Teach Science Activities with crafts & projects...
One way to teach science activities is to combine science with crafts and other projects.
Providing children with hands on experiences motivates them to ask questions and investigate.
This leads to problem solving, testing and experimenting which requires children to think spatially and numerically about their surroundings.
8 steps to science activities that help kids problem solve, test & experiment
- Encourage children to investigate with conversations, literature and demos.
- Direct children’s attention to focus on a specific topic.
- Encourage activities using children's senses.
- Encourage children to collect, sort, classify and arrange.
- Encourage children to compare using measuring and testing and by observing quantity, size, position or proportion.
- Teach vocabulary to help children describe their observations.
- Teach children methods to record observations.
- Direct children to investigate further with conversation and more demos... repeat
8 Steps to Science Example: Let's Make a Leaf Person
1. Encourage kids to investigate with conversations and demos:
- Discuss how the children can make leaf people too.
- Kids go outside and collect leaves.
- Press the leaves in an old phone book for 4 or 5 days, just enough to flatten them but not make them brittle.
- After a few days put some leaves in the science center for the children to play with.
- In a circle time, pass out 3 or 4 leaves to each student.
- Ask students what they notice about the leaves.
3. Encourage science activities using senses:
- Get the kids to smell the leaves and touch them. Do they all smell the same? Do they feel the same?
4. Encourage children to collect, sort, classify and arrange:
- Place 2 or 3 hula hoops on the carpet and have children sit around them with their leaves
- Ask how can we sort the leaves? Children may say these ones are longer, let’s put the long ones in the yellow hoop. These ones have bumpy sides. All leaves with bumpy sides go in the blue hoop. These leaves are all small so let’s put them all in the red hoop.
5. Encourage children to compare using measuring and testing and by observing quantity, size, position or proportion:
- Let’s compare how many one-inch blocks fit on the long leaf and how many one-inch blocks fit on the wide leaf...see sample image on this page
- Let’s line up the leaves from longest to shortest.
- Show me how you can sort the leaves by color
- Are there more green leaves or more leaves that are not green
- Here are three leaves. One has been dried for a day, the other for 3 days and the last one for 2 weeks. Let's squeeze each one and see what happens.
6. Teach vocabulary to describe observations:
- These long leaves come from the Eucalyptus tree. The bumpy things on the back of the leaves are called “leaf veins”.
- This leaf is heart shaped but these ones are ovals. Can you see any fan shaped leaves?
- This leaf is not brittle, but the other two are very brittle. They crumbled into pieces easily.
7. Teach children methods to record observations:
- As you go along (not all in one day) model recording your observations, comparisons, and measuring.
- Finally use two or three leaves for an art project (see image above).
- To make a leaf person, glue a leaf to a paper for a body, another one for a head.
- Choose legs and arms, cut leaves and glue for eyes, legs, etc.
8. Direct children to investigate further with conversation and demos for more science activities:
- I wonder which leaves are heavier?How could we find out?
- Let’s put 10 of the eucalyptus leaves in one side of the balance scale and 10 apple leaves in the other side of the balance scale… Go back to step 1 above…