The Art of Teaching Science In Schools
If you stroll into a third-grade classroom and ask how many students like Science, you may not get the response you were expecting. There will be at least a few students who wouldn’t have answered enthusiastically because Science might be the last on their list of favorite subjects. It is truly a pity that despite being one of the most important subjects, Science isn’t every elementary student’s cup of tea.
That said, whether they like it or not, students in this age category cannot avoid learning Science. While older students get to explore the niche aspects of the subject, elementary level Science is more about learning the basics. Hence, if students need to develop an affinity for the subject, it needs to be presented correctly.
Science educators from most schools in Chennai, including Babaji Vidhyashram School, say that the Science textbook should only be used as a supplementary in the classroom. There are more exciting ways to teach Science and make kids love the subject. Our blog presents some amazing teaching methods to inculcate elementary Science for young students. Start implementing them in your teaching as soon as you can.
8 Engaging Methods To Inculcate Science
- Encourage two-way interaction
Are you the kind of teacher who opens the textbook and starts a monologue about the lesson? If you are, it’s time to change your approach to learning. Without classroom interaction, children tend to become bored and distracted very easily. Two-way interaction is critical, especially for a subject like Science.
Engage students by asking questions such as:
- What will happen next?
- Do you know why this reaction took place?
- What is the name of this part of the plant?
- Can you guess the name of this animal?
Classroom interaction ignites and stimulates critical thinking skills, fostering proper brain maturation for this age group. Questions drive their thought process and encourage them to find answers. And if they answer correctly, they will be encouraged all the more to be interactive in class.
- Move from theories to practical concepts
Elementary students are at that age where they are drawn by what they see rather than what they hear. Hence the best way to encourage conceptual understanding of Science is to experiment and see the theories in practice. Hands-on experiments, activity-based, and out-of-class learning are ideal practices to teach Science.
- Set up simple experiments to demonstrate chemical reactions.
- Display biological samples to explain simple concepts like photosynthesis.
- Ask children to collect specimens like plants, insects, rocks, etc.
- Take them on a nature walk.
- Allow them to participate in simple, safe experiments.
- Encourage independent investigation
Elementary school children are naturally curious. Therefore, capitalizing on their curiosity is a brilliant way to teach Science. Provide them with tools like:
- Magnifying glass
- Baking soda
Encourage them to conduct their experiments independently under your supervision and guidance. Provide them with science supplies so they can discover things for themselves. The hands-on experience enhances their ability to learn concepts that would otherwise be difficult for them to memorize.
- Include STEAM projects
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths. This innovative method of learning incorporates all these subjects as projects and lessons. STEAM learning is considered the best option to prepare students for 21st- century education. E.g., one of the best IGCSE schools in Chennai, International Village School, incorporates STEAM in its teaching methodologies.. Education experts say that STEAM projects encourage student inquiry and critical thinking.
- Adopt inquiry-based lessons
Have you ever kickstarted a new lesson with a question? Try doing that, and you will be surprised to see how a single question captures your students’ attention. Inquiry-based teaching will get students wondering about possible scenarios and solutions.
The more questions you put forth, the more explanations they will come up with. Based on their answers, you can guide them to investigate further, grab the concept, and understand the process. Finally, when they arrive at the right conclusion, they would’ve given their best and made a worthwhile effort in class.
- Incorporate eye-catching videos
The average elementary student has a short attention span, thanks to the easy access to technology at every turn. You will lose your students in no time if you resort to teaching straight out of a Science textbook. The solution? Be creative with your teaching methods.
Create short videos that explain the topic of the day. Videos will :
- Make your students look forward to Science classes.
- Help them easily understand Science concepts,
- Encourage them to rewrite the concepts in their own words.
- Eliminate rote learning and memorizing from the textbook.
- Ask for students’ opinions
Not many schools understand that when students have a say in what they learn, they develop greater interest. If you have a dozen Science topics for the term, list them on the blackboard and ask your students to pick their choice. You can also ask them to write their choice on paper or choose the topic by popularity votes. Prioritizing their opinion will make students feel valued, induce a love for the subject, and foster curiosity about the day’s topic. So, it is a win-win situation for everyone!
- Host Science fairs
Science fairs are, no doubt, an elaborate process. However, it is a proven way to encourage student involvement and engagement. To make your Science fair a success, designate each student with a project demonstrating a Science concept. Ensure that the concept is related to the prescribed syllabus to make it easy for the student.
Your projects can include concepts such as:
- Solar system
- Photosynthesis in plants
- Distance of the planets from the sun
- Volcanic eruptions
- Human digestive system
- Seed sprouting
- Liquid density experiments
- Butterfly life cycle
You can spice up the Science fair with fun activities and contests for students, parents, and teachers. Also, ensure that each student gets an opportunity to present their experiment to the guests.
Why Is Teaching Science So Important?
Whether we know it or not, Science is an integral part of our everyday lives. Everything is based on Science, from the technology and transport, we use to our food and the medicines we rely on. Besides, the quickly accelerating pace of discovery and research further underlines the importance of teaching the subject so that future generations contribute to it.
Teaching Science is an art. It requires an in-depth love and understanding of the subject. To encourage the same in elementary students, you can adopt the effective teaching techniques we’ve mentioned here. By fostering a love for the subject, you can set the course for future careers that create history.
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