OBP - February 2023


Forums / Elementary Science / Getting students involved and excited about science

Elementary Science

Getting students involved and excited about science

Author Post
Haley Maxwell Haley Maxwell 550 Points

Hello, I am a preservice teacher and currently in school pursuing elementary education. As I am doing my field hours I have noticed it is quite difficult to get the students engaged and excited to do science lessons and experiments. Does anyone have any tips or strategies that have worked in the past?

Olivia Wooff Olivia Wooff 3410 Points

I would make the lessons and activities hands-on. Get the students moving around and interacting with classmates. This will help build the energy in the room and keep the lessons engaging. Find out what the students interests are and build on that to meet their needs. Let the students have choice in the experiments they create and do. Let the students explore on their own and learn by doing.

Sara Pierce Sara Pierce 3922 Points

I agree! The more hands on activities you can incorporate as well as trying to integrate other subjects too!

Jacqueline Mask Jacqueline Mask 385 Points

Hello, I have been teaching for over 25 years and Science is my passion. My tip to you would be to use everyday household items to make Science real to the students. For example, I have used a banana and mallet to demonstrate physical changes of matter.

Eddy Martinez Eddy Martinez 1440 Points

Hi Haley,

I am student teaching this semester in a 5th grade classroom. I have spoken many times with the 5th grade Science teacher about what type of lesson he teacher as well as what strategies he uses to get the students engaged and motivated. He tells me that all of his lessons are written in the 5E model.

If you do not know yet the 5E lesson model consists of:
Engagement: Getting the students interested
Exploration: Hands-on activities
Explanation: Questions or techniques you will use to help students make connections.
Elaboration:Students develop deeper understanding of the concepts. Vocabulary introduction and connection to their observations. Connection to daily life.
Evaluation: What you will use to see if the lesson was successfully understood.

The Science teacher has told me that what he does to get the students attention or peek their interest in the lesson is to play music or show a video that is connected to the lesson. overall he has ensured me that having students do many hands-on activities is the best way for the students to learn. He also said that when it is their turn to explore we should back off as much as possible so the students can take control of what they are learning and this way they can create deeper connections in their brains.

I really hope this helps.

Rafael Cerda Rafael Cerda 145 Points

Hello Haley Maxwell, Like the others have said, I believe having hands on activities will definitely get your students engaged about science. You also have to make the activities relevant to the students as well so it them becomes meaningful. I would also recommend using the 5E model for planning my lessons/activities.

London Eaves London Eaves 325 Points

Hello, I have found an article on how to make students engaged and excited to learn ! http://www.teachhub.com/5-teaching-strategies-keep-class-interesting Make sure you're a very interactive teacher and you make it fun and engaging to learn. I have found that many experiments, and hands on activities have been helpful in the science classroom. Also, technology is a huge thing! Children love technology and it keeps them engaged and interested. Hope this helps !

Erin Scroggin Erin Scroggin 3185 Points

I also agree with the hands-on activities to get the students engaged. Another way that could work would be showing exciting videos or for the younger kids, reading a relatable book. Anything to really catch their attention can be beneficial.

Sadie Backoff Sadie Backoff 3025 Points

I agree with everyone else! By making your activities hands-on and allowing for the students to explore the topic is going to be a great way for you to engage your students more, allowing them to be more excited about the lessons, and your lessons won't be so boring to the students. They will want to participate more if they know they have the option to be doing more than just listening to you give your lesson!

Miriam Luna Miriam Luna 495 Points

Hello, I am currently a student teacher in a 2nd grade classroom and what I have noticed that works is first the enthusiasm and interaction of the teacher when teaching the lesson. Students seem to be super engaged when you show videos (my teacher will stop the video and ask questions). Also for experiments they always work better when it is a hands-on activity and they are familiar with items. We were doing a lesson on man-made and natural resources and she put all types of items (a grape, a pencil, a cotton ball, a wooden block, dried parsley, and more) in a brown bag and each student in the group had to identify the item as man-made or natural resource. This was a great lesson and all the students really enjoyed it.

Dong Ngo Dong Ngo 845 Points

Honestly, I've been using pinterest as a hub of ideas for science experiments. There are so many to sift through that you'll eventually find something that might capture your student's attention. After I find something I like, I go straight to Dollar Tree to gather the materials. As for incorporating enthusiasm into the classroom: I like to expand the lesson (depending on the scope of the lesson) with the finale of the experiment on the last day (or Friday). This gives the students something to look forward to, especially if they're not entirely sure what is going on. It creates curiosity and excitement. Each day throughout the week, just continue the lesson, a little at a time. Once you get to the experiment, hopefully the students are fully engaged by then. If the experiment does spark and interest, then build on that for future lessons and experiments.

Tomioka Gonzalez TOMIKA GONZALEZ 130 Points

I think with science you have to make it very hands on to engage the students, not only to have fun but to learn while having fun.

Andrea Leal Andrea Leal 210 Points

I would definitely include a lot of hands on activities for the students to use, and i think that it is important to show excitement when teaching science to peak your students interest.

Claire Kennedy Claire Kennedy 160 Points

I've noticed that Pinterest has a lot of free lessons/activities. You can find a lot of fun, hands-on lessons/activities, that can keep the students engaged and participating! I also recommend getting ideas for lessons from your students to find out what they are interested in. This will get your students more excited about lessons.

Taylor Ponsonby Taylor Ponsonby 700 Points

Hello Haley, I think this is a great question! I was also wanting to know what grade level you are completing your field experience in? Last semester, I was in a 1st grade classroom, and this semester I am student teaching in a 4th grade math and science classroom. While I didn't get to observe a lot of 1st grade science lessons, I did however, get the gist of how these usually go. There are several obvious differences between 1st grade and 4th grade science besides the age of the students. I am noticing that 4th grade science is much more complex therefore it usually requires more worksheets and flashcard activities than 1st grade science. I remember last semester, my cooperating teacher had her students measure different objects with popcorn kernels. The kids absolutely loved it! I think it's a matter of finding materials and activities that make science much more relatable for your students. As others have mentioned, Pinterest has a lot of great ideas that you might want to incorporate into your own classroom. Science is not all about worksheets and powerpoints, it's about getting your students to learn more about the world we live in through hands-on activities and experiments.

Adrene Henninger Adrene Henninger 700 Points

I am in my first semester of student teaching this semester. I agree hands on activities seem to keep students interest. Every time I watch my mentor teacher teach Science with hands on activities, students seem to grasp information easier and stay on task.

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