Week 2 Science Lessons: How Do Scientists Think (2nd Grade)

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 will be for elementary science grades 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th since those are the grades I have curriculum for. 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 week we will start on our concept standards for 3rd grade Science! The physical science standards are what schools typically cover first, but you can check out my elementary science scope and sequence to see which weeks line up with your school’s scope. Here is your stress-free lesson plan for the week.

Standards Covered:


3.5 (A) measure, test, and record physical properties of matter, including temperature, mass, magnetism, and the ability to sink or fl

2.2(A) Ask questions about organisms, objects, and events during observations and investigations

2.4(B) Measure and compare organisms and objects

(2.2E) Communicate observations and justify explanations using student ­generated data from simple descriptive investigations

(2.3A) identify and explain a problem and propose a task and solution for the problem 

(2.3B) Make predictions based on observable patterns


Great introduction to the year!

Guiding Question:

How can physical properties help us observe different materials?

The Lesson:

And now, for all the fun and engaging learning! Click the image to grab your printable lesson plan for the week. Click any image in the post to grab the whole lesson set that’s ready to print and teach.

To make my life easier, I plan each each with the same structure. Students like the routine and it helps them know what to expect for each day of the week.


Each day of the week, students will walk in and get to work on their KWL. Each Monday, you will complete the first 2 columns. This will get students thinking about the topic and activate their schema. You will also be able to see some misconceptions they may have. Every other day this week students will add to their “Learned” column to record what they have learned so far. You can also let them add to the “Wonder” column through the week if they have new ideas that pop up.

Before moving into the lesson, complete column one of the Word Wall Builder Chart. Have students think about what each key term means before they learn about it. This is a way to get vocabulary on their mind and to help students identify their own misconceptions as they learn more through the week. Word Wall Builder Charts are my favorite way to make your word wall more interactive and useful. I always provide printable versions for students to record their own answers, plus a class version to post in the room through the week. You can see below that I use sticky notes to make my chart paper reusable each week.

To start off the lesson week, I like to give students an activity that grabs interest and activates or establishes some schema (background knowledge). This can be a great starting point for noticing some misconceptions, too. Each week in 2nd grade, I have a special standard-based mystery that gets students thinking about that concept. Students will try to solve the mystery by reading the scenario and following a list of clues. I always have a think sheet for the mystery for students to record their thinking

Now that you have scientific thinking on students’ minds, you can introduce the base knowledge for the concept. The informational text is not a tell-all text. It is designed to give students terminology and conceptual base knowledge of the concept, so that the real learning and discovery can come through hands-on learning and labs. There are two key terms in bold that students will define using context clues. This will work with the Word Wall Builder Chart to build student knowledge of each key term.

Differentiate this text as needed for your students. Something I like to do is continue a gradual release of this activity with students who need the assistance.

Follow up the reading with a graphic organizer to process and use the information they read so they can better retain that information. I create a themed graphic organizer for each text that doubles as visual notetaking or note doodles or coloring notes. They use what they read or learned to complete the graphic organizer.

End this day with a fun game of Science Says and/or introduce the project (if you plan to do the weekly projects). Weekly project make a great extension for this lesson. Your campus STEM teachers could use them to help you cover each topic, or you can use them for enrichment opportunities for your high achievers or GT. This week’s project is a fun science writing that could correspond with your writing lessons.


After adding to the KWL charts, complete the context clues part of the Word Wall Builder Chart. This will refresh student memories so they can work on their Summary Writing with Key Terms. These key terms from their reading give students a guide for writing a summary about what they have read. This is a second way they interact with the reading and process the information. Work with your ELA standards to encourage best practices for summary writing.

And now for one of my favorite teaching tools: the anchor chart. Anchor charts will be a great reference for the rest of the year. Free classroom decor!! Anchor charts can be created on chart paper using the printable version as a guide. You can also make your anchor chart using a dry erase poster to save on chart paper. Students will have their own copy to reference in their notebook. Have students follow along by creating their own or filling out a printable version in their interactive notebook. Anchor charts are the perfect teacher input for interactive science notebooks. I provide moveable pieces for each anchor chart that can be added to make these more fun and interactive for their notebooks. Today’s anchor chart will introduce the five properties of matter we are focusing on. You can see how I used my dry erase poster to make a quick, paperless anchor chart. If you have a few of these, you can post them around the room for a few weeks at a time, plus students will always have their copy in their notebooks.

End this day with Science Says and/or work on the project (if you plan to do the weekly projects).


My favorite day of the week!! Lab day! This week is a fun science investigation for students to test a hypothesis and observe the results. Testing if sand will sink or float is a fun and easy investigation for this. I love how lab investigations allow students to experience a concept in real life and make learning more meaningful to them. Plus, they can have fun while they learn.

Add in some vocabulary practice with the matching cards, if you have time leftover after the lab. The vocabulary practice pages make good homework practice!

End this day with Science Says and/or introduce the project (if you plan to do the weekly projects). Weekly project make a great extension for this lesson. Your campus STEM teachers could use them to help you cover each topic, or you can use them for enrichment opportunities for your high achievers or GT.


By this point in the week, we have given students all of the teacher input activities so we can move on to the student output activities. Students will now process and apply the information they have learned.

After adding to KWL charts, complete column 3 and 4 of the word wall chart by filling in the actual definition of the words and illustrate the word.

It is time to complete the Output activity for the Interactive Science Notebook. For this topic, students will form a hypothesis. This will allow them to put what they have learned to use with a hands-on application.

Analyzing data is a final way for students to show you what they learned. This will let you see how well students grasped the concept, and get them ready for the formative assessment tomorrow.


You made it! The weekend is near!! Friday is a simple day. After going over the KWL one last time, the activity for the day is the formative assessment. A Claim It and Explain It writing is such a good way to assess what students learned. This is an open ended write with a specific purpose. I always give a question that student answer with a claim. Then, they explain their thinking with evidence and reasoning.

This is a good time to work in the three vocabulary pages, if you haven’t used them as homework assignments. If you have time left over, you can play Science says to end the day.

I hope this gives you some good ideas for a whole week of learning. My goal is to provide you with engaging lessons that are ready to go each week so you can spend far less time planning and prepping, and far more time spoiling yourself **because you deserve it!** Enjoy your weekend!!


To make your teacher life even easier, I have put my lesson activities and materials into easy to use files. This saves all the time we spend scrolling and collecting lesson resources. Just print and add simple lab supplies! Or, go digital for NO PREP! No making copies, and the lab is virtual – Talk about saving your sanity.

How Do Scientists Think? Complete Lesson Set

2nd Grade

Everything you need for a week (or two) of learning. Printables, lesson plans, teacher instructions. Just add simple lab supplies for a low prep week.

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How Do Scientists Think DIGITAL Week of Learning

3rd Grade

Everything you need for a week of learning.
One file with a student activity guide and all activities including a Digital Lab means NO PREP!!

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  • (4.5 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!

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