Sadly, not all elementary and primary teachers have a set time for science. For several years in a row, I had 45 minutes twice a week to teach science. And I’ll tell you, it just isn’t enough. So what did I do? I figured out ways to use science content to teach other subjects! Read on as I lay out some creative ways to fit science in to an already overscheduled day!
How to Fit Science In To Your Literacy Block
You can teach a multitude of reading standards using science content. Informational books, science readers, passages, and articles on scien topics are ideal for teaching text structure and building close reading skills.
Leveled science passages & readers (source)
Science topics lend themselves well to teaching cause and effect, fact and opinion, main idea, non-fiction text features, building vocabulary, and locating text evidence.
leveled science passages (source)
Include science in your literacy centers
Use science vocabulary for students to practice word parts, dictionary skills, parts of speech, and categorizing. In second grade we include science vocabulary, wherever it fits, into small group word study. Task cards that involve reading science content are an easy way to fit science into your literacy centers.
I created a series of 2nd and 3rd grade audio science lessons for independent work in a technology or listening center. Each lesson slide is read aloud and has a short digital quiz in a fill in the blank or short written response format. Click here to see the narrated science lessons.
Integrate Science During Math
Math is a natural partner to science. Use your science topics to create math story problems for students to solve. Easily write your own story problems or get ready to use math word problem cards included in many of my science units. Be sure to read the description to make sure science centers are included.
Fractions: Students learning about inherited traits and heredity have the perfect opportunity to also practice fractions. Ask students to determine the fraction that represents the number of animals or plants in a group that have certain traits.
Measurement: Measurement activities can be included by making maps and measurements of landforms, measuring weather temperature, rainfall, and wind speed.
Data and graphing: It just so happened that during our unit on data and graphing we were also raising butterflies. We graphed the stages of the life cycle and practiced calendar skills as we collected data in our observation journals.
Plan Ahead to Fit Science In
Alternate between science and social studies
There have been years where I taught science for 9 weeks followed by 9 weeks of social studies. Other years I taught a science unit for one-three weeks depending on the unit and then switched to a social studies uni. I found that alternating in 9 week blocks was easier to plan and pace.
Plan Friday Afternoon Science Activities
Do a science based “fun Friday”. If you already do fun Friday afternoon activities, why not make them science-based? Here are a few ideas:
Get students drawing
Have students think like engineers by analyzing the design of common classroom tools.
Make a blueprint
Ask students to make a “blueprint” of a classroom object with labels and measurements so that someone could build it.
These free science and engineering posters are an engaging and easy way to introduce your students to science and engineering practices.
Describe the properties of matter
Use a variety of crackers from the dollar store for students to observe and describe their properties. If you aren’t able to use food in your classroom use objects around the room or inside students’ desks instead.
Cracker lab activity (source)
Investigate reversible and irreversible changes
Make ice cream in a bag or root beer floats to demonstrate reversible and irreversible changes. See how to make ice cream in a bag.
Changing matter lab (source)
Get crafty and build models
plant adaptations lab (source)
Take A Virtual Field Trip
Reinforce science topics you are teaching with virtual field trips and videos. I’ve put together a clickable guide of educational videos on habitats and ecosystems that I’m happy to send you.
Click here and I’ll send you the FREE Habitats Video Guide. Be sure to check spam if you don’t see my email. It’s best to use a personal email address as schools often block outside emails with attachments.
Get ready to teach science lesson plans, labs, activities and assessments in complete science units for 2nd and 3rd grade in my shop!
There are lots of ways to integrate sience throughout the day in your lassroom. It’s so important that our students get time for science and I hoe you’ll try some of these ideas. Pin this post for later to come back to when you plan!