I am so excited to get these lesson plans rolling! Each week of your school year can now be stress-free because I am going to be sharing my lesson plans with you for free every week!! This post will be for 2nd grade. You can also find lesson posts for 3rd, 4th, and 5th since those are the grades that I have science curriculum. I don’t want you to miss out on a single free lesson plan, so make sure you sign up right now to get these sent straight to your inbox!!
This can be used the first week of school and is a great opportunity to introduce your students to science while introducing your new scientists to each other. This can also be started after you set up your routines and procedures, start building a classroom community, and get your students settled into the school year. There are a few weeks built-in at the end of the year in my scope to leave room for weeks like this. You can take a peek at this week lesson plan (click to download the pdf), and then read all about this first week of school.
First day of learning!! There are four activities for today, which may end up being too much for your time block. You can push the informational text/graphic organizer into Tuesday if needed.
Start off this day by talking about Scientists. Use the KWL chart to collect student answers for what they know about scientists. Then, have them think of things they want to know about scientists. This is a quick opening activity that will only take up a few minutes. After this discussion, lead students into the fun science demo. There are many options for this intro science experiment, but Glowing Foam Explosions are always a favorite of mine. Kids of all ages love this twist on elephant toothpaste. You can get creative with it like my volcano version. This is a perfect way to explain how scientists observe events in nature and how they can learn to keep people safe in the future. You could even ask them what scientists could learn from this. Example: The house should have been built further from an active volcano to keep it safe during eruptions. I formed a playdoh volcano shape around a small plastic cup and added a house to the tray. Inside, was the normal Glowing Foam Explosion from the lesson set instructions. You can also find instructions for this on my experiment page. The student recording sheet is important to have for this first observation. You will walk students through how to observe a lab and how to record their observations. Teacher modeling and thinking out loud will help students understand your lab expectations for the year.
A closer look at this fun lab demo – Kids LOVE things like this. That is why teaching science is my absolute favorite.
If time allows, this is where you will introduce the informational text. Each week students will have one short informational text that will help them get a base knowledge for the science concept. They will learn even more about the topic through the hands-on labs and input activities. With the informational texts, you will want to read this as a group activity for the first weeks. Teacher modeling and thinking out loud will help you guide students through the reading and defining the key terms. As you learn more about your student abilities, you can start to gradually release the reading to an independent. Creating a small group of readers who will continue to need teacher assistance will help differentiate this task. After reading the text, students can complete the graphic organizer. For this first one, model how you expect students to think through and complete this activity. This could also be used as a homework assignment to keep students thinking on their science information.
To finish up the day, have students start working on the Back to School Scientist (All About Me Craft). This is a really fun way for students to think of themselves as a scientist and share more about themselves. They will work on these the rest of the week and you can display them in the hall or on the classroom wall so everyone can get to know each other better. This activity is sent to you when you sign up for my Elementary Science Newsletter of lesson plans and resources sent right to you!
Today will be teacher input activities. You can finish up the Informational text and graphic organizer if needed, and then move on to the two activities scheduled for today. First, students will complete the summary writing using their key terms from the reading. This is an additional opportunity to process the information and commit it to memory. With this being the first one of the year, teacher modeling will help students better understand your expectations for what a summary looks like. You can see the summary writing page below and that it corresponds with the other two literacy components from yesterday. The key terms are important so kids know what information to focus on for the summary.
The second teacher input for the day (and the final one for the week), is the anchor chart. Anchor charts are a favorite of mine. Plus, they double as free classroom decor! Anchor charts can be created on chart paper using the printable version as a guide. Have students follow along by creating their own or filling out the printable version in their interactive science notebook (ISN). Anchor charts are the perfect student input for interactive science notebooks. I provide (optional) moveable pieces for each anchor chart that can be added to make these more fun and interactive for their notebooks. Plan out your storage for the ISN ahead of time so they have a place to put them. I like to have a crate at the edge of each table with dividers for each subject, or class (if departmentalized). Here is a simple anchor chart I have drawn up for this day. If the thought of drawing stresses you out, use the printable versions and save yourself even more time.
For a closer look at how I do the Interactive Science Notebooks: I always have my interactive notebooks set up so that the two activities for each lesson face each other on open pages. Today will be the teacher input/anchor chart activity. You can see the image below showing the two sides of their notebook for this week. I like to flipflop them and put the creative on the left side (for crossing the midline), but I don’t think it really matters all that much which activity goes on either side. I LOVE to use the printable anchor chart for 2nd grade. Students can simply color the page as you fill out yours on Tuesday, and glue it in their notebook. A fill in the blank version allows students to write as you write, if time and ability allows for that. Then, they are all ready for their creative activity on Thursday.
If time remains, students can continue to work on their All About Me Scientist Craft.
My favorite day of the week!! Lab day! For this lab, we want to teach students how to make observations in the lab. What is more fun to observe than slime? I love this two-ingredient slime because it is so easy. The instructions are in the lesson set, but you can also find them n my Experiments webpage of my Teacher Resources menu. Any observation will work for this activity, but slime is always such a bit hit in class. You can even have students make their own slime for a more hands-on activity.
Another fun spin on this investigation is to make the Earth Blobs version. This will give them some more characteristics to observe and you can make a connection to the Earth. I usually make Earth Blobs for an Earth Day activity.
If time remains, students can continue to work on their All About Me Scientist Craft.
Now that students have had teacher input activities and a hands-on learning activity to cover the lesson concept, student output activities will guide them through processing the information and making connection to their real world. I always have my interactive notebooks set up so that the two activities for each lesson face each other on open pages. Today will be the creative thinking activity to use what they have learned and draw themselves as a scientist. You can see the image below showing the two sides of their notebook for this week.
Thursday is also the day I like to have students complete the analyzing data activity. This is something I started with my fifth graders to help them get ready for STAAR test questions, but I really love how it helps students apply what they have learned. This makes a great formative assessment. I would walk students through these for the first few weeks so they know how to use their knowledge to complete the assignment.
Vocabulary pages and the Claim & Explain writing are the perfect way to end the week. The vocabulary page can be done any time through the week, or could be used as a homework assignment. Friday makes a great time for the vocabulary page because students have had a full exposure to the word and can really show their best work. This could also be a formative assessment for the week. And, the Claim & Explain writing makes the perfect final (summative) assessment for the week. I love that it is open ended so you can get an idea of what students know from any ability level. For the first few weeks of school, guide students through how you would like them to think and write the claim and the explain.
Everything you need to teach a whole year of Science. Just add simple lab supplies. Each week of learning is provided, including the digital version. Highly Rated by Districts and Teachers •(5 Star Rating)
EVERYTHING 4th Grade MEGA Bundle
Everything you need to teach a whole year of Science. Just add simple lab supplies. Each week of learning is provided, including the digital version. All extra activities and resources that apply to 4th grade science are included in this bundle, too! •Highly Rated by Districts and Teachers •(5 Star Rating)
EVERYTHING 5th Grade MEGA Bundle
Everything you need to teach a whole year of Science. Just add simple lab supplies. Each week of learning is provided, including the digital version. All extra activities and resources that apply to 5th grade science are included in this bundle, too! My original year of lesson sets is included PLUS my New & Improved year of lesson sets. This is great for added tutoring materials, additional learning activities, or differentiating instruction. •Highly Rated by Districts and Teachers •(5 Star Rating)
Here is the lesson plan link again. And, don’t forget to join the Science Newsletter so you never miss a planned week of learning!