If you are looking for some fun back to school science ideas for your upper elementary class, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Science About Me
Get to know your students and help students start thinking about science in their own lives. This free resource, Science About Me, is a simple and fun activity for students to complete the first week of school. Sign up for access to the Science Penguin Free Resource Library to view the Science About Me printable.
2. Interest Inventory
This Interest Inventory Freebie is designed for upper elementary grades. I love using interest inventories to find out my students’ attitudes toward different subjects and their preferred methods of instruction. While it doesn’t affect WHAT is taught, it does affect HOW I teach it. If no one finds landforms interesting, I know that I will have to find a more engaging way to teach that concept. If everyone enjoys working in groups, I can use cooperative learning more often. If a student who is hard to reach likes a particular animal, we can include that in our studies.
3. Your Brain
This isn’t just for science! I recommend using this free Brain Interactive Notebook resource with your students in the first few weeks of school to teach them how we learn. These interactive notebook templates are great for any subject!
• Functions of the 4 Brain Lobes
• Parts of a Neuron
4. iLearn Science and iLearn Science Jr.
iLearn Science Jr. for grade 2-3 and iLearn Science for grades 4-6 will help you lead your students through fun activities that will help them use science tools and work through their first investigation of the year.
iLearn Science Jr. for grades 2-3 includes:
• a 38 slide PowerPoint with information about safety and tools
• Safety activity
• Ten tools practice activities (8 hands-on, 2 based on discussion and notebooking)
• Fun investigation to practice new skills with science tools
• Written assessment
• Recording sheets for each activity
iLearn Science for grades 4-6 includes:
• a 57 slide PowerPoint with information about safety, tools, measurement, models, experiments, data, graphs, analysis, and scientific communication
• Student Notes Pages for PowerPoint
• Skittles Experiment
• 10 Short Activities (8 station activities for science processes and tools, models activity, and communication mini-lesson)
5. Lab Team Roles
6. All in One Interactive Science Notebook
Setting up an Interactive Notebook is a key part of my back to school activities. I teach quality expectations as we practice science process skills and learn about safety and tools. The All in One Interactive Science Notebook is awesome for back to school AND all year long. There are 250 templates with photos and suggested uses as well as the Setting Up Your Science Notebook Guide.
7. Science Read Alouds
Reading aloud and discussing the story or text is a nice way to get to know each other while learning. I recommend reading a mix of books about science, perseverance, and scientists.
Check your library for my recommendations below (affiliate links), but be sure to also check out my larger list of favorite books.
8. Guide to Interactive Science Notebook Output
Most of the time teachers are set for Input in science notebooks. But how do we teach students to reflect on new learning during Output? This free 7-page guide answers the most popular questions I receive about Output in Interactive Science Notebooks.
The guide includes:
- an explanation of Output
- 10 new visual examples of Output
- my recommendations for teaching Output
Sign up for access to the Science Penguin Free Resource Library to view Your Guide to Interactive Science Notebook Output.
9. Fair Test Contests
In my experience, many elementary students struggle to grasp the idea of controlled variables (constants) and why they are important for fair tests. What have my students always had an understanding of? Fairness in a game. I have an easy, fun idea to share with you that may help your students better understand the need to have a fair test and what their variables are. Check out the contest ideas.
After completing the Skittles Experiment in iLearn Science, try another experiment for your first content standard. Plan together as a class and record your information in the Experiment Flip Book. Sign up for access to the Science Penguin Free Resource Library to download the Science Experiment Flip Book.
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