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.
You can find the sites I’ve included in this “The Best…” list, and many more, on the Teacher’s Page of my website under Science Ideas.
Here are my picks for The Best Sources Of Ideas For Simple Classroom Experiments:
Steve Spangler’s Science 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.
GREAT – & I MEAN GREAT! – COLLECTION OF SCIENCE EXPERIMENT YOUTUBE CHANNELS
Try This! – A Series of Hands-on Science Lessons for Kids is from Richard Byrne.
As always, feedback is welcome.
If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.
As an Australian science teacher, I subscribe to the free “Science by Email” weekly e-newsletter, which is produced by the CSIRO. http://www.csiro.au/services/ScienceByEmailMain.html
It always has a bit of science news, a simple experiment, links to resources and a quiz. They have an archive which includes all the past simple science experiments here: http://www.csiro.au/resources/SbE-Activity-Archive.html
The Surfing Scientist (from ABC Australia) also has simple experiments, teacher demonstrations and conundrums. http://www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/teachstuff.htm
I hope you and your PLN find these links useful.
Best Regards, Britt Gow.