At the beginning of the year in second grade science, two of the first questions we ask are, “What is a scientist?” and “What do scientists do?”. These free back to school science activities will help you answer those questions and introduce your students to the scientific processes all scientists use.
What Do Scientists Do?
Scientists help us understand our works and how it works. And it all starts with a question. Human discovery, innovation, and new design ideas begin with someone wondering, what would happen, how a problem could be solved, or by searching for an explanation to something unexplained.
Encouraging our students to wonder and question teaches them to think like a scientist.
Introduce the Inquiry Process
Scientist use a special process called the inquiry process. Focusing on each step of this process teaches students the actions scientists take to answer a question.
By becoming familiar with the inquiry process, students gain an understanding of how to plan and carry out investigations.
The lessons in this free unit familiarize students with the steps to the inquiry process. The lessons, teaching Power Point, and activities are included in both a printable and digital version on Google Slides.
Teach Science Process Skills
Students are introduced to the many skills required to design and carry out a reliable science experiment. Those skills, called process skills, standardize an experiment ensuring it is accurate, repeatable, and meaningful.
In this science mini unit, students are introduced to process skills:
- representing data
- controlling variables
After each lesson, students complete turn and talk partner discussions, and journal activities.
Introduce Science Tools and Safety Rules
One of the most important things to teach in science at the beginning of the year, is science safety. Introducing students to science safety rules is a key component, not only for classroom management, but to keep students safe. Familiarizing students with the tools scientists use and proper ways to use them, also ensures student safety and successful labs. I highly recommend teaching those the first week you start science.
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Additional Digital Science Units
CLICK HERE for more interactive, digital science units with narrated audio lessons. Students easily work independently at home or in the classroom!
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