Life Science

First Day of School Science Activities

Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:31 PM

Hi everyone!

What is your favorite first day of school science activity/demonstration? I will have my own classroom here soon, and am looking for awesome ways to capture my students' curiosity and imagination with science!!

Best,
Lauren Patton
Future Biology Teacher

Lauren Patton
Lauren Patton
80 Activity Points

Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:46 PM

The school that I student teach at, they have a science as one of their outclass to attend. I observed there and the 1st graders were discussing about which animal lives in waters, forest, jungles, and so forth. The science teacher give each student the animal, but they could not show it to others, so their hand is closed tight. The the teacher asked to stand for those who think they live in the jungle. Then after standing up, the students can show the whole class their animal whether if they were correct or incorrect.

Linda Ngo
Linda Ngo
2735 Activity Points

Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:50 PM

I think an awesome way to capture your students attention is to make them choose their own inquiry science activities. In order to accomplish this, you should make a spinning wheel with an arrow that show cases 4-5 topics that you already created a lesson plan and hands-on activity for. The class should elect one person a week to spin the wheel; whichever activity the arrow lands on, they will have to complete it. Once that lesson is chosen and completed, that lesson should be taken off the wheel and another lesson should be added in its place. This method allows the students to be a participant in choosing the concepts they want to learn in a fun and interactive way. This also adds a surprise factor to your class which will always keep your students on their toes. 

Jaida Bennett
Jaida Bennett
3620 Activity Points

Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:59 PM

You can use a science lesson to create your seating arrangements. Pass out a picture of an animal to each student. Make sure no animals are duplicated. Let students share their animal with the rest of the class. Discuss what all of the animals have in common and what makes them different. Have the students group themselves based on their animals' similarities (i.e. classify the animals). Then group their desks to match the groups they've created. This doesn't have to be a permanent seating arrangement, but it's a fun lesson that allows the students to be (or appear to be ;)) in control.

Lauren Switzer
Lauren Switzer
235 Activity Points

Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:44 AM

Science Room scavenger hunt- you can adjust to guide students to things you want them to check out (and things you don't) this is great not just for the nuts and bolts of where things are (which is especially helpful to new students) but you can also generate some curiosity and excitement about what is to come this year in science. Maybe there is a new classroom animal. For example, we have guppies as a 4th grade water quality project, but this summer I took them home because of a long commute to school. The students are used to seeing the guppies in the tank. They won't be returning to school until we are ready for the project. At the end of the summer I put a horseshoe crab, coral and a sea sponge in the empty, dry aquarium...it generated a lot of excitement and questions at the beginning of the year. Maybe you want to get them excited about tools they might use in the upcoming year, so the scavenger hunt might guide them to microscopes, a weather station or something like that. You don't have to have a dedicated science classroom to make this work, it is also a great way to point out all the science in a general classroom too!

Sarah Benton Feitlinger
Sarah Benton
1500 Activity Points

Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:55 PM

i like the idea of a scavenger hunt, i believe its great for a first day of school activity

Carlos Castillo
CARLOS CASTILLO
720 Activity Points

Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:56 PM

I love this idea. It will help my students become better associated with the science materials and their location in my room.

Kimberly McNorton
Kimberly McNorton
845 Activity Points

Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:43 PM

What an awesome idea and a great way to get the students excited and comfortable with the classroom!!

Kristen Crooks
Kristen
1280 Activity Points

Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:14 PM

I absolutely love the idea of a scavenger hunt of the science room on the first day of school. This will definitely peak the interest of the students and get them interested in science. I love it!

Ebone Eastland
Ebone Eastland
595 Activity Points

Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:01 AM

This is an awesome first day idea. I love the idea of having students use tools they may need later in the year, like microscopes. It's also a great way to familiarize younger students with their new surroundings. It could also be used to get have students think scientifically by posing clues for them solve to find different things in the room or throughout the school. In one school I helped in, they got the entire school involved and had students go into different classrooms and parts of the building.

Nichole Shady
Nichole Shady
595 Activity Points

Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:41 PM

wow! what a great way to do engage students on the materials that will be using throughout the year. Maybe with older students you can make the clues into a riddle question.

Zoxchilt Zuniga
Zoxchilt Zuniga
795 Activity Points

Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:27 PM

Thank you for your post Sarah. I am really interested in activities that I can do with my future students in the classroom especially in the first day of school and you gave me great ideas.

Laura Respondek
Laura Respondek
775 Activity Points

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:10 PM

Awesome idea! I am a few months away from becoming a teacher and this is definitely something I will consider doing. I love reading all these great ideas teachers have.

Brenda Del Valle
Brenda Del Valle
765 Activity Points

Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:12 AM

Wow this was great! I'm going to be a teacher soon and I think this post was pretty useful! I've also, always been curious about class pets. I would love to get one if they're allowed where I'll be working.

Lacy Fitzpatrick
Lacy Fitzpatrick
1010 Activity Points

Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:47 PM

I did a Volcano activity for a demonstration. I did not do it on the first day of school but I think it would be a fun demonstration to show the students. They will be able to come up and look at the lava and volcano up close table by table. My students got a really kick out of the volcano. I made it look very realitstic.

Mollie Cox
Mollie Cox
1735 Activity Points

Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:52 PM

A volcano demonstration would be a really great to get the kids excited for science on the first day of school. Great idea!

Adriana Garcia
Adriana Garcia
4685 Activity Points

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:42 PM

Using the Volcano for an activity would be perfect to get the students excited, and motivated in the lesson. I have not personally attempted this in the classroom but I would love to learn how, because I think it would be awesome for the kids to see. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Tamez
Jessica Tamez
875 Activity Points

Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:03 PM

I did a space demonstration showing the distance the planets are from the moon and had the students physically moving to show how far away they were and included a solar system skit, where each child was a planet and had to act their part. It was a different way of showing the solar system and was actually a lot of fun.
I think doing anything interactive to get students going will start the year off really well and will have the students excited as well!

Christina Manriquez
Christina Manriquez
1190 Activity Points

Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:58 PM

This sounds like a fun idea! I like the idea of having students act out the different planets because it gets them moving and involved. I think any activity thats allows students to move around and be hand on is great.

Michaela Aiello
Michaela Aiello
330 Activity Points

Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:03 PM

This is a great idea! I had never thought about using theater/drama in the science curriculum! This would also be a great ice breaker activity, because the students will have to work together and let their guard down a little, to act silly and fun. I love it! 

Emilia Espitia
Emilia Espitia
825 Activity Points

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:26 PM

Thanks for sharing this idea! I would love to incorporate this into my lessons about the Earth and its Moon because I enjoy activities that get students up and moving.What grade would you suggest doing this type of activity with? Is there a website I could learn more about this activity?

Brianna Gage
Brianna Gage
600 Activity Points

Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:28 PM

That sounds so awesome. It sounds like a great way to get the students who might not initially be interested in the planets engaged in learning about them and build up their interest.

Nicholas Morrow
Nicholas Morrow
815 Activity Points

Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:14 PM

Hello! This sounds like a really fun and interactive way to get students engaged into learning! I am a pre-service teacher and am wondering what kind of formative assessment was used after this fun activity! Thanks in advance.

Maya Alkhazshvilly
Maya Alkhazshvilly
190 Activity Points

Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:47 AM

Hey Christina,

I love this idea, do you have more details posted somewhere or have any links to the skit?

Holly Moberly
Holly Moberly
905 Activity Points

Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:55 PM

I showed my students condensation by using a cold cup of water and ice and asked the students how did the water get on the outside. A lot of the students said that the water leaked through the cup, but then I showed them a cold coke can and asked why water leaked through the can when their isn't water in the can. I thought it was a great way to make them really think.

Kourtney Fyffe
Kourtney Fyffe
1175 Activity Points

Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:07 PM

I really like this demo as it brings me back to my middle school days in science. It really poses a lot of thought and inquiry for the class to discuss as a group with important key terms along with the activity.

John Ryan Nunez
John Ryan Nunez
615 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:07 PM

What a great way to spark a debate and have students question reasoning about how this phenomena happened.

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
66605 Activity Points

Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:03 PM

I am currently in student teaching 3rd grade. I am placed in Reading ELA split class so I have not got to experience science in the class room, This post was very interesting and I cant wait to experience science in elementary school next semester.

Sade Samuel
sade samuel
1200 Activity Points

Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:15 AM

I did this activity with the students on melting chocolate. At what temperature does chocolate go from a solid to a liquid? Is it different for white and dark chocolate?

• Put one piece of chocolate on a paper plate and put it outside in the shade.
• Record how long it took for the chocolate to melt or if it wasn't hot enough to melt then record how soft it was after 10 minutes.
• Repeat the process with a piece of chocolate on a plate that you put outside in the sun. Record your results in the same way.
• Find more interesting locations to test how long it takes for the chocolate pieces to melt. You could try your school bag, hot water or even your own mouth.
• Compare your results, in what conditions did the chocolate melt? You might also like to record the temperatures of the locations you used using a thermometer so you can think about what temperature chocolate melts at

The students had fun and they learned.

Rosemary Montero
Rosemary Montero
1660 Activity Points

Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:57 PM

This is a great idea! Students love chocolate, so they would be engaged in learning about it melting and at what temperatures. Thanks for the idea. 

Karina Alfaro
Karina Alfaro
1185 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:13 AM

What grade was this?

DeeDee Fortenberry
deedee fortenberry
360 Activity Points

Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:17 AM

This seems like a fantastic student activity, that really could capture their attention. Especially since it's using candy because I don't know what student doesn't like candy.

I would love to know the range of grades that you could use this activity for? Like how young could you go? If you go younger, what are some modifications that you could do in order to make sure it's a safe experiment but still fun? I only ask because I'd like to teach 2nd grade (currently student teaching) and would love to know if you think this would be appropriate for 2nd graders!

Lacy Fitzpatrick
Lacy Fitzpatrick
1010 Activity Points

Today, 5:16 PM

This would be fun to do around Valentine's Day or on Valentine's Day as well. Fun!

Cassie Weilmuenster
Cassie Weilmuenster
105 Activity Points

Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:23 PM

I'm student teaching and today I watched a great "turn and talk" with my kindergarten class. We read a book called "The sun, the wind and the rain" It discussed the rock cycle in a very friendly child manner. It was also nice to hear what different information the students got from different parts of the book.

Christina Guerra
Christina Guerra
1500 Activity Points

Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:40 PM

I just came across this "evolution puzzle" activity while searching for stuff on evolution. It seems like it would be a great activity to just introduce science in general.

Attachments

Science_Puzzle.doc (0.04 Mb)

Chris Leverington
Chris Leverington
3760 Activity Points

Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:01 AM

Love this! Thank you for the share.

Christine Duprow
Christine Duprow
95 Activity Points

Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:25 PM

Hi Lauren-

I think it's awesome that you're already starting to think of science activities you can incorporate in your future classroom. I recently learned about the following website: http://99centscience.blogspot.com/

The women who started this blog are experienced science educators who know how to create cheap science activities that are fun, explorative, and provide students with explanation. I think this website would have tons of ideas for you to do a short activity with your students the first day of school. AND the materials for each activity are affordable, too!

Hope it helps.

Amy Jorgensen
Amy Jorgensen
425 Activity Points

Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:34 PM

I followed the link to the 99 Cent Science bloodspot. The first image that popped up was the cookies made from science lab cookie cutters. Kinder and first grade could mix icing and natural food coloring to decorate the cookies.

Elizabeth Cooke
Elizabeth Cooke
7245 Activity Points

Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:11 PM

I like the idea of doing something science related on the first day and some of the activities people have already mentioned seem like they would be a good fit! This got me thinking about how I would incorporate it into the busy first day and I think that a science activity would be a good way for a teacher to model several different instructional routines like gathering materials, working in a group, putting things away, etc. and then have the students practice them. Since teaching routines is such a huge part of the first few weeks this would be a way to help the students practice them in an engaging and fun way!

Crista Smith
Crista Smith
625 Activity Points

Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:25 PM

For young children, we decorated rocket ships using paper towel tubes and we tied a string at a diagonal from one end of the class to the others to get the rocket ships to go from Earth to the moon. Just make sure if you make a pointed top that it has an opening for the string to go through. Let the kids get creative, some of my kids made wings on the rocket ships and tied strings to the end so that it would have a nice effect and the kids had so much fun with this.

Melissa Cuza
Melissa Cuza
700 Activity Points

Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:01 AM

Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:18 PM

Thanks for the site. Great ideas!

Michele Riordan
Michele Riordan
995 Activity Points

Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:20 AM

I never thought something as simple as creating an interactive anchor chart that could be used on that first day of school could be so helpful! Now that I am thinking about it, this seems like such a great idea to bring in their prior knowledge on subjects and get them thinking about what they'd like to know more of or clarification on. This was great, I definitely will use it. The better part is, it doesn't even have to only pertain to science on the first day. This could be a really simple interactive for many different subjects on the first day.

Lacy Fitzpatrick
Lacy Fitzpatrick
1010 Activity Points

Fri May 01, 2015 1:16 AM

What a great idea! First day back can be an exciting and scary time for students and new teachers like me. I think incorporating a science project will help the students be engaged and have a memorable experience. thank you

KRISTEN TROLINGER
KRISTEN TROLINGER
325 Activity Points

Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:10 PM

I always begin the first day with the students doing some real science. I have them observe an unknown substance , usually cornstarch and water. They determine the properties of this unknown substance. The next day, they observe regular ice and dry ice, and we begin GEMS Dry Ice Investigations. I also make sure that safety is always addressed for each activity. Doing science on the first day sets the tone for the rest of the year. On the first day, all the other teachers are going over rules, talking a lot. Students appreciate not having one of their 7 classes doing something fun and doing science.

Debra Knight
Debra Knight
655 Activity Points

Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:38 PM

You might look into doing several biology discrepant events just to get your students thinking. Another idea is to do an engineering design challenge like Save, Fred or build the biggest tower. It's a great way to have student thinking scientifically even if the activities are not directly related to biology.

I also suggest having student set up their lab notebooks on the first day of class.

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
57750 Activity Points

Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:20 PM

I am jumping into this to make sure I don't miss out on any future posts. Thanks for the great ideas!

Shantelle Dozier
Shantelle Dozier
1500 Activity Points

Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:59 PM

The First Day of School is a nerve-racking experience for many students because they do not know what to expect from classes and teachers. Therefore, I find it important to give students a snapshot of how the class works. For teachers implementing inquiry-based learning practices, they need to demonstrate to students that they will never know what to expect in class, because they are in control of their own learning outcomes. Teachers could create a framework for a problem or project, allow students to work collaboratively, and bring students back together for a discussion on what they learned. The majority of suggestions for middle and high school science first day of school demonstrations are student-centered approaches where students are introduced to the scientific process.Teachers could provide guidelines to inquiry that help students think metacognitively and diverse assessments that analyze student's understanding.

Payton Blankenship
Payton Blankenship
135 Activity Points

Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:56 PM

These are awesome! Definitely looking at this for the next school year. Thank you for everyone who posted. 

Maria Andrea Cobo
Maria Cobo
1780 Activity Points

Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:59 PM

A good first day of school activity could be reading Hurricane City by Sarah Weeks. This books is a really funny and covers storm names for every letter of the alphabet. This book teaches children about how hurricanes names are alphabetize and switch from girl boy order. After explaining this and reading the book. You could have the students put their names in alphabetic order and also in a girl boy pattern. This will not only teach them about the hurricane name list, but it can also help them learn the names for their classmates.

Thora Ansell
Thora Ansell
1175 Activity Points

Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:16 PM

I really like the idea as I am always looking for ways to integrate different subjects such as reading and science together. Also, hurricanes are such a fun and interesting topic to have with the students. Thanks for sharing! 

Elyse Chan
Elyse Chan
865 Activity Points

Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:23 AM

Wow this is such a good idea! It is so important for the students to learn each other's names, as well as us as the teacher to learn their names as soon as possible and I think this activity will do the trick! I also like that it's not too difficult of an activity to scare them out of wanting to participate on the first day of class and that it can be used for pretty much any grade!

Lacy Fitzpatrick
Lacy Fitzpatrick
1010 Activity Points

Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:46 PM

I really like the idea of having a science experiment on the first day of school.  I think this will help students get excited for school and give them an idea of the type of science they will be learning throughout the year.  Good idea!

Amy Thomas
Amy Thomas
475 Activity Points

Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:30 PM



As a pre-service teacher I am able to express lessons which have been successful with students who I have recently met and have taught a lesson to. I usually begin lessons with an exciting set or demonstration. Usually as an introduction a very cool demonstration is exceptionally effective for engaging the students into science. Making sure that the school year is started on a positive note is an important thing to keep in mind. Depending on the age of the students I would begin with some type of hands on experiment, something as casual as making silly putty or planting plants. 

Jared Hernandez
Jared Hernandez
2240 Activity Points

Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:07 PM

Scavenger hunts have been the most engaging for students, especially for the first day of school/week. You can use this to tap into student's prior knowledge and find out what needs to be taught or retaught. 

Sara Reyna
Sara Reyna
375 Activity Points

Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:40 AM

Scavenger hunts sound great, especially the diagnostic aspect! I am wondering what type of scavenger hunt one might do to get a grasp of what students know and what students need to learn.

Matthew Gaston
Matthew Gaston
45 Activity Points

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:43 AM

It’s so nice to be able to help our fellow teachers out–especially new ones. Check out this great resource for assignment help online.

Angela Emely
Angela Emely
10 Activity Points

Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:54 PM

I really liked the Scavenger Hunt idea, but it would be good to get an idea of what the kids know or maybe forgot. This will help you have an idea of what their prior knowledge is.

Isairis Gonzalez
Isairis Gonzalez
1075 Activity Points

Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:13 PM

Try giving your students the opportunity to choose from pile of animals. Have the student draw the animal or maybe have them draw their favorite animal and describe what that animals needs to survive. 

Emily Lopez
Emily Lopez
740 Activity Points

Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:28 AM

I love how interactive this could be but also how simple it can be because I know as a student teacher, that first day (coming soon) will be scary and like it could all end in a disaster... with activities like this one, I think the students will be in love and also not even think it's an assignment but more of a little fun activity. It can be a Segway into different lessons about animals and it's a great idea!

Lacy Fitzpatrick
Lacy Fitzpatrick
1010 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:08 AM

Hello, here is the link to a YouTube channel I have been developing called FunScienceDemos. It has over a hundred video demonstrations that cover a wide array of topics that young learners should know. These videos are completely free and NGSS aligned. If you check out the channel and want to subscribe, we regularly release new videos and in the coming year we will be creating worksheets and complimentary materials to go with the videos. I hope this helps

https://www.youtube.com/dashboard?o=U

Best,
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D.,
Temple University

George Mehler
George Mehler
695 Activity Points

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:04 PM

That link didn't work for me but this one should: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd1vKJCmjHo

Annamarie Door
Annamarie Door
4175 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:37 PM

Hi!

In my science content class at my university, we read the book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" and kinda played with it.
We also tried to figure out if the oobleck was solid or liquid. It was fun, and I think you can have this activity in your class.
Oobleck is mixture of corn starch and water.

HeeJu Shin
HeeJu Shin
870 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:34 PM

Hi,

For an introduction to Science, I did what seemed like a spontaneous picnic outdoors. We sat around outside with our journals, ate a snack, and observed intently to everything around us. The students used most of their 5 senses to write descriptive words and phrases to jot down all that they observed outside. I added a competing factor to this as well. I told the students that the person with the best, most detailed observations would get a prize in the end. They were all very engaged, focused, and driven to tune themselves into nature! I hope this inspires some ideas of your own! 

Sincerely,

Amerah

Amerah Hashim
Amerah Hashimi
1080 Activity Points

Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:22 AM

Not sure what grade level you are looking for, but for the younger students this is always a fun science experiment ! :)
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/200832464610783281/

Tori Pinkston
Tori Pinkston
995 Activity Points

Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:36 PM

Some activities that would be fun to teach students on the first days of school would be to state of change in matter. Bring an ice cube or a cup that is full of Ice and have students observe what happens as the day goes on. A good lesson to teach students about liquid and solid. Anything like that students enjoy if it's hands on or they can see the object. 

Melissa Ruiz
Melissa Ruiz
495 Activity Points

Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:09 PM

My students enjoyed doing the lava lamp activity. This was a simple but fun experiment! It gets students interested in science. 

Dulce Reyes
Dulce Reyes
2565 Activity Points

Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:55 PM

Hello,

I am trying to remember fun science activities I did when I was in elementary school. One activity I remember is when I grew my own plant. I was 5th grade, and we had to grow our own plants. This activity was very fun and interesting. I learn so much from this activity. I learned how to grow a plant and how often to water the plant. I think this will be a great activity for students to learn about science! 

Kristin Lott
Kristin Lott
265 Activity Points

Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:02 PM

marshmallows and toothpicks, have a competition to see who can build the tallest tower!

Brina Coffman
Brina Coffman
880 Activity Points

Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:44 PM

The past two years, I have done an inquiry activity on the first day since they really struggle from transitioning from the cookbook labs of middle school to the inquiry labs of high school. Last year, I did the inquiry cubes and this year I did the black box activity. Both were activities where the kids were somewhat controlled (not all over the classroom) but were able to work in groups. These allowed them to realize that some activities would not have one "correct" answer and experience a simple inquiry based activity. These activities also let me see/assess their processing skills and critical thinking abilities.


There are lots of links if you google "black box inquiry activity" or "inquiry cubes activity" but here are two good links :)
https://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih6/inquiry/guide/nih_doing-science_mstr.pdf

http://www.bio.utk.edu/biologyinbox/documents/Unit%2010_Black_Box_Exercise_with_Answers_Apr2012.pdf



Carrie Sharitt
Carrie Sharitt
945 Activity Points

Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:48 PM

I like the idea of introducing non-traditional pets such as mealworms which turn into beetles. Doing this at the beginning of the year allows students to watch the science happen before their eyes without even knowing it. It may not be a first day activity but maybe you can schedule it to a time frame in which you will be teaching life cycles. Hope this idea helps some!

Yolanda Garza
Yolanda Garza
845 Activity Points

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:14 PM

I do an activity to reinforce the use of natural resources. I put students in groups with envelopes and they each have the same task but each has something wrong with the materials in their envelope of resources. It may be that their pencil isn't sharpened or their scissors are taped together. Whatever the problem they can't complete the task because their resources are mistreated or depleted. We then equate it not just to how we use the supplies in the room for the year but how we treat the resources in our world.

Kate Tummino
Kate Tummino
5495 Activity Points

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:27 PM

I love this Kate! I'm always frustrated by how students don't understand taking care of supplies or how they don't get my goal of using our materials wisely. This will really help start that out from the beginning in a way that highlights what we don't want to be the end product. I was thinking about doing a starting lesson on resources just because it normally gets pushed to the end/not done. This will really put it where it belongs: in the forefront of our minds. I can also use this as a connection/lead in to the Hippocratic Oath and how, as learners of nature, we are to do no harm to living things. Thank you!

Annamarie Door
Annamarie Door
4175 Activity Points

Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:47 PM

Inherited Traits/Learned Behaviors Scavenger hunt - I had my students complete a scavenger hunt around the room. They had a chart that listed different traits/behaviors and had to find students that could do the behavior or had the trait. This was more of an opener for a lesson regarding Learned Behaviors but it could be tweaked to use for students in your room and first day activities! 

Julia Torres
Julia Torres
975 Activity Points

Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:11 PM

I have my students do this Science Inquiry Puzzle every year on the first day. (I have mostly 9th graders) I printed the squares on different colored neon cardstock and laminated them and keep them stored in zip lock bags. I keep the small square in a separate bag so each student gets 4 pieces to start out with. After 3 years they are still looking great! It is a great introduction to the nature of science and getting students to be active in their learning. Also, I like seeing the students get frustrated when they can't easily solve the second puzzle. It helps you to see who are your students who are willing to persevere versus the students that give up easily. You learn a lot about your classes from this simple activity and get to have a great discussion about science! 

http://www.scienceteacherprogram.org/genscience/Choi04.html

Monica Chason
Monica Chason
515 Activity Points

Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:34 PM

Also does it depend on the grade level too, I want to teach third grade and need ideas for first day math and science, which I would like to intergrate.

Michelle Khan
Michelle Khan
1075 Activity Points

Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:37 AM

A fun activity would be a science scavenger hunt. This way the students are up and having fun meeting and interacting with their peers. It also serves you, as the teacher, for a chance to observe and get to know your students. Observing them during the scavenger hunt, you will learn the ones that follow the rules, the ones that keep to themselves, and the ones that don't like to participate. These are things you need to keep in mind when creating lesson plans or seating arrangements.

-Stephanie L.

Stephanie Lobo
Stephanie Lobo
435 Activity Points

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:14 PM

I teach only science, so for me, I get the kids for a short time and I am looking to make it pop. In elementary classes, I start with procedures or expectations but I weave that into an inquiry/discovery lesson. Mostly I use units from the Picture Perfect Science books by Karen Ansberry & Emily Morgan. They include lessons on discrepant events like the jumping beans for 4-5th biology (where students learn that not everything is as it seems at a glance) or "Earthlets" where students learn the value of piecing together all the information that they discover. I've used their lesson on the learn'd astronomer or Rachel Carson, "a sense of wonder" in both cases to introduce in a soft-start way that science is more than "doing". It includes pondering, wondering, ruminating over how amazing creation is...and helping students to place themselves inside that story as active participants in the science journey.

Annamarie Door
Annamarie Door
4175 Activity Points

Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:35 PM

Building off the idea of the scavenger hunt, I think it would a good cycle to then have the students create their own scavenger hunt later in the year. Based on their interests or a research project, they could create their own scavenger hunt for the other students in the class. Each week could have a different scavenger hunt presented for the rest of the class (and teacher) to work on. (Also a good way to make Mondays more appealing.) They would have prior experience and they would be having fun as it is based on student interest.

Kaylee Reese
Kaylee Reese
645 Activity Points

Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:33 PM

I've doe the time capsule in the past and it is so much fun. We turn empty Pringles cans or paper towel tubes into miniature time capsules. Ask each child to create a time capsule that includes such items as a handwriting sample, a hand tracing, a self portrait, and so on. At the end of the school year, compare samples from the beginning of the year with new samples. It is great to see the changes at the end of the year.

Gladys Fitzgerald
Gladys Fitzgerald
490 Activity Points

Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:49 AM

I love the time capsule idea and may try to implement this into my high school classes and the students' current skills set. Thanks!

Tracy Kostenbader
Tracy Kostenbader
130 Activity Points

Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:51 PM


These are all great ideas to incorporate in a science classroom. Thank you so much! I am excited to one day use these activities in my future classroom.

Ictzel Barron
Ictzel Barron
975 Activity Points

Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:44 PM

I really like the idea of doing a more hands on activity for the first day of school. The first day is such a nerve racking experience for young students sometimes, and doing something that could serve as an ice breaker and an educational moment at the same time would be beneficial. One activity that could be done is teaching about spider webs and how they are made. This process can be done by having a student hold a ball of yarn and say a fun fact about themselves, then they can throw the ball across the circle to another student while still holding their ball of yarn. This would be a fun way for the students to get to know one another while learning about spiders and their webs.

Bridget Simmons
Bridget Simmons
350 Activity Points

Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:00 AM

If you have new students you can do a scavenger hunt around the science room. I've done this and the kids love it. It also helps to introduce them to any important safety items, and even things that end up being super helpful to you later, like the trash can, sink and pencil sharpener. You can also put out some things that will peak their interest as they wander around the room.

Sarah Benton Feitlinger
Sarah Benton
1500 Activity Points

Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:09 PM

Hi!
The first week of school is always hectic for me because of all the important things that we have to get done. During the first week, the students are doing most of the talking because I want them to get to know one another and etc. In science, I informed them about lab safety. On Friday, the students explored many types of lab safety hands-on activity. Doing this helped them see the importance of lab safety. It also helped them remember the lab safety. For an example, I put a cup of blue water (food coloring) while I had my lab coat and goggles on. Some students went ahead and picked the cup up. They smelled it without my instructions as well. Some students caught on and said that they were not supposed to touch anything as well. As the closure, I asked the students why I included that activity. From that day on, they did not pick up anything without my instructions. Hope this helped!

Sandra Saint-Val
Sandra Saint-Val
1475 Activity Points

Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:55 PM

I am going to share you an idea that I see online. The activity is called Windbag Wonders Team Building. The goal is really quite simple… blow up the Windbag as fast as you can. There is just one little hitch. The bag is 8 feet long! So, how many breaths does it take to inflate an 8 foot long bag? It seems impossible, doesn’t it? After you uncover a little secret called Bernoulli’s Principle, you can inflate the entire bag with just one breath of air. Give each child two or three Windbags and have them inflate each bag. Divide the students into groups of 3 to 5 students. Have the students work together to build a free standing structure. The highest structure wins the challenge.

CHIEN HUI CHEN
CHIEN HUI CHEN
840 Activity Points

Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:03 AM

The First Day of School Science Activities I would like to do five sense. I will encourage students use their five sense to observe the school.

Chih-Hsuan Chao
Chih-Hsuan Chao
895 Activity Points

Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:56 AM

Thank you for all these great ideas! My cooperating teacher began the first day of school with a safety video that was appealing to the students because it was a song. I am in a second grade class and have learned that no matter the age, children love songs! I would add a game board on lab safety to support this topic because we played it in our science class and it was so much fun!

Araceli Venturini
Araceli Venturini
835 Activity Points

Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:34 PM

I think a scavenger hunt will be a fun first day of school activity for science, where students are able to work together as teams and communicate with one another. Students can work together to find different objects from newspaper ads or magazines and then have them paste it on one sheet of paper with different categories.

Wendy Duan
Wendy Duan
890 Activity Points

Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:59 PM

I think that just taking the students outside to observe the nature that surrounds the school would be a great first day of school activity for science. It is laid back, and it is student led so you can see what your students are interested in. It also allows for the teacher to float around and talk to the students about what they are seeing and observe their prior knowledge about science topics. Along with this, students will get to collaborate with peers and build a sense of community on the first day. I strongly support inquiry-based learning, and introducing the students to the idea of guiding and building their own knowledge from scratch will be helpful in the long run!

Olivia Westfall
Olivia Westfall
1500 Activity Points

Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:37 PM

That is such a great idea, I want to try this!

Alyssa Tannous
Alyssa Tannous
980 Activity Points

Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:28 AM

I will definitely take these activities into consideration!

Brittany Collins
Brittany Collins
1155 Activity Points

Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:44 PM

I really love the idea of incorporating a scavenger hunt on the first day of school. Whether it is science related or not, I believe it's a great way to introduce students to the layout of the classroom, different materials, and where they are located. It is also a great way to get students out of their shells, help them feel more comfortable, and get them up and moving!

Lesley Cooper
Lesley Cooper
835 Activity Points

Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:02 PM

I CT had students shake their first day "jitters" into a jar! The jitters were represented with fireflies and by the end of all the jitters being shaken out, there was a jar of "fireflies". From there the conversation went to bugs and insects and we started a lesson on them! It was such a smooth transition :) Great method to use!

Katrice Trego
Katrice
755 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:33 AM

These are all such great ways in introducing kids to science! I really like the "spin-the-wheel" activity where the teacher plans a lesson/activity, and the students spin the wheel to complete it. That makes it fun and somewhat competitive! Thanks, guys!

Christine Khuong
Christine Khuong
1135 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:15 PM

My favorite first day of school science activity is a paper airplane contest. Separate the class into groups of 2-4 and give every group one piece of copy paper. The students are supposed to work together to make the paper airplane that will go the furthest. Although this activity relates directly with Physics, it is an activity that any science class can do the first day of school because it shows how one has to think through what they will do and how to improve a science experiment/scientific inquiry. It also helps students be more comfortable with each other and forces them to work together.

Summer Robinson
Summer Robinson
595 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:25 PM

I absolutely LOVE this activity! Not only is this a much better ice breaker than "Three truths and a lie," but it also fosters immediate collaboration amongst your students! Another fun spin-off of this activity would be for them to use this later in the year with content. Students could be provided a prompt such as, "List what you know about force and motion." Students would then list everything they know about force and motion. Once everyone was finished, students would send their paper airplanes across the room. Each student would pick up a paper airplane that landed near them. They would then send these airplanes across the room. Students would pick up new airplanes and launch them one last time. Students would then pick up their last and final airplane, read them, and discuss them with their group members. Once this is completed, students will come together for a whole-group discussion about force and motion.

Danielle Cadenhead
Danielle Cadenhead
845 Activity Points

Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:23 PM

For the first day of school I like to get the students excited about learning science. The first thing I do is talk to students about all the fun science activities we will do during the year and show them work from prior students.

Monica Humphery
Monica Humphery
250 Activity Points

Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:51 PM

I enjoyed reading many different methods you all have come up with for first day activities. As a teacher I believe it is imperative to make an attempt at simultaneously breaking the ice so that students are comfortable with each other while at the same time subtly getting a feel for particular students that may have to make accommodations or adaptations for. Every student has various methods that can be utilized to best articulate lesson plans and assess their comprehension of it.

Michael Van Ossenbruggen
Michael Van Ossenbruggen
480 Activity Points

Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:44 PM

On the first day of school science activities, it is better if you do not start with the subject. You can have some activities related to science like come up with some species picture and let students guess what these are and ask them to tell their features or you can try science word search. On the second day of Science subject you can start with what the syllabus is all about and what is expected. http://ukessaywriters.blogspot.com/

Steve Collins
Steve Collins
50 Activity Points

Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:48 PM

I feel this topic does not have a bright enough light shined on it. I never thought of doing a science activity on the first day! What a great way to start the year engaging and having fun. It would be way better than the first day coloring sheets they have the students do! I would work with starting to grow something and tying it into how the students minds will grow with science this year!

Ashley Lindemann
Ashley Lindemann
685 Activity Points

Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:28 PM

Wow!! There are so many Great ideas in here that will be useful once I am in the classroom!! I cannot wait to try them out, thanks to everyone for sharing their AWESOME ideas for kids learning Science!

~Michelle

Michelle Alley
Michelle Alley
2220 Activity Points

Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:44 PM

I can't wait til student teaching so that I can learn some first day activities, the only guide I have is Pinterest. I think I will write down some of these activities I'm reading on these posts.

Yvis Lauzurique
Yvis Lauzurique
4135 Activity Points

Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:44 PM

I can't wait til student teaching so that I can learn some first day activities, the only guide I have is Pinterest. I think I will write down some of these activities I'm reading on these posts.

Yvis Lauzurique
Yvis Lauzurique
4135 Activity Points

Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:44 PM

I can't wait til student teaching so that I can learn some first day activities, the only guide I have is Pinterest. I think I will write down some of these activities I'm reading on these posts.

Yvis Lauzurique
Yvis Lauzurique
4135 Activity Points

Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:17 AM

One of the most memorable science demonstrations that I recall was in my chemistry class, where on the first day, my teacher showed the burning of different substances to get the flame to show different colors, such as purple or green. This was a great way to capture the students attention and get them interested in the subject.

Another suggestions is to do activities that will both get students engaged and interacting with their peers. I have found this happens best when activities include a bit of competition between groups. Of course, when competition is an element in the classroom it is important to monitor students for any rising conflicts.

Liliana Bravo
Liliana Bravo
20 Activity Points

Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:53 PM

The first day of school is always so exciting and the kids are eager to explore their new surroundings. An interesting activity that one can do for science is to do a scavenger hunt. This usually can takes place during any of the class period than can help students become familiar with their new classroom, satisfy their curiosities, and burn off some of that energy.

While the students are completing the scavenger hunt, it really gives me a glimpse into the dynamics of each class. Some students like to work alone, some like to work with a partner, some are super focused and task driven, some students prioritize what they want to find first and make a plan, some students are more relaxed and let the answers find them as they walk around making quiet observations, some students pair up and find half of the items and share their information, some will trade answers for things they can’t find. It is really interesting to watch it unfold.

Michelle Nguyen
Michelle Nguyen
1185 Activity Points

Sun May 07, 2017 10:26 PM

Maybe doing an activity to what science means to them. Then they can share in a table group. In a classroom we drew what scientist looked like, and it was a fun activity. Everyone practically drew Einstein, and there was a handful of women or children scientist so the discussion opened up that everyone is a scientist.

Eugenia Ruiz
Eugenia Ruiz
670 Activity Points

Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:50 AM

I currently teach middle school science and I use the first week of school to introduce students to the common skills and strategies that they will require in science. I try to have students engage in collaborative activities: work in small groups to build a geometric structure ( using triangles, squares, pentagons and hexagons shapes) from toothpicks and marshmallows, or using index cards and paper clips to build a platform for a book. In addition, I will have the students take a learning style inventory to identify their learning styles. Most students are a combination of learning styles. When they take the inventory, they discover their best learning styles and I have them represent it in a ways that reflects their personal style ( draw a picture or write a short summary about their style). I also am an AVID teacher, so I will start teaching them how to take Cornell Notes.

Sharon Stevens Allen
Sharon Stevens-Allen
1405 Activity Points

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