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Teaching the Scientific Method

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Are you teaching the scientific method to your students? The first science lesson to start fourth grade while I was in the classroom was about the scientific method.  It was the foundation for our labs and hands on activities.  We used the scientific method daily.  Because of that, my students needed to really know it and understand it in order to be able to use it. 

I figured I would share a few tips, lessons, and activities that I found helpful when teaching the scientific method. 

What is the scientific method?

  The scientific method is a process used to explore our observations and answer questions.  There are 6 steps and they are:

Steps of the scientific method image:
1. observe and ask questions
2. form a hypothesis
3. plan the experiment
4. conduct the experiment
5. analyze and draw conclusions
6. share findings

Introduce Vocabulary

In teaching any new topic (or new for the school year) we should begin with a vocabulary review.  I created a freebie as part of my science content vocabulary acquisition line for the scientific method.  The aim of this freebie is to really have students own the vocabulary and understand it.  They will focus on the steps of the scientific method and learn the parts before putting it to use. Click below to get the freebie!

Scientific Method Freebie

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    What next?

    After our thorough vocabulary lesson I like to put what they have learned to practice with a quick lab or hands on activity.  You can do a quick online search and come up with many great ideas.  I typically did this quick and easy Rock Observation Lab which is in my TpT store.  I like to pick something that is fairly quick and relatively easy so that the students are able to navigate it without great difficulty. Another one I did was a simple sink or float lab. Students would bring in an object from home and we would test to see if they would sink or float in water. The key is to keep it simple while introducing the scientific method.

    Text says: Teacher and student directions: a quick and engaging lab to teach the steps of the scientific method.  Two worksheets are pictured that include directions
    Text says: student sheets
3 student sheets for rock observation lab are pictured

    Revisit and Reinforce

    The steps of the scientific method were always on display in my classroom.  I used this poster set that I created. The posters were laminated for durability and I placed them in an area the students could see.  (please note that the poster set doesn’t include the 6th step of sharing findings)  

    image shows scientific method posters

    As I said before, the key is to revisit the topic of the scientific method constantly.  It should be something that the students own.  However, I remind my students that the scientific method is evolving and isn’t rigid.  There are steps we may repeat.  We may start in different places.  There are also steps we may omit.     How do you teach the scientific method?

     

    My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

    I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

    I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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