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Early Childhood

Beginning a science lesson

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Katherine Gill Katherine 160 Points

I am interning right now in a first grade classroom and will have to teach a science lesson on my own soon. I am curious about the best way to start a science lesson to get the students engaged and involved?

Madelyn Johnson Madelyn Johnson 1780 Points

Maybe you could start out with demonstrating an experiment to get them hooked on what you are about to be teaching them. In my second grade class we are learning about reflections and how light works and my hook for getting them engaged was tying it in with literature and playing the video clip of mirror mirror on the wall from snow white.

Angeles Rivero Loyola Angeles Rivero Loyola 1450 Points

I loved the idea of mirror mirror and I would love to remind you something. A great way to engage or hook student is to use what they like, what they see, etc as your engage. For my lesson on heat I started with a song from Frozen where the snowman sings what would summer be like for him. Kids completely loved it and were really engaged from the beggining of the lesson because of this.  

Marlene Cadena Marlene 1275 Points

Hi, I am also in a student teaching program my science teacher taught us to go by a 5E lesson plan which includes (Engagement, Exploration, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate). It really helps in creating a lesson plan to keep the students engaged. It also helps if you have different activities fort he students to explore with, that helped my students when I taught my lesson. I am placed in a kinder classroom so it made me nervous to bring in a lot of materials for them to explore with but it actually works a lot better if you do.

Sarah Benton Feitlinger Sarah Benton 1775 Points

Do you have some materials you can use to make your lesson mysterious? Can you tell a story that will engage them right off the bat? A riddle? The best way to begin a lesson is to pique interest. i.e. learning about states of matter? Blow up a paper bag with air, hold it closed and have students guess what you put inside, giving clues that are characteristics of a gas. I've covered things up with a cloth on the front table so that kids can't see what is coming, but they are curious to know. You can also set up a demo and before doing it just show the materials. Have the kids guess what will happen next. i.e. "I have this balloon, yeast, sugar, water and a bottle, what do you think I could do with these things?" This helps build prediction skills too. Good luck!

Sydney Muldrew Sydney Muldrew 170 Points

Hi! I am in school for teaching and I have to teach a science lesson to a first grade class this semester as well. What would be the best way for me to ensure that I pick a lesson that will be in the right developmental level for them? I feel like teaching science with really young kids is difficult because its tough to decide how complex you can make it, but you don't want to make it too simple to where they get nothing out of it. How do you pick a lesson that falls in the happy medium of challenging but attainable for a younger grade?

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

In the NSTA Science & Children journal, there are monthly features Teaching with Trade books and The Early Years. Both of these include lesson ideas for young students.

Sarah Benton Feitlinger Sarah Benton 1775 Points

First of all, remember that younger children learn by doing. Pick something where they can learn concepts through their own hands-on experience! Although content is important, I would argue that in elementary school learning science skills is more important. What I mean by this is: are they learning to observe and explain their observations? Are they developing hypotheses and making connections based on their prior understanding? Are they learning how the scientific process works? You might check out www.howtosmile.org which is a database of great lesson plans. You can filter by grade. You can always tweak one of these ideas to fit your class (you'll always be doing that) but it will give you a launching point for what might be age appropriate.

Shelby Thomas Shelby Thomas 845 Points

You could demonstrate a science experiment that deals with the topic you are teaching.

Shelby Thomas Shelby Thomas 845 Points

You could demonstrate a science experiment that deals with the topic you are teaching.

George Mehler George Mehler 1575 Points

Katherine, a great way to start off a class is with a "Do Now". Generally this is utilized more by older grades, but it can certainly be simplified for the younger students. Also, the general consensus of this thread seems to be regarding starting the class off with a fun science experiment and I completely agree! Check out the YouTube channel I created for hundreds of free science demonstrations, called FunScienceDemos. They are all common core aligned and offer a wide variety of ideas! Check it out and subscribe to our channel as we will be releasing new videos regularly, https://www.youtube.com/user/funsciencedemos Hope this helps, Dr. George Mehler Ed.D., Temple University

Abby Nunez Abby Nunez 890 Points

Great comments!

Caitlin Woods Caitlin Woods 1235 Points

You want to start off with something that will get them hooked. You need to make it interesting and something that they can then explore on their own. We need to make science fun and allow the students to be explorers/learners.

Karen Ventura Karen Ventura 990 Points

It really depends on what you are teaching. There are tons of ways you can make a lesson a discovery lesson. 1st grade is really fun to teach!

Kimberly Chhouen Kimberly Chhouen 465 Points

I think the best way to start a science lesson is with an engaging and relevant anticipatory set. You could have them watch a video on some phenomena and do a think, pair, share. Or you could have them draw a model or picture of a phenomena. This doubles as somewhat of a pre-assessment since you'll learn what the students already know about the topic. Goodluck!

Alexandra Munoz Alexandra Munoz 380 Points

Hello, Engaging activities can range between different activities depending on the type of lesson you with teaching. Remember that this engaging activity in the beginning should not necessary teach the students right away but a way of having them use their prior knowledge to determine what the lesson will be about. Hands-on activities and having the students get up a move around is a great way of engaging students to become interest and wanting to learn more. I believe technology is another good way of starting the lesson. Maybe showing a introduction video that is age appropriate to spark their attention. Interactive videos have been beneficial for me.  Hope this helps!

Alexandra Munoz Alexandra Munoz 380 Points

Hello, Engaging activities can range between different activities depending on the type of lesson you with teaching. Remember that this engaging activity in the beginning should not necessary teach the students right away but a way of having them use their prior knowledge to determine what the lesson will be about. Hands-on activities and having the students get up a move around is a great way of engaging students to become interest and wanting to learn more. I believe technology is another good way of starting the lesson. Maybe showing a introduction video that is age appropriate to spark their attention. Interactive videos have been beneficial for me.  Hope this helps!

Ruth Cuaboy Ruth Cuaboy 470 Points

Hello, I feel the best way to start a science lesson would be to have an engaging activity. I feel a hands on activity would be a great way to start any lesson since it has the students using all their senses to experiment. You can have the activity in or outside of the classroom to get them motivated to start  learning. I feel the best way to learn is through hand on experiences and as long as you follow an inquiry based learning the students will enjoy the lesson even more. 

Taylor Hurd Taylor Hurd 480 Points

I am currently a student teacher and in my science methods class we learned about an anchoring event. This is a great way to start out a science lesson. In the anchoring event you can do some sort of activity to get the students thinking about what unit they are going to be focusing on. You can also use the information from this anchoring event to design the lessons for the unit. The inforamtion you would gather would be students prior knowledge on the subject and what they need more teaching on. 

Danielle Colchado Danielle Colchado 1260 Points

Many science lessons are driven by a wondering and I have been able to start with my lesson presenting the wondering. But not explicitly more in a way that allows the student to come up with the wondering through my probing questions. Also students are drawn to new tools or just any tools. So having the chance to start the lesson by asking student what could be done with the certain tools being used or in no tools have a live object you would be using in the lesson. My last science I starting with a thinking island that allowed students time to answer the wondering or write other wondering they had over the topic of a life cycle after I presented different videos of tadpoles then an adult frog. 

Brianna Gage Brianna Gage 600 Points

In my Science methods class, we learned that a great way to start a science lesson is to have an anchoring event. For example, we watched a video of a guy breaking a wine glass with the sound of his voice. Without any knowledge, we had to explain what we thought was happening before, during, and after on our group's poster board. As a class we brainstormed ideas and asked the teacher questions. This gave the teachers the opportunity to informally assess how much we knew. With this data, our teacher was able to form a few lessons that allowed us to understand the phenomenon of how the guy was able to break the wine glass with the sound of his voice. Overall, I thought it was a great way to engage the class because it allowed us to see how the new information we learned could be applied to real life experience like our phenomenon of the wine glass shattering. 

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