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Teaching the Scientific Method: Two Activities for Eighth Grade Students

written by: Amanda Smith • edited by: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas • updated: 7/12/2012

Teaching the scientific method can be really fun if you do it right. Getting students involved in creative activities can improve classroom morale and encourage students to memorize the method and feel good about themselves.

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    Make It Catchy

    When teaching the scientific method in your eighth grade classroom, it is important to come up with some creative and catchy ways to present the information. Students often enjoy creative games and activities that help them memorize important concepts, like the scientific method. There are many ways you can go about doing this. Here are a few creative eighth grade activities for the scientific method to help your students memorize this important concept.

    • Group Work Activity - You can get much accomplished by having your students work together to learn the scientific method. After doing a basic lecture on the general steps, divide the students into groups of four (if you have lab tables, just have students work together as a table). Have the students research the steps, reviewing their book and their notes from lecture. Once they have correctly defined the steps, have them come up with a creative way to present the steps in order. Students can create a song or rap, or make a catchy poster. You can grade this activity and give points based on creativity.
    • Classroom T-Shirt Project - Have students bring in a new or old light-colored T-shirt with no writing. You will need to provide art materials of your preference, which could include puff paint, acrylic paint, stencils, or just permanent magic markers. The idea is to create a T-shirt that presents the steps of the scientific method. Make sure that you create a mock-up to use as an example. Give your students class time to create the T-shirts. While they are working on it, make sure you explain the purpose of the activity to have fun while learning and memorizing the steps of the scientific method. You can extend the use of the shirts by giving extra credit for bringing their shirt into class once a week and wearing it in your class on a certain day. Taking pictures and posting them around the room can also be a way of having fun but still having visual representation of the method in your class room.
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    Lab Work

    Once your students have memorized the steps in the scientific method, you can begin incorporating the steps into actual labs. Some students may still have trouble remembering the steps at this time, so spending time for review at the beginning of each class will be beneficial. You may also want to use assessments such as pop quizzes to encourage memorization.

    A good way of teaching how to apply the steps is to give students a paper explaining various lab activities and have them come up with proposed ideas for performing the lab according to the scientific method and review them as a class. While students are beginning to practice using the steps in a real lab setting, encourage them to continue to wear their T-shirts on designated days as this can reinforce memorization and be beneficial to struggling classmates as well.

    Click here for a handout on the scientific method