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Practical Teaching Methods for Elementary Science

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 9/11/2012

Make teaching elementary science fun by following some basic guidelines that will make sure your students get an education and develop an interest in science. Use all of the tips or just the ones that suit your teaching style best.

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    Concepts in Elementary Science

    Teaching elementary science can be one of the most exciting parts of your day. That's because the concepts elementary students learn are very basic and can be approached with an attitude of enjoyment. Sometimes you can even teach your students science without them realizing that they are learning. The concepts in elementary science tend to follow the scientific method which is listed below for your convenience.

    1. Observe
    2. Explain
    3. Hypothesis
    4. Test
    5. Results

    The first thing children learn to do is to observe the world around them. They will then learn to organize the world into concepts and patterns. As they question why thing happen, they will learn to test why they happen and they will learn from the results.

    To use this information as you are teaching elementary science, you might first begin by teaching students to organize. This serves dual purpose as it is used in other areas such as math. Give students concrete objects that they can touch and feel and organize into groups. This will help them develop a habit of organizing things whether they be physical objects or thoughts. Students should be able to explain why the items are organized the way that they are.

    Ask students to question other ways that items can be classified. Again, these are skills that will be used in math as well. For instance, if different shapes are organized by color, can they also be organized by shape? What about by shape and color? Test these ideas to see if it is possible.

    These are just some basic concepts that elementary science students need to learn in order to prepare them for more in depth scientific research and studies as they advance in their education. Use the knowledge here along with some of the tips below to help you.

    • Take students for a walk and ask them to observe the world around them. Talk about basic ways that the world is organize. (The sky is above us, the ground is below us.)
    • Look at every day objects and find new uses for them. Children naturally do this on their own in their pretend play.
    • As students show that they have learned some of the basic concepts, narrow the focus. Once they see how the world is organized try to encourage them to answer why it is organized in such a way. Are there ways that it can be changed? What are the results of these ways.

    Teaching elementary science can be as hard or as easy as you make it. Observation is the key to learning about the world around you. Teaching this lesson to your students is developing a good foundation for the rest of their studies. Almost any activity can be turned into a science lesson if you just remember the scientific methods and the concepts that drive it.