what would be a good way to start off a science lesson? Would a couple of videos to start off a lesson be a good idea?
That is certainly an option. You want to capture the student's attention. Have you heard about the 5 Es Instructional Model? It's a great way to design a lesson. Good luck.
5E and the PEs | NSTA
The best way to start off a lesson is to have students do an investigation on the topic of the lesson. They can try to figure out what's going on with some phenomenon, and then they'll want to learn more, motivated by their own curiosity. See this article on Phenomenon-Based Learning and other articles in the Science 101 columns for activity ideas.
I am a first-year teacher, so I do not claim to be an expert, but I can offer two suggestions.
1. I am currently taking a master's class on science instruction and they suggest using Discrepant Events or Phenomenon to start lessons. This gets students' minds thinking about what causes the phenomenon and ready to discover the scientific explanation. If you search for Discrepant Events on the NSTA website, there are so many to choose from.
2. As an elementary teacher, I like to use read-aloud to introduce our lessons and get the students' interest. For our animal adaptations unit I read the book What If You Had Animal Eyes. My students enjoyed the book, and with our discussions after the reading, they were able to tell me what they already knew about how animals used their physical traits for different purposes.
A big WHY question can be a great jumping off point for a science lesson. It can give kids a chance to think about the topic and make their own educated guesses about what they are going to learn.
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