Having students perform simple classroom science experiments are a great way for English Language Learners to develop language skills — through the speaking with a partner that’s necessary to do the experiment, through the listening needed to understand directions, through the writing done to record results and to afterward describe what they did, and through the reading that occurs if use the Language Experience Approach and as a class write a chronology of events together on a whiteboard.
Plus, of course, students learn science content knowledge and gain an understanding of the scientific method that is useful in all subjects.
On top of all of those benefits, students love doing it, too!
I’ve only found one drawback — I know next to nothing about science.
Happily, though, there are plenty of online resources that offer ideas on how to do science experiments with little preparation necessary.
Here are my picks for The Best Sources Of Ideas For Simple Classroom Experiments:
Questacon, a hands-on museum in Australia, has a ton of suggestions about easy science experiments.
“Hey LHS Kids” has a variety of science activities for the classroom.
Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has a nice collection of instructions for simple science experiments.
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist is a neat site to get quick, easy, and inexpensive ideas for science experiments.
Try This! – A Series of Hands-on Science Lessons for Kids is from Richard Byrne.
As always, feedback is welcome.