from our full archive of BASIS Lesson Plans


All About Volcanoes

Abstract:  In this lesson, we will learn about volcanoes: what they are, where they are, what’s inside them, and what makes them erupt.

Standards Connection: Earth Science – Characteristics of different landforms

Germs and Your Body

Abstract: Did you know that germs are very, very small and that when they grow together you can see them? There are different kinds of germs – good and bad, and different germs do different things. Some types of germs are good for you and help you stay well. Other germs can make you sick, so your body has ways to fight germs to keep you healthy. Through several hands-on activities, students will use their senses and observation skills to learn how your body fights germs.

Standards Connection: Observing objects with senses, describing objects, comparing and sorting objects based on size and weight, and communicating observations orally.

Buoyancy: Who Sank the Boat?

Abstract: What makes an object sink or float? In this presentation, we use the very funny children’s story Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen to explore some basic concepts about buoyancy.
Children will use their powers of observation to draw some conclusions about why some things float while others don’t. We will perform some easy experiments using miniature “boats” in a tiny
bay to try and get to the bottom of this question and find out who really sank the boat.

Standards Connection: An object’s ability to sink or float is related to its size, shape and weight.

First Grade:

Clouds, Clouds Everywhere

Abstract: Students will learn how weather can be observed, measured and described. By reviewing the three states in which water is found on earth (solid/ice, liquid/water, gas/vapor) students will then see a demonstration of the forces that make clouds occur and gain an appreciation for what is happening in the atmosphere. They will then create a model of the cloud patterns.

Standards Connection: Earth Science: Weather can be observed, measured, and described. Physical Science: States of Materials. Solids, liquids, gases have different properties. Substances’ properties change with mixing, cooling, heating.

Roots, Seeds, and Stems - Putting Plants Together

Abstract: Ever wonder how plants live? They don’t eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner like we do, so how do they get the nutrients they need? How do the different parts of the plant work together to make sure that it continues to grow and produce new plants? Students will get to “dissect” plants to see their root and seed systems in this lesson!

Standards Connection: Needs of Living Things; how plants meet needs.

Mysterious Liquids

Abstract: We will be using simple chemistry to determine the differences between two unknown liquids. The chemistry will involve mixing, dissolving, color changes, and reactions that make gases. We will then use our knowledge of the unknown liquids to separate gold (glitter) from dirt (brown sugar).

Standards Connection: Physical Science: Solids, liquids, gases have different properties; properties change with mixing, cooling, heating.

Second Grade:

Fossil Formation

Abstract: Learn about fossils and have students make their own to bring home with them. Students will learn about how fossils are formed and why they are important.

Standards Connection: Fossils provide evidence about ancient life, scientists study fossils to learn about history.

Plant Life Cycles

Abstract: We will teach the students about the life cycle of plants, the presence of plants in their lives, and give them an idea of what it means to be a scientist. Students will be able to distinguish between what is and what is not a fruit. They will make predictions and record their observations.

Standards Connection: Plants and animals have predictable life cycles. Flowers and fruits are associated with plant reproduction

Making the Band

Abstract: Students will rotate through three stations to experiment with percussion, wind, and stringed instruments and explore what’s vibrating,and explore how sounds are created by different kinds of vibrations.

Standards Connection: Sound is vibration- describe w/pitch and volume

Third Grade:

Natural Selection in Predators and Prey

Abstract: In this lesson, students will model a predator-prey system in two different environments and examine how different variables (environmental color, prey color, predator type, etc.) are involved in natural selection.

Standards Connection: Structure of living things help tem grow, survive, and reproduce. Living change the environment they live in.

Properties of Matter that Matter

Abstract: Students will learn to identify solids, liquids, and gases. Water will be used to demonstrate the three phases. They will learn about sublimation through a fun experiment with dry ice. Next, they will learn some important properties of liquids, like density and viscosity. Finally, they will learn about gas diffusion through smell.

Standards Connection: Physical Science: States of Matter

Light Can Heat Too

Abstract: The Sun is the biggest source of energy for our planet. The light that hits our planet can be used in a lot of ways including heating! Students will explore absorption and reflection through the construction of a solar water heater. Students will then get to test their own design and see how something they created improves the heating characteristics of light!

Standards Connection: Energy comes from the sun in the form of light

Fourth Grade:


Abstract: Today we are going to use a microscope to see yeast, an example of a microbe. Yeast can “eat” different type of sugars to produce energy and live. They like some type of sugars better than others and they produce gas as a “waste” product. We will see how much gas yeast produce as they “eat” different types of sugars. Our goal for this experiment is to expose the students to the world of microorganisms and teach them their importance in the environment and in our body

Standards Connection: Life Science, microorganisms

Sticky Balloons and Static Electricity

Abstract: In this lesson, we’re going to learn about static electricity. We will first talk a little bit about electricity, matter, and atoms.

Standards Connection: Physical science – matter is made up of atoms; behavior of electrically charged objects

Fifth Grade:

3rd Grape from the Sun

Abstract: Our Solar System is home to an amazing family of celestial bodies, which span a huge range of sizes, shapes, chemical substances, and weather conditions. In today’s activity, we will use everyday objects to compare the sizes of planets and other bodies. Planet Earth is not the largest or the smallest object in the Solar System, but it has unique properties that allow life to flourish.

Standards Connection: The Solar System contains Earth, 7 other planets, the Sun, and smaller objects such as dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, and comets. Students will classify objects based on appropriate criteria.

Bones, Muscles, and How We Move

Abstract: Today we will be talking about our bones, muscles and how we move; and then you will all be engineering a new species, an alien if you will, with its own skeletal and muscular systems.

Standards Connection: Multicellular organisms have specialized structures

Acids and Bases: Cabbage Juice Indicator

Abstract: Students will learn about chemical reactions.

Standards Connection: chemical reactions, making observations and recording data, drawing conclusions