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Elementary Science

Making Science Fun

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Daniela Pollato Daniela Pollato 480 Points

How can I help my students with a long term science project that will take several observations for the long run such as growing a plant and observing it thought them losing interest in the topic? 

Matt Bobrowsky Matt Bobrowsky 6325 Points

Hi, Daniela!  How long-term do you want it?  I do a project where students observe the moon each night and keep track of how its position in the sky and phase changes over time.  If you e-mail me, I'll be happy to send more details.

Matt

([email protected])

Hannah Hoffman Hannah Hoffman 380 Points

I think it would help to give the students jobs to take care of the plant that way they feel more involved and it stays moe relevant to them

  • measurer-mesures the plants growth
  • waterer- waters the plant 
  • sunlight check- makes sure the plant is getting sunlight throughout the day
  • photographer takes a picture of the plants growth that week
  • reporter-reports to the class how much it has grown and any other changes

Brooke Smith Brooke Smith 1810 Points

Hi Daniela, 

I am a senior in college on my way to becoming a teacher, and I think you could look for some resources here on NSTA. They have some great lesson plan ideas that follow the 5E model. This model helps the lesson become more engaging and hands-on for students. By making the lessons hands-on where the students can work with manipulatives, they will more likely be intrigued by the activity, which ultimately leads to students understanding the science concepts. I hope this helps! 

Inga Coba Inga Coba 495 Points

Hello Daniela! A science project that I remember doing in Elementary school was watching mold grow on a slice of bread in a ziplock bag and on a slice of bread outside the ziplock bag. After every lesson, the teacher would make us write detailed observations and predictions on what would happen to slice of bread. We had to write what color, shape, and texture the bread had and we also had to calculate how many days it took the bread to grow the mold. It was an interesting concept to learn; it helped us learn how to be patient and observing. Another science project that I remember doing is the life cycle of the butterfly. Everyday, we would watch the catepillar eat and we would write observations according to the guided question provided by the teacher. Somedays, we would write if the caterpillar didn't want to eat or how much the caterpillar ate. Slowly, the butterfly started transforming itself into a chrysalis under a branch. Then, we watched as the caterpillar became a butterfly. This project was one of my favorites. The common startegy that my teachers used to keep us engaged is choosing an interesting science project that causes students to inquire, explore, and wonder. The project must be interesting and if it is not, the teacher should make it interesting by doing different activities that keep students engaged. Instead of doing a powerpoint and teaching from it, the teacher must provide hands on activities and allow students to be the scientist. Teachers must only facillitate the students when it comes to the lesson. 

My favorite science experience in elementary school was building an ecosystem in a 2 liter pop bottle. It was so fun to go to school each day to see what had grown in our ecosystem, and to record observations in our science journals. 

Taryn Turner Taryn Turner 1735 Points

I think things that make science more fun are interactive activites and assigments. One I especially loved was making biomes out of shoe boxes. We learned so much and got to be artistic. This is also a great way to allow your students to explain their work adn the research they have done. 

Jennifer Pena Jennifer Pena 355 Points

As a future educator, I want to know what are ways to teach science especially for the younger grades that will keep my students focused and engaged? What can I do to ensure that my lessons are fun and exciting for them? 

Janet Wong Janet Wong 60 Points

Jennifer, one easy thing to do is to incorporate STEM-themed literature all throughout the day—picture books and poems that introduce and reinforce science concepts and vocabulary. It takes just 10 minutes to share a picture book and just 1 minute to share a poem. If you share a poem, share it (at least) twice: read it the first time alone (just you), and then read it a second time with kids invited to echo an important science word or phrase. For the youngest students, simply becoming familiar with the words is fully half of it! (Find poems in 'The Poetry of Science' column in SCIENCE & CHILDREN that Sylvia Vardell and I prepare each month.) Good luck! Janet

Mallory Frangiosa Mallory Frangiosa 360 Points

Daniela,

I think the great thing about these sorts of projects is that students usually ARE engaged! They want to come in and see their plant's growth and how far it has come since they planted it. There are a ton of resources on here with 3D 5E lesson plans and units and they all include really great ways to get students to conversate, make observations, and remain engaged throughout the duration of a lesson/unit. As long as you are exploring with students, they should love it and be intrigued.

Megan Hardesty Megan Hardesty 500 Points

I feel that one of the best ways to keep students engaged in long-term science (or other content area) projects is to assign jobs, as well as to keep introducing new concepts related to the idea over time. For example, as the seasons change, ask students to compare their own plant growth to the different plants that pop up throughout differing seasons - such as tulips in the spring and mums in the fall. Assigning jobs could be a rotation of picking different students each day to measure, record, make verbal observations, create drawings, be a presenter, et cetera.

Maddie Heffner Maddie Heffner 320 Points

A quick science project/experiment done in my classroom was making a parachute. Students got a paperclip and a piece of paper. We tested to see if folded in certain ways how quickly the paper clip would drop down to the ground. Some students found if just crumpling up the ball it would drop much more quickly. All student shad different parachutes and with just a few materials the students were having the best time with their parachutes.

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