I love teaching Science to my second graders, but I do not enjoy all of the prep work that is often involved with teaching it. My favorite type of Science lesson is one with little prep, and little expense. I find that lessons which involve natural phenomena, or living things are very engaging for students. They also involve little to no prep. I also find that these lessons are the very ones which students find most interesting. My favorite Science unit of the year is Air and Weather because it is right in front of us, and naturally engages students.
What Science Units Require the Least Prep?
Science units which allow students to observe natural phenomena like the movement of the earth, or changing weather patterns are examples of two of my favorite activities. In fact, studying the air and weather and learning why they change is one of my favorite Science topics with my students. Students are naturally engaged with it, because it effects their lives. Students also have many questions about what causes the weather to change.
Creating a simple weather chart is easy to do. Each day my students and I talk about the weather. Is it sunny, partially cloudy, or cloudy? Is the air windy or calm? We even discuss the differences between each adjective. Young children need practice learning that a sunny day is not necessarily hot, and a cloudy day is not necessarily cold.
It’s also fun to learn about the different types of clouds. My students love putting together replicas of cumulus, cirrus and stratus clouds using cotton balls. Here are some examples of their work.
Can You Integrate Science With Another Subject?
Absolutely! I love integrating Science with Language Arts and Social Studies. Science can be a rich source of informational text for students to read. It boosts their connection when the text is on a topic they’re learning about (or have already studied). My students love hands on Science experiments, but they can also learn about a topic from reading. Here is an example of how I keep my Language Arts Lessons Engaging.
If you’re interested in studying the air and weather with your class, you can download my free air lesson here.