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How to incorporate textbooks with hands-on learning

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Gianna Petrucci Gianna Petrucci 680 Points

Hi all! 

I am a pre-service teacher looking for some advice on how to incorperate more hands on learing along with textbooks. I know that my observations in the science portion of the class focuses heavily on what the tetbook says, and students basically just read out of the book and then talk about what they have read. This way of teaching/learning is probably the most condusive to the very limited time they have. 

But I am curious as to more interactive ways of teaching science. Science is a very interesting subject, but almost all of the students show little interest or completely zone out. I think for that particular group of kids, something more interactive would make learning science concepts so much more fun. 

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 88673 Points

Hi Gianna,

You bring up an important concern that many elementary teachers have when they are given a science textbook and no professional development on how to incorporate the reading material with other resources that might be available either in the way of kits or online resources through the text book companies.  There are a few online science textooks now that attempt to include a plethora of resources that are often daunting to try to digest in order to implement.

Don't hesitate to contact textbook companies and ask for help!  That should be something they are willing to do if they want to have 'happy' customers. In the meantime, the NSTA has a wealth of hands-on resources on all of the science content areas.  It may be up to you to sift through and find just the right one for a particular topic in order to help your students investigate the phenomenon and make sense of it.  Identify what the standard is for the textbook content, and search for a hands-on lesson that focuses on that phenomenon in the standard.

Best wishes for a highly successful and effective teaching career!



Carolyn Mohr

David Thurlow David Thurlow 500 Points

Hi Gianna,

If your science textbook is anything like the ones at my placement than I'd assume that there are diagrams and experiements throughout it. A lot of times these experiments don't require too much super specialized equipment. Also, I was able to borrow some supplies from the 5th grade science teacher in my building. Are there any higher grade science teachers in your building?


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