Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschooler, there’s no better feeling than showing a little one just how amazing the world of science can be.
After all, science explains everything about the world around us, and always leaves you wanting to know more.
The only question is: how do you bring it to life in a way that will satisfy even the most inquisitive mind?
To give you plenty of sparks of inspiration, we’re going to look at what you need to plan a brilliant, informative physics, biology or chemistry class.
Then, we’ll even finish things up with four of our favorite science lesson plans.
Ready to blast off?
5 steps to planning a brilliant science lesson
Delivering a great science lesson is all about planning.
Organizing your thoughts allows you to really get your passion across to your students — and that’s what really brings subject to life.
Luckily there’s a tried and tested 5-step approach to rolling out a successful lesson. Following this will make formatting your science lesson plans easier than ever:
Step 1: Engage your class
What do you need to do to connect with the individual needs of your student(s)?
If you’re a public school teacher, chances are you’ll have a class full of varying learning styles — and it’s your job to cater to each.
As a homeschooling parent, your challenge is a little less demanding. But it’s still definitely worth discovering your child’s most natural learning style, so you can shape inspiring science lesson plans to get them engaged.
For example, you could plan a whole one-hour session dedicated to them copying chemical formulas out of a book. But what are they really going to learn from that?
Ideally, you want them to ask questions, think long and hard, and get involved as much as possible. Science is such an engaging, exhilarating process of discovering how the world works — so make sure you set that tone from the second the science lesson begins.
Step 2: Link to prior learning
If you introduce a totally new topic, out of thin air, then your lesson is going to go one of two ways: You might find everyone is on the edge of their seats ready to hear more. Or you might find they all switch off because they have no idea what you’re talking about.
This is where the prior learning stage comes into its own. The best way to get your whole class onboard is to link your lesson to something your students already know a lot about.
Let’s say you’re covering meteor showers. Before dropping complex terms like ‘cosmic debris’, you should start with stars. You can say that meteors are sometimes called ‘shooting stars’, but that actually meteors are very different. Then, you can start to explain what a meteor is… (but we are jumping ahead to our next step now!)
Drip feed your information from the start, using links to guide the way, and you’ll find your science lessons go much more to plan!
Step 3: Introduce new concepts with enough detail
Next up you want to start introducing the new topic’s key ideas.
Imagine if you were talking about extreme weather conditions, for example. Here you’d want to outline what the atmosphere is, what it does, and how it influences the type of weather we get every day.
That all-important background knowledge will allow the class to follow the rest of what you have to say.
Step 4: Building
This is where it gets really fulfilling — step 4 is all about building new knowledge.
It’s time to hone in on more challenging content, focusing on a few really important facts, and take the time to answer their questions.
The building stage is all about giving students the chance to clarify anything that’s on their mind, in case they didn’t follow what you said. Be patient and think about ways to explain the key concepts in a variety of different ways.
Step 5: Applying new learning
If step 4 is super fulfilling, then step 5 is all about the fun.
Because, if you really want your lesson to stick, then your next move should be to apply what the class has just learned. Perhaps you’re building circuit boards to flow electricity. Or testing the chemical reactions between two elements.
Make this ‘application’ activity as interactive and engaging as possible, and you’ll surely find every child takes something away from the lesson.
By seeing science in action, and testing their own understanding at the same time, students will be able to start joining up all the new and exciting ideas you’ve just introduced them to.
Then, all that’s left to do is work out which of the many application activities is right for your science class…
3 great ways to apply new scientific knowledge
There are dozens of different ways to apply scientific knowledge. Whilst this choice may be overwhelming, having a menu to choose from is ideal when you consider that every child will have their own unique way of learning and understanding the world.
Here are a few of our favorites to get things started:
Explore the topic through worksheets
Science worksheets are a great way to summarize a lesson and informally assess a child’s current understanding.
When you come across an engaging worksheet — especially one that’s pitched at the right level — keep a copy of it because you’ll be using it again and again.
Build scale models
There’s nothing quite like bringing science to life in the classroom.
Imagine telling a child that the Earth is really quite small, and seeing them just nod in agreement.
Now imagine working with them to build a model that shows the Earth compared to the rest of the solar system. And how the solar system fits in with the rest of the galaxy!
Now that’s an inspiring science class!
Conduct a mind-blowing experiment
Experiments are arguably the most engaging way to introduce students to science.
They’re interactive, thought-provoking, and are sure to get them thinking about what the big ideas mean — so make sure they form a central part of your lessons wherever possible.
Lastly, 4 lesson plans that will inspire everyone in the room
No matter whether you’re teaching in the classroom, or in the comfort of your own home, you can genuinely bring science to life with the right lesson plan approach.
Take your class to space
It’s hard for kids to understand the scale of the solar system from numbers in a book or a 2D diagram, so why stop there?
With a solar system worksheet bundle, you can get them asking questions and building scale models to really understand just how big everything is.
Start with an introductory sheet about naming the planets — so everyone knows which planet comes where, and what it’s called. Then, you can progress onto learning why each planet has the name it has — with our planet etymology worksheet, it’s all laid out for you.
Time travel with tech
When you really want to blow a child’s mind, there’s no better way to do it than to show them the technology their parents — or even their siblings! — would have thought was incredible.
You can rewind slightly, to look at the invention of the World Wide Web, then travel back to 1970s video games, and keep on going until you get as far back as Leonardo da Vinci’s 1495 sketched plans for a humanoid robot!
You’ll find worksheets on all these topics in our technology pack — perfect as the basis for a technology-themed science lesson plan.
See real fossils in the field
A field trip to a fossil hunting area or a museum is a great way to get the little ones excited about the prehistoric world.
Pack some of our fossil worksheets to take with them and you’ll be able to enjoy a great day out, with endless questions and bright ideas.
Then, you can use the following weeks to recap what they learned while out and about. Our ‘What am I?’ fossil sheet tests their memory of common fossil types, and ‘What have we learned?’ gives kids the chance to write open-ended answers in fossil fact boxes.
Grow your own plants and predict when they’ll flourish
Kids love to see their hard work reap rewards.
So why not grow your own plants in the classroom and note down when they start to sprout and bloom?
Our bundle of 7 ready-to-use plant worksheets helps the class understand the anatomy of plants, the right conditions for growth and the entire plant lifecycle. Tackle one worksheet per class, alongside some practical plant care, and you’ll be able to really reinforce what they are learning.
Inquisitive minds love interactive learning
Essentially, there’s one secret to helping kids retain what they’ve learned in science class: make it interactive.
Science is too exciting to stick to one, or even two, different lesson formats. Like any good scientist, you need to experiment — and here’s hoping you get a fantastic reaction!
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