Lesson Planning: Introduction to Science

Friday, January 27, 2017
On February 6, we will be starting a new semester. The school I teach at is an accelerated high school, which means a chemistry class that is usually a whole year long, is only half a year (or one semester) long.

I am loving this format, because it means I get to see new students, AND I get to test out all the changes I want to try out in my curriculum! I don't know about you, but I scribble all over my master copies (and even on additional post-its) ALL the things that go right or (mostly) wrong after I teach a lesson.
*not an actual picture of it, but pretty close...
I was able to spend some time during the state exams we just took to revamp and make the changes I had written on my lesson plans during this semester. I am really excited about the changes I made to my first unit and I wanted to share them with you!

I always start every class I teach with an (re)Introduction to Science and Scientific Methods unit. I have found that most students either have never had this topic or never learned/forgot from previous classes.

My original Intro to Science lesson was okay- I felt it was choppy, and not presented smoothly. I mixed in a little bit of scientific method, without explicitly telling what the scientific method was (oops!). There were no good activities- I had made a worksheet, but it wasn't great.

There were many, many, many notes on that lesson plan....

My new and improved Introduction to Science is so much more focused! It is entirely about science as a field of study. It includes characteristics of scientific thinking, the branches of science, types of jobs that require science and ways that a knowledge of science and scientific thinking can help in other ways (not just passing class!). That was my biggest addition to the topic-reasons to learn science. I always have that question-"why do I have to learn this?" Well, now I have reasons that I can give them!

I also added in a color-by-number that goes along with the presentation, instead of the previous worksheet. I love the color-by-numbers available, but wanted one that was more inspiring for my students. The quote that they color in says "You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the first one." I love it!

You can check out my new Introduction to Science Lesson on TpT! For $3, this lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation (both regular and modified for special education), guided notes, a color-by-number activity sheet and a 5-question quiz. I find this lesson usually takes about a day, or one 50 minute class period to complete, with the quiz given the next day or so.

If you are interested in an in-depth unit on the Scientific Method, make sure to follow my TpT store-I should be posting it about the middle of the month! It will include an overview of the scientific method, then individual lessons on 1) observations, hypothesis and asking questions, 2) variables and experimental design, 3) data, graphing and writing conclusions. I also plan to release a bundle of all the lessons, plus a stations activity, labs and unit test!

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