2nd Grade Science – What is a Scientist?

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I am so incredibly excited to introduce my newest series of complete lesson set bundles!! 2nd Grade Science Complete Lesson Set Bundles! After seeing my 4th and 5th grade lesson set bundles, 2nd and 3rd grade teachers have been requesting these complete lesson sets for their grade levels. 3rd grade is next on my list and I plan to get them started this school year as well!! I hope you find these bundles as helpful as the 4th and 5th grade teachers have.

I will be designing a lesson set for each standard covering both TEKS (Texas) and NGSS.  Here is a peek at what you can expect to see in each lesson set.

Each set includes a lesson plan and a weekly planning tool to help you line out your activities. Some KWL type activities are provided to help you get each lesson started. You will start with learning what the students may already know, think, or wonder about the topic, and then add to these charts as you learn more throughout the lesson. As the class learns more, you can also correct the misconceptions noted in the original discussion. And what good lesson doesn’t have an exciting attention grabber?!? Each of my lessons starts of with a game or demonstration to spark curiosity about the topic as well as build some schema to bring into the learning activities.

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Once the students are interested, I like to use a short, readable informational text to give them some details and key terms about the topic. This text does not tell them everything they need to know because I want them to learn through real-life, hands-on experiences. I design this literacy component with writing activities to help students process the new information. The informational text has two bold print key terms that students can define based on what they read. I like to use a graphic organizer (with an answer key) that students can use to collect facts from their reading and a summary writing for students to explain what they learned while practicing using the key terms. Word wall cards, a word wall builder chart, vocabulary matching cards, and vocabulary learning strips are a great tool to work on those key terms throughout the week. Slide3

I absolutely LOVE to doodle and draw, so anchor charts have always been a favorite for me. You can use mine as a guide to create your own, or you can print them to fill in with the class. A blank and completed anchor chart makes sure you never run out of ideas. I like to take the anchor chart and use it as the input activity of the interactive notebook. This can be the blank version students fill in on their own, or you can print the completed version to save time. Students can color either version which actually gives them more time to look at the words on the page and make another connection with the information. I like to make the student output activity of the interactive notebook creative and open ended. This allows the students to process the information and form some new thoughts about it after learning more about the topic. If time allows, the interactive option definitely makes the notebook more engaging. In the activity below, I made two doors that can be colored and open up to the anchor chart. My favorite part of any science lesson (and I think its the kids’ favorite, too) is the investigation. Most of the time this will be a lab that allows students to experience the topic first hand. When this isn’t possible, I try to create an experience to simulate the topic in real life. For this lesson, students will be handling slime and recording observations. The recording sheet guides them through looking, measuring, smelling, and feeling their slime like a scientist would. Slide4

I like to end each week of learning with some critical thinking. Each lesson set has an opportunity to analyze data based on the topic. Here students will be comparing their observations of two trees. A CER (Claims, Evidence, Reasoning) is a great tool to assess upper elementary kids. For second graders, I have developed a modified version of this critical thinking activity to match their level of learning and written communication. I use the guiding question based on the I can statement of the standard. I allow students to show me what they have learned with some depth in their explanation of the lesson’s guided question.This is something you will want to save for the end to know if each student has mastered the content of the lesson. That is what makes this a good opportunity for a grade to be taken. For the first several times this activity is used in the classroom, teacher modeling and guidance is best for helping students understand what the best responses for each blank would look like.

A project is an optional activity in each lesson. Projects can be a good enrichment opportunity, as well as a GT activity. This first project is a research project, and can be worked on throughout the week. I would provide a selection of books about scientist at your students’ reading level(s) for them to choose from and read through.

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I hope this is something that can help you plan for those first weeks of school. And, the rest of the weeks are coming soon!! Make sure to follow my blog or store for updates. Watch for the next weeks of science to come.

Best Wishes and Happy Planning!!

-Alicia (Elementary Ali – Teacher’s Workstation)

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