Saturday, October 5, 2013

What Can a Scientist Do?

I missed posting about this at the beginning of the year, but I thought I would go ahead and post it now. My friend Shelly shared with me some science exploration stations she created in her classroom in order to introduce what scientists do. I loved the idea so I went searching around online to see what ideas I could find. What I ended up doing was a combination of Shelly's ideas and Kathryn Warner's unit Learning How to Use Science Tools: Science Notebook Recording Sheets. I used these stations to introduce science, but they could also be used separately as you reach them in your curriculum.

We read the book What is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. 

Then we charted things a scientist can do. You can find the chart pieces here
Scientists can perform experiments. This is a Kool-aid/baking soda experiment from Kathryn's unit. There are recording sheets for each station, so you can talk about how scientists observe and record their observations too. 

Scientists observe things. I had my students use magnifying glasses to closely examine shells and look for their properties. This is a great tool lesson that you can do at any point in the year. Kathryn's unit has a great recording sheet with mini pictures that the kids can look at with magnifying glasses and then match to the larger picture. 

Scientists can measure things. If I were to do this activity again, I would use one type of counter and one object. I put out too many objects and had to take some back. This is a great station and recording sheet for when you teach about matter and mass. 
Scientists discover. My students explored how much rice each cup could hold and then compared how much each cup held to see which one held the most. This is a great activity and recording sheet for a lesson on capacity. 
Scientists perform tests. Students explored how many drops of water would fit on a penny. Shelly had her students wear aprons, gloves, and goggles at the different stations, so I threw in some safety goggles here to teach how scientists have special equipment to keep them safe.  
Scientists can use tools. This station was a tool/toy sort. My students had a hard time finishing this station because of the cutting. If I did this over I would pre-cut the pictures using a paper cutter. Then I would sort them and make a different basket for each picture so kids only had to glue them or I would pre-cut them and have single sets in a baggie for kids to use. If you do this as an individual lesson, time should not be factor. 

5 comments:

Mrs. Clancy said...

I ALMOST bought this unit and know that I have read your post I probably will copy everything you did! Love this! Melissa

Erin Chapman said...

This is great! Did you do all these centers at once?

Mrs. Larremore said...

There was a different station at each table. The kids rotated through them. We did three each day.

Mrs. Larremore said...

There was a different station at each table. The kids rotated through them. We did three each day.

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