Because it always seems that I have such limited time for science instruction, I like to dive into my grade-level science content as soon as possible at the beginning of the school year. However, there are a few science activities and lessons that I like to do beforehand. This post will share the free back to school science activities that I use the first week of science instruction (link to download the freebies near the end of the post).
Scientific Method Posters and Simple Experiments
I always like to review and reinforce the steps of the scientific method with the help of these scientific method posters. Each poster includes the title of the step, an illustration, and a brief description of the step. The illustrations really help my students remember each step. You can hang these posters in your science center or above your whiteboard to provide constant exposure to the scientific method steps. These can even be printed two to a page and given to students to glue in interactive notebooks.
I definitely don’t like to teach the scientific method in isolation so I like to do a few very simple experiments to demonstrate how the scientific method works when actually doing science. You may already have your go-to back-to-school science experiments, but I’ve included a few very simple ones in the free pack.
The science experiments are super low-prep and really encourage kids to use the scientific method to complete the activities. The experiments are designed with groups in mind but can be completed in pairs as well. Both experiments walk students through the scientific method and help solidify the concept of each step.
Scientific Method Sort
After introducing the scientific method and completing the simple experiments, we are ready to check for understanding and see if the students can identify the steps of the scientific method.
I use this printable sorting activity that gives the students relatable scenarios that they must sort into the steps of the scientific method. Once they know which step is being discussed, students record their answers on the answer sheet that is provided. An answer key is also included for quick grading or self-checking.
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Science Centers with Reading PassagesDo you need science activities that will engage your students, provide reading comprehension practice, and increase their understanding of the science topics? This science bundle includes 63 science centers with passages and comprehension questions. The centers cover a variety of earth science, life science, and physical science topics.
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Science Safety Activities
And finally, we have a few activities specifically on lab and experiment safety. I have a “Safety Rules Handout” that shares my behavior expectations while experiments are being performed. It can also be printed for each student to include in their science notebooks or hung on the wall.
Then, we complete a few activities to test their science safety knowledge.
First, the students read and discuss scenarios where they suggest solutions or next steps for problems or situations. However, they must keep the safety tips and expectations in mind when they are writing about what the student(s) should do.
For the “Safety Scenarios: Safe or Not?” the students read a few scenarios and then determine if the student was being safe and/or following the safety rules. If the student is not being safe, they explain which rule the student broke.
**Typo has been corrected on the directions sheet.**
Get the Free Back to School Science Activities Here
More Back-to-School Activities, Freebies, and Blog Posts
Click on the links below to check out more activities and resources that are perfect for back to school.