From Science Play to “Real” Science
I don’t know how things work in your house, but my little scientist usually can’t wait to “do science”. While I appreciate her enthusiasm, jumping directly into experiments usually results in a lot of fun and sensory science play but not in any sort of increased understanding of how real scientists approach their work. In this sense, reading books about scientists helped more than doing science experiment, because Smarty learned from books that real scientist do a lot of writing – they have observational notebooks, they measure and record their data, and, of course, they also write books and articles about their discoveries. Even though my daughter was a reluctant writer until the middle of the second grade, I always encouraged her to put a pen to paper during science projects. In school, kids also maintained “science journals” where they recorded their observations and drew pictures.
How a Science Journal Might Look Like
A younger child might simply draw or trace objects during nature walks – it’s a great way to encourage observational science, especially for visual-spatial children. As Smarty was getting older, she quickly shifted from drawing, which she never particularly enjoyed, to writing her own science recipes:
|A science observation journal – kindergarten|
|A science notebook – 3rd grade|
A Science Journal Printable
For this post I have put together this science journal printable to help train future scientists in a scientific process of formulating the question and the hypothesis, practicing their powers of observation and drawing conclusions. We haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but hopefully my readers will find this Think Like a Scientist printable journal useful.
Do you ask your kids to do some writing during science? Why or why not?
More Science for Kids?
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Teach Second Grade
This post was inspired by collaboration of kid bloggers that either homeschool their second graders or complement their learning with after school activities at home. Our theme for this week was Journals. Visit my blog friends for more journal activities for 2nd graders:
Apple Writing Prompts and Papers from Sallie Borrink Learning
Roll It and Write! Journal Activity for Kids from School Time Snippets
Cursive Handwriting Journal from Sugar Aunts
Heart to Heart Journals from Still Playing School
Digital Journalling with Kids from Rainy Day Mum
Fall Themed Reading Journal from Look! We're Learning!
30 Free Journal Prompts for September from Life Over C's
Connecting Science and Writing from Planet Smarty Pants