Sunday, September 16, 2012

Scientific Method Marker Mystery

Elementary kids love science.  I do too!  Growing up, science was such an abstract subject as we just read the textbook and didn’t really make real-world connections.  Now as a teacher myself, I try to teach science in a hands-on way that encourages kids’ curiosity and problem-solving. 

It’s impossible to really kids into a deep level of science understanding without teaching the scientific method.  This concept is so abstract for young learners, and yet they will need to use it all the way to high school!  So, I teach the scientific method early and loop back to it throughout the year with each activity we do. 

How do we initially learn the scientific method in our class?  With magic markers, coffee filters, cups of water, and a Smart notebook actiivity. J  I call It the “Magic Marker Mystery.”  Students see how marker dots spread out to various pigments when water is added.  I use smelly markers and classic Crayola markers , but using two other different brands would work too!   Black markers show the coolest effect, but it’s also good to have students try more than one marker color for comparison.

The Smart notebook (or Powerpoint version if you prefer) walks the students through the experiment step-by-step, and the student experiment recording sheet helps them see the scientific method in action.  This same experiment sheet is used throughout the year with later activities, and this first lesson really helps familiarize them with the process that scientists take in their daily work.  Best of all, the experiment is quick, easy to do in the classroom, and super at getting the kids hooked on science!


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