The scientific method is a great critical thinking tool in the classroom. Learn how to create and implement a scientific method worksheet for an elementary class in this how-to video from About.com. Show transcript Hide transcript
Hello I’;m Milo for About.com and today we are talking about how to write a scientific method worksheet for elementary school.
How to Start a Scientific Method Activity
There are some specific steps to writing a scientific method worksheet when working with children as we are trying to get them to develop critical thinking skills. The first step is to come up with a question, a problem that needs to be tested out to be proven true or false. Depending on the age group it could be helpful to assign a topic and engage the class in formulating questions about the topic as a group. Teaching the cognitive skill of questioning is the real goal of this process.
Let the students see many examples of the thought processes a skilled thinker uses to form these questions. Be explicit and show your own step by step thinking process. Let the students know they are learning how to question.
Performing Research and Forumlating a Hypothesis
The second step is to get the class to do research about the topic. The students can use books, the Internet, ask the teacher, or even interview people knowledgeable in the topic. For this step, make sure to allow extra space on the worksheet to write down this information; or better yet the kids keep a learning journal, writing down their search, both failures and success as well as their finds.
With this step we are teaching the kids to collect data and to keep track of it though the process of research.
The third step is to formulate an hypothesis. During this step, we are getting the class to practice reasoning using the facts they have collected to re-formulate the question into a testable hypothesis.
Conducting the Experiment
Finally, the experiment. Here you can make up an experiment for them or look through science books or the Internet to find one that is appropriate for your age group. Make sure to allow a space on the worksheet for a list of materials, as we want the kids to understand the importance of organization for this procedure. During the experiment, the students should keep track of what’;s happening in their journal as accurately as possible.
Interpreting Data and Writing the Conclusion
When the experiment is finished it is time for the conclusion. Here the data collected during the experiment is analyzed and it becomes apparent if our hypothesis was correct or not. It is a good idea to provide a time in the classroom for the children to share what they learned with the rest of the class to celebrate learning and the process. This way they condense all the steps they have gone through and verbalize them.
It is a good way to get kids to gain confidence in themselves by explaining what they have done. As a teacher, you can also encourage them to share it with their family at home! Consider role playing as well. The students can be zoologists, astronauts, medical doctors, or even archeologists.
For more excellent and helpful information on practically anything, check us out at About.com.