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Science Is Only An Elective (At Our School)

Help! At the school I teach at, Science is only an elective that my 1st graders go to ONCE a week. Does anyone have any integrated and engaging ideas that I could use during regular instruction? As most teachers experience, time is precious, but it is vital that I pique students interest now before that window of opportunity closes. I want them to learn and I want them to be curious and explore more outside of class rather than be sedentary in front of their televisions or gaming devices..

Angela Zuccarini
Angela Zuccarini
1865 Activity Points

I assume that you read books to your students at a story time. Choose books about science that are entertaining and informative. The Magic School Bus series is great. There are a lot of other ones out there too. This way the kids are enjoying a story while learning about science at the same time. Encourage science books for independent reading. Set up learning centers that are science oriented for the students to use during free time. For social studies read books that are biographies about scientists that tell about discoveries they made to help society. I hope this helps. Contact me off line if I can be of more help.

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48540 Activity Points

You can also do a project and use the results in math class. For example, you could grow plants and practice measurement by measuring how tall they grow or how much water you give them, you could even weigh them, starting with when they are seeds. They could compare today's height (rounded off to whole numbers) to the height last week and practice subtraction. I presented with some friends on Urban Gardening a few years ago for NSTA, and another friend from the forums here suggested the idea of growing gardens with themes and then eating the food (Mexican garden with tomatoes, cilantro, onions, etc. or Italian garden with tomatoes and peppers and basil, oregano, etc.). That would tie together math, science, and social studies. Add a good book, like Betty suggested, and it could be the entire day's lesson! More information on the Urban Gardening collection is attached if you are interested in knowing more about that.


Urban Gardening for NSTA 2012 Collection
(26 items)
How_to_Create_A_Butterfly__Hummingbird_Garden_by_Pat_Sutton.pdf
     -User Uploaded Resource
RecommendNectarPlants_Sutton.pdf
     -User Uploaded Resource
Nature in the City: Outdoor projects for urban schools
     -Journal Article

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

We have the same issue at my school. The students go to "Science Lab" once every two weeks. I feel that this is the only science instruction that they are getting and it is not enough. We are having the same issue with Social Studies and running out of time to teach it in the classroom. I feel that we need to teach more integrated lessons between the subject areas. That way, at least students will have some background with all of the subjects.

Sydney Eaton
Sydney Eaton
4665 Activity Points

You could integrate science with other subject areas such as for a math lesson use links to measure various things outside in nature. For writing the student could write about the life cycle of the butterfly. You could use common words used in science as spelling or vocabulary words. When reading to students you could use books that are related to science. Below is a link that I found and it has a few ideas about integrating science across the curriculum. There are sample lesson that could be useful as well. https://www.y4y.ed.gov/toolkits/afterschool/science/integrating-science-across-curriculum

Alexandra Turpin
Alexandra Turpin
1375 Activity Points

I also think that you should try to integrate science into another subject such as into a reading or writing block. There are lots of great science trade books that you could incorporate to teach science and reading.

Stephanie Guerra
Stephanie Guerra
1050 Activity Points

I would definitely talk with the science specialist/teacher who meets with your students in the weekly class. Find out what topics are being studied so that you can reinforce or extend them with all of the good ideas that are being shared--books, learning centers, activities, etc. For example, if the science topic is plant growth, then your readings and activities could include that topic (plants, gardens, farming, etc). I suspect that the science teacher is also frustrated by the constraints of once per week, and I would hope that he/she would be excited to have you supplement the science activities. He/she may also have suggestions for related interdisciplinary activities and resources for your classroom. This could be the start of a great opportunity for your students.

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
8055 Activity Points

As others have already said, you can integrate science into any other subject. For example, you can do a reading and writing lesson on weather and follow it up with a math lesson by having student collect rain samples and measuring how much rain was collected.

James Pack
James Pack
1210 Activity Points

The is the first that I hear of science being just an elective in a school. Science is a subject that rarely is given time in the classroom and now that I hear this, it makes me wonder if science will be seen as important anymore. I hope you find what you are looking for and that you find the resources that you need, I definitely believe that reading can be a great key to keeping science alive!

Ariana Cruz
Ariana Cruz
1225 Activity Points

Integrating science into math, reading science books, creating a station during center time, encouraging them to do experiments at home

BRITTANY CAMPBELL
Brittany Campbell
2050 Activity Points

Integration would be very important, you just have to make sure you do it right. Besides integrating science into things like math and reading, I have also seen it integrated into social studies very well. Take the opportunity to do things outside as often as possible and as someone above me said, use the Magic School Bus when it fits into any other subject as well. Since science is an elective, I take it health it as well? Or is that not addressed at all?

Summer Born
Summer Born
345 Activity Points

Things like nature walks and 10 minute activities that build on each other over weeks would be easy and relatively unobtrusive to the other subjects you have to teach during the day.

Uchenna Agbahiwe
Uchenna Agbahiwe
335 Activity Points

Wow! There are some great resources here! I agree with the other posts; incorporating science is a must if it is an elective at your school. Science is only taught once a week for an hour at my school, so as others have stated, we incorporate science into reading, writing, and sometimes even math!

Courtney Lucca
Courtney Lucca
620 Activity Points

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