Once upon a time it was my second year of teaching. It was the month of May and it was time for science. I was giving my students directions so that we could transition from math to science. That's when it happened. One of my students blurted out, "What is science?". My mouth dropped open. IT WAS MAY! What do you mean what is science? I have been teaching you science since August, and I thought I was doing a good job too! (Obviously I was mistaken!!!!) This was an ah-hah moment. We had done experiments, we had used science tools and yes we had even created a science fair project. Yes, I had taught science lessons all year long, but I had never taught my students what science actually is. Ever since that year, I have worked hard to teach my students what science is and how to be a scientist. Teaching science has become one of my favorite things to teach, ESPECIALLY at the beginning of the school year. I teach my little ones that they are scientists, and this unit pretty much prepares my students to be scientists for the rest of the year.
To start off I use lots of books to teach about what science is, how they are scientists every day and the scientific process. These are some of my favorites.
I teach about the different kinds of scientists, which gets them VERY interested in science and helps them understand that they are scientists!
We also think about how we are scientists every day.
After we understand what a scientist is and what a scientist does, we start to explore science tools. I teach the students how to use each science tool the correct way. This helps eliminate future problems such as..."Please stop using the ruler as a weapon." and "No, a dropper is not for putting water in your friends' ears." or my personal favorite "No, science tweezers are not for plucking your eyebrows." (not speaking from experience or anything!) After teaching how to use each tool I set up super simple stations to actually get our hands on the tools and to use them. Some of the stations get MESSY...like really MESSY, and well if you know me you know that me and messes don't go well together, BUT if you saw my kids using science talk and getting into it...it is worth all of the mess!
Now we are ready to dive in and really start learning about the scientific process. Of course, we HAVE to make a craftivity before the unit is over!!! After this unit every student understands what science is and even better they tell me about how they were scientists daily. When it rains they tell me how they were a meteorologist and when we are at recess they tell me about how they are entomologists or botanists...it definitely makes my heart sparkle!
Need help with your science instruction? Here are some science resources that you may find helpful.
And we all lived happily ever after in Science Land! ;)