ECC Hands-On Activities Workshop

ECC Hands-On Activities Workshop

ECC Hands-On Activities Workshop

Science and Social Studies

Science Project Starters:


  • Making fog-
  • Creating Clouds-
  • Make a Tornado-

Model Making!

  • Phases of the moon
  • Paper Mache Cells
  • Stars from punching holes in a cardboard box


Using different liquids or objects in liquids


Really fun science activities! A must see!

What a great resource for hands on science!

Build an edible bug!

Ladybug glider!

Experiment Samples:

Water Bending Activity

Classroom Use: Teach students about static electricity!


  • Balloon
  • Sink with faucet


  1. Turn on the faucet so that the water runs out in a small, steady stream, about 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Charge the comb by running it through long, dry hair several times or rub it vigorously on a sweater.
  3. Slowly bring the comb near the water and watch the water "bend."
  4. This project can also be done using a balloon instead of the comb.

Why did this happen?

The neutral water was attracted to the charged comb, and moved towards it.

Mixing Colors Activity

Classroom Use: Teach students more about the color spectrum!


  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • White cardboard or heavy white paper
  • Crayons or markers
  • Ruler
  • Small bowl or a large cup (3 - 4 inch, or 7 - 10 cm diameter rim)
  • Paper cup


  1. Use the bowl to trace a circle onto a piece of white cardboard and cut it out. With the ruler, divide it into six approximately equal sections.
  2. Color the six sections with the colors of the spectrum as shown. Try to color as smoothly and evenly as possible.
  3. Poke a hole through the middle of the circle and push the pencil part of the way through.
  4. Poke a hole in the bottom of the paper cup, a little bit larger than the diameter of the pencil. Turn the cup upside down on a piece of paper, and put the pencil through so the point rests on the paper on a table. Adjust the color wheel's position on the pencil so that it is about 1/2 inch (1 - 2 cm) above the cup.
  5. Spin the pencil quickly and observe the color wheel. Adjust as necessary so that the pencil and wheel spin easily.

Why did this happen?

The colors on the wheel are the main colors in white light. When the wheel spins fast enough, the colors all appear to blend together, and the wheel looks white. Try experimenting with different color combinations.

Make a Ping Pong Ball Float Activity

Classroom Use: Teach students about gravity and air pressure!


  • At least 1 ping pong ball (2 or 3 would be great)
  • A hair dryer


  1. Plug in the hair dryer and turn it on.
  2. Put it on the highest setting and point it straight up.
  3. Place your ping pong ball above the hair dryer and watch what happens.

Why did this happen?

Your ping pong ball floats gently above the hair dryer without shifting sideways or flying across the other side of the room. The airflow from the hair dryer pushes the ping pong ball upwards until its upward force equals the force of gravity pushing down on it. When it reaches this point it gently bounces around, floating where the upward and downward forces are equal.

The reason the ping pong ball stays nicely inside the column of air produced by the hair dryer without shifting sideways is due to air pressure. The fast moving air from the hair dryer creates a column of lower air pressure, the surrounding higher air pressure forces the ping pong ball to stay inside this column, making it easy to move the hair dryer around without losing control of the ping pong ball.

See if you can float 2 or even 3 ping pong balls as an extra challenge.

These experiments are from !!

Oreo Cookie Moon Phases

This activity will be used to illustrate and review the moon phases with the students using Oreo cookies. The activity can be modified to fit any grade level. You will need eight Oreos and a paper plate for each child. Give students time to illustrate the eight phases using their Oreos; the students will also need to label the plate with each cycle. You could also give the students a worksheet that correlates with the activity or this could be used in science centers when teaching the moon phases.

The Incredible, Edible Cell

The students will make their own edible cell in this activity; according to the age group of your students you may need to prep some of the things before doing this activity. Each important part of a cell will be illustrated in this activity; this can be an excellent activity to introduce cells or review cells with your students.

Edible Tectonics

Social Studies Project ideas:

Flat Stanley!

  • Have students take Flat Stanley to different areas on vacation, put those places on a map in the classroom (students can tell about that place, and bring in pictures from their trip or souvenirs)
  • Send one Flat Stanley from each of your students to different colleges, government buildings, monuments, and places around the U.S. with a worksheet which asks them to take a picture with him, write about their unique place, send a brochure or something unique from their place, and send him back to your classroom. After all of the Stanley’s are back (may take a little while) have a Flat Stanley presentation where each student shares their Flat Stanley’s travel experience.
  • Have each student make a brochure about a different city Flat Stanley might visit

Tour to another country or place!

  • Teacher- led: Students can create passports to that place. Teacher can set up classroom like that place and read books from that culture. Teacher can even dress up and/or have students dress up!
  • Student- led: In groups, students can create an interactive display for one country. Students set up their tables all around the room and are able to walk around to learn about other places or countries.
  • Create models/artifacts that are related to a particular place, important event, or person ex. models of White house, National monuments. Create a shadow box displaying key historic events. Study an artifact (old telephone, tools, keys, etc.)

Working with maps!

  • Following maps around the classroom or school (could be made into treasure maps!)
  • Students create their own maps with keys and write directions
  • Google Map for older students

Reenactments of historical events!

  • Mock trials, debates
  • Elections (could be for class jobs even)
  • Rosa Parks
  • Epic Speeches (can have audio station for students to listen to speeches, have students create their own speeches, or research the speech/speaker)


When reading a story together, have students draw the beginning, middle, and the end of the story on index cards/paper plates/construction paper to reinforce the concepts of the sequence in a story as well as comprehension skills. You could also have students put pre-made pictures in order as well for practice. Examples:

Have students make or use “Whisper Phones:” WhisperPhone is an acoustical voice-feedback headset that enables children to focus and hear phonemes more clearly as they learn to read, spell, or process and acquire a new language or process language aloud.

Use plastic eggs to make word families. The students can twist the eggs to make new words. Teachers can also put small flashcards with all the words listed on the egg inside of each egg for further sight word practice.

Teachers can use hula hoops to create interactive Venn diagrams for comparing and contrasting topics such as genre, elements of a story, authors and illustrators or any other part of the reading curriculum. Older students can generate their own facts to place in the diagram while younger students can be given pre-made facts to organize.

Sight word Twister:
Reading Center activity ideas:
M&M challenge for parts of speech:

This activity is designed to practice parts of speech and sentence structure with students. Teachers make a chart on which they designate a specific color for each part of speech:

Then, depending on the ability level of the students, teachers can do multiple things such as:

1. Hand out color coded sentence strips so students are able to have a visual representation of the parts of speech. For example: The lazy cat slept.
2. Create strips of colored dots from which students need to create sentences according to the parts of speech given. Example:

This activity would be particularly helpful for ESOL students who are struggling with learning English parts of speech and sentence structure
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Beach Ball Story Review:
Teachers can write reading comprehension questions on a beach ball. The students will toss the ball to one another, and any time a student catches the ball he or she will have to answer the question touching his or her right thumb. The degree of difficulty and amount of questions on the beach ball can be adjusted depending on the ability level of the students


Other simple ideas:
- Blackboard painted board: Students practice with chalk for spelling patterns
- Activities that use magnetic letters or blocks with letters on them to practice spelling or reading sight words.
- Library: Students read a book in library, and then with a post-it, post the title of the book under “Book I Would Recommend” or “Book I Would Not Recommend.” With another post-it, put the book title in the genre that it belongs to.
- Making words with Cheez-it Scrabble Junior
- Making necklaces or other cute things from Scrabble letters
Useful Websites
- Reading comprehension strategies:
- Literacy games and activities:


Gone Fishing

“Fishing Rods”- Two Pencils taped together (end to end) attached to a piece of fishing line with a magnet at the other end
Magnetic Numbered Fish- Cutouts of fish with numbers written on the back
Magnetic Operation Fish- Cutouts of a specific type of fish students can identify with operations written on the back
Fake Pond (Optional)- a piece of paper designating the “pond” area
In this activity students will use their magnetic fishing pole to catch magnetic fish, on the back of each fish will be a number or an operation symbol. The students will make an equation with the fish they “catch” and solve the problem.

Math Sandwich

Cutouts of bread, mayonnaise, mustard, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and turkey (meat) from construction paper
This is a great activity to have students show their work. Students will be given an initial problem on a paper shaped as a piece of bread. Students will then use however many “condiments” and “toppings” they need to show each step in their work to solving the problem. The other slice of bread will be their final solution.
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Which popcorn to buy?

2 sheets of paper for each student
Popcorn (or other food) for each student
Take two identical sheets of paper. [An ordinary sheet of paper measures 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.] Roll one sheet into a short cylinder and the other into a tall cylinder. Set them both on a flat surface. Does one hold more than the other?
Hint: Place the taller cylinder inside the shorter one. Fill the taller one with dry cereal, rice, or popcorn; then remove it from the shorter cylinder. Which holds more?
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Repeat then Eat!

Small edible snacks that are similar in color or shape and easy to handle, such as M&M's, trail mix, dried fruit mix, colored fruit snacks, mixed cereal, colored goldfish crackers, or carrot and celery sticks

  1. Build a simple pattern on the table. Let’s say you use M&M's. Start with an alternating pattern (called an AB pattern): one red candy, one green candy, one red, one green, and so forth. Be sure to repeat the pattern at least once.
  2. Call your kid over. Tell him you’ve set the candies up in a pattern and challenge him to figure out what it is.
  3. Get your kid in on the action! Ask him to copy the pattern, by building a sequence that’s exactly like yours. Then ask him to explain how he did it, with questions like: “How did you know to start with a red?” or “Why did you use a green here?”
  4. Ask your child to extend, or add more to the pattern. Again, ask him to explain why he chose to use certain colors or shapes.
  5. Finally, ask your child to tell what part of the sequence was repeated in this pattern. For example, say, “What colors did we repeat?” (Red, then green.) Here are some more difficult patterns to practice once he's mastered the AB pattern: AAB, ABB, AABB, and ABC.

This activity is even more fun with a catchphrase. I always end things by saying, “Patterns: we repeat and then we eat!” Be good to your word. Once the learning’s over, let your child scoop up his lesson and eat away! And don’t worry, when the snack monster strikes again, you can pick up where you left off. Happy eating!
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Fish in the Sea Counting Game

Egg Carton
Cut the lid off of your egg carton. Write the numbers 1-12 on the inside bottom of each egg cup. Use the carton to practice counting with your child! Count out the correct number of fish crackers for each egg cup. For example, count out 1 fish and place it in the cup labeled “1,” 2 fish for the “2” cup, and so on.
To practice addition, play this simple game:
— Start with your egg carton empty.
— Roll two dice. Place that number of fish in the egg cups. (For example, if you roll a 4 and a 2, place 4 fish in the “4” cup and 2 fish in the “2” cup.)
— Count your fish to see how many you have in all.
— Clear out your egg carton and roll again!
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Play Dough Measuring

Task cards
On each of the tasks cards there are different activities for each student to do that requires students to form the play dough into a specific shape that has a specific length, width, etc.
For example- Form the play dough into “snake” shapes that are 5 cm long.
The task cards can range from form a cube with certain measurements to make a 4 by 6 cm rectangle.
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String Measurement

Student Data Sheet
Use the string to measure around parts of your body (wrist, neck, waist).
Compare the sizes of the pieces of string.
Have the students record their results in a data sheet and ask them questions such as: How many wrist lengths does it take to match the neck length?
Then use the string to measure objects in the classroom (desk, chair,window, teachers desk, etc.)
Once everything is measured, measure the pieces of string with a ruler to convert it into real measurements.
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Numbers and operations- EGG-O

Egg carton with numbers written in the cups
Two chips (or dice, pieces of paper, anything that can easily move around in the egg carton)
Number each circle in the egg carton.
Each student puts the two chips in the egg carton, closes it, and shakes it.
They open it up to see what numbers the chips have landed in.
The students score can be figured out by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing the two numbers (depending on the age and how difficult you want the game to be).
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Additional Resources


Secret Object:

Have students close their eyes and reach into a bag. The students should feel the object, smell the object, roll it around their hands-anything to get their creative minds working without them looking at it. Tell the students to think about the object, what could it be, what could be done with it. Then take the object away from them and tell them to write a creative story based on that object. Once the students have written the story and shared it with the class, bring out the object and show everyone what it is. It’s fascinating to see where their imagination will take them and what kind of story they will write based on a common object when they don’t know what it is!