While teachers know that students love experimenting, hands-on learning, and discovering the science in the world around them, test makers have focused so much on math and reading that there is little time for science instruction in the classroom. Thankfully, there are some really good ways to integrate science into math and language instruction. Find out how to make science fun in your classroom with these four easy ideas.
How to Make Science Fun
Cook It Up!
Cooking in the classroom provides students with hands-on science, math, and reading possibilities. Trail Mix and lemonade are great options for a lesson on mixtures and solutions. Not only do students get to see first-hand the difference between the two, but they get to eat and drink their lesson. Reading the directions, measuring out the ingredients, and then formulating responses to science questions about the process and results combine to make a lesson that is not only fun, but that addresses math and reading along with the science component.
Go Outside and Write
Fresh air does wonders for students’ (and teachers’) attitudes. It wakes up their bodies and makes learning come alive. During the spring months, have students journal about the changes in their outside environment while sitting around the playground. Ask them to observe the entire schoolyard or focus on one small area. Encourage the use of vibrant adjectives in their writing. Have them measure and record changes in growth of the flowers or grass for math integration. Talk about the change of seasons, the tilt of the Earth, and the importance of keeping the environment clean. When you go back to the classroom, your students will be awake and ready to learn.
Put It In Pictures
Being a good observer is key in science and there is no better way to do it than in pictures. Ask students to take pictures of their surroundings. Discuss textures, lines, shapes, living vs. non-living things, and more from the pictures that students take. Compare photos from the past with the current ones to see how the environment, the town, and the world has changed. Take the photos one more step and use them as writing prompts for journal time during language arts or morning activities.
Plan a Garden
What does it take to plan a garden? Well, you need to know the area of the space you have to work with, the amount of fencing you will need around the perimeter, and the amount of sun your spot will receive. Ask students to plan a hypothetical garden for a spot around the school. Discuss ways to conserve water and energy while sustaining the garden. Research what types of vegetables will grow the best in the area available and estimate the amount of food that can be harvested in one season. Learn about different types of soils and why some are better than others. Talk about growing time, how the sun changes position over the course of the season, and calculate when things need to be planted based on recommended growing time. At the end, have students write a proposal to present to the school’s administration about implementing a garden and back it up with the research and calculations that were done during the lesson.
What are some of your favorite ways to make science fun in and out of the classroom? Share your ideas with us!
Looking for really good science resources and activities? Check out the Science Resources at Really Good Stuff!