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Elementary Science

Keeping Science Relevant

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Dounia Bounoua Dounia Bounoua 1315 Points

I was wondering how to keep science relevant to your students. As an adult, I do not enjoy learning things that I cannot connect to my current life. How do you teach science in an elementary school classroom while keeping it relevant to all the students? Thanks for the help.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Try to find news articles about science subjects that are relevant to the students lives or of personal interest to them. There are a lot of science news websites that have new information daily. It might be fun to check one of these first thing each day in science class with your students to see what is going on in the world of science that they might be interested in reading about. Here are a few websites that might help you.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

Here is another outstanding science news website
Quick, informative reads on all science topics for middle, high school, and introductory college
Science News for Students

Dounia Bounoua Dounia Bounoua 1315 Points

Thank you so much for the websites! They are awesome. I think that they have really good tips and suggestions. Thanks again! :)

Cassandra Andreu Cassandra Andreu 2480 Points

Hello, I am still just an education student, but we have been given the advice to conduct surveys with the students. There might be several topics you may be willing to cover, give them a choice as to which ones they find interesting. Or select the topic you do have to teach and find out what ideas from that topic interests them. Hope this helps. -Cassandra

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37248 Points

I love all the suggestions. I would just recommend starting with the standards you are expected to teach and then going to the resources and searching them for anything that connects to your instructional needs. KAthy

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Wow! What great suggestions for making learning relevant. Trying to find ways to make learning relevant is always a challenge. I usually take cues from my students to learn what they are interested in and then use these cues to drive some of the lessons I teach. For instance, when I was teaching at the high school level I had several students who didn't like physical science (a class required for graduation). To find ways to reach my students, I came up with activities like "Can You Crack the Egg Contest." The egg activity demonstrates Pascal's principle. If you place an egg in the palm of your hand and apply equal pressure with all of your fingers, you cannot break the egg (equal pressure to the container--shell--and the fluid within. The kids loved this, and within a few hours, I had kids who weren't in my class coming in to try...and learning about Pascal's principle! :) The magic is finding that magic way to reach the kids. Maureen

Stephanie David Stephanie David 2435 Points

Hi Dounia, I had the same question. From working as tutor I’ve realized that students are able to internalize a concept and digest the information once they are able to make a connection to their everyday life. I think the resources that have been posted have been very useful. If you really know your students and understand their strength and weaknesses you will be able to help them make a connection to what you are teaching them.

Jacquelyn DaMore Jacquelyn DaMore 530 Points

Doiuna, I agree with Kathy; I think it’s important to start with the standards and go from there. I am currently a teacher candidate, however, I observed a few lessons on rocks and minerals in my 3rd grade classroom this semester. My cooperating teacher had sets of rocks and minerals for students to observe and test for various properties in cooperative groups. I feel that because students were able to see and feel these hands-on, it made the lesson all the more relevant. After learning about rocks and minerals, students brought in their own from home and shared them with the class. Students shared where they got them from, why they chose to bring them in, and added them to the classroom “museum” of rocks and minerals. Students were able to make connections from their findings in class to experiences at home. For example, one student brought in a mineral they bought at their trip to Disney World. Students also discussed that lead is a mineral and is found in our pencils that we use every day. I feel that connections such as these make science relevant to students. Hope this helps. Jacquelyn

 Nathan Spriggs 500 Points

I would agree that using current events, news articles, and student interests are good ways to make it relevant. I had students interview their parents about safety and tools at their jobs when we were studying lab safety and scientific tools. Students realized that even though they may not use the same tools or worry about the same safety practices, the skills translated and it became more clear to them why we were learning it.

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