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Life Science

Journals for younger grades

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Anne Hargis Anne Hargis 90 Points


I am currently involved with a second grade classroom, and I was curious on when a good age is to begin science journals? I want to start a month long unit where the students are writing down observations they see when the snow is hitting the ground and it is slowly turning Winter. What are so fun ways to involve them in learning about winter?

Thank you,

Anne Hargis

Pre Service Teacher

Wartburg College

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

I used to teach 2nd grade and we did science journals every year. It was so rewarding when we would come to a topic that we had previously done and one of the students would say wait!!!! It's in my journal. We started out with drawing and labeling and keeping some samples then we added sentences with descriptions and used science vocabulary because we were real scientists. I'll see some of those kids around town and they will tell me they still have their science journals. 

We kept weather logs throughout the year and we kept measurements of their height from the first day of school, Christmas, Easter, and the end of the year. They created graphs with their data. 

I did a leaf experiment with boiling cut up leaves in alcohol and letting it cool. I put a rolled up paper towel over the edge of the pot into the liquid and we could see the liquid wick up the napkin and separate into greens and browns. We talked about the shorter days and photosynthesis. I also read Axel Annie and did the Insta Snow! 

Seriously check into NSTA's book series, Picture Perfect Science and you will be amazed!

Maria Salazar-Perez Maria Salazar-Perez 505 Points

Hi there! I think it’s never too early to begin using journals. The content and level of complexity will certainly change as the grade level gets higher, but even in the really younger grades I’ve seen teachers use journaling in science. I think second grade would be a great year to dive right into them, you can also incorporate ELA into your journal by having students create chapter titles, headers, bold vocabulary words, etc. Similarly, this year, I tried implementing interactive notebooks in science to help supplement the journal. Unfortunately, our copy machine decided to call it quits a out a month into the school year and our replacement arrived about two months after that. I still use a version of the interactive notebook, but it is not what I was aiming for due to the technical difficulties that arose from not having a copy machine. However, we are able to do our fair share of journaling, annotating, and activities in our notebooks.

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