Hi everyone! How many of you have an hour each day to spend on science? What about a half hour? What about ten minutes? Ok, most of you are probably like, extra time. What is that? The struggle is for real. Yet, fitting science in your primary class is so very important.
First off, it is important because you are going to have some curious little minds in your classroom that have a desire to learn everything about everything. Some students might actually prefer non-fiction to fiction too. There are going to be children in your classroom that you can better engage with topics on frogs, penguins, pumpkins, and so on than with some made up story of a kid and his talking pet pig. Now I can spit off other reasons you don’t want to skip over science, but if for any reason, it is for reaching students and engaging them.
So take a deep breath! You can do this! I got some ideas below. Some you probably know to do, but I hope to add some fresh ideas while covering all bases too.
Include some books when you are reading a story aloud to the classroom. Having a nice balance of 50% fiction and 50% non-fiction is great!
Finding some guided reading books on non-fiction for levels AA-D is like finding gold! They do exist! Being able to add that pumpkin reader in when you just did a read aloud on pumpkins is such a great extension!
Include writing about the science topic in your writing workshop or during guided writing after you have incorporated a read aloud or a book in guided reading. You could add a fun craft twist on it to make it even more engaging and exciting.
Do you have a fun experiment that belongs outdoors? Do it when you are bringing students outside for recess. Usually it just takes a few moments to make a soda bottle explode from the mentos, and then students can carry on with their play.
Do you have a struggle in your classroom with transition times? Are students taking too long to pack up right before leaving? If you have an experiment that you will be demonstrating to the classroom and letting them observe that is not very time consuming, you could use it as a motivator to get them to pack up those bags quickly or to clean up centers swiftly. Just let the student know that if they are packed up by so and so time, you will have time to squeeze in a science experiment. I recommend keeping it positive though. You don’t want it to turn into a punishment type of thing, just something that you honestly can have time to squeeze in if time allows. I recommend keeping it positive. Children love experiments, so be ready for those centers to be cleaned up fast!
Some science activities can tie in with math. You can add that as a math center or tie in the theme if there is not much connection. Some examples: Measure the “dinosaur bones” with counting cubes or inches as they dig for the “bones.” (These can be print outs of course!) Let them count the pumpkin seeds to a 100 from a pumpkin you cut open earlier. Measuring water in different size containers is another good one.
Morning work can be meaningful because it is review time and time to work on important skills like handwriting, but it is possible that some of you could exchange that time once a week for doing a science activity too. This will start the day off with a bang and get them excited about learning!
If you don’t have time to focus on science right after a read aloud, don’t stress it. You can always add a reading response craft as one of your reading centers. Setting out an example and picture directions will help them to be independent at the center. Students can do things like label the parts of an ant. They can also write all about bees or the life cycle of a flower. You can also have students open non-fiction books that were used during the read aloud on a device like an iPad or tablet to help them recall important details from the pictures and inspire their science craft creations. The crafts below come with non-fiction books that pair with them.
I hope some of these ideas get you thinking about how to integrate and fit science in your classroom. Maybe you were able to spring some ideas off my suggestions above for fitting science in your classroom. If so, I would love to hear some of those ideas below in the comments. Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class! Make sure to sign-up for email below. I have some upcoming blog posts with exclusive freebies planned!