Science lesson plans that are inquiry based, meet Common Core State Standards and are easy for classroom teachers to use.
Science activities for kids cannot happen without scientific inquiry.
This is critical for learning diverse ways to explore ideas, theories and make meaningful discoveries, as well as developing 21st Century Skills.
There are five skills we should expect our students to develop through our lessons:
These 5 skills (5Es) are highly correlated to the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and encourage critical thinking in science.
So what is the best way to get our students to think about themselves as scientific learners and contributors?
Through science lesson plans based on inquiry.
At the heart of an inquiry-based lesson is the belief that children need to see themselves as active learners in the scientific process.
The teacher is a guide to discovery, not a mere imparter of knowledge. We provide the tools and students use them to try their own ideas out and make discoveries.
However, this is not to say that teachers shouldn't provide a "store" of knowledge for kids to draw from. That is certainly a part of teaching elementary science. We have to make sure they have accurate background knowledge to be able to draw conclusions from during their discoveries (very similar to reading: background knowledge faciliates deep comprehension of a text).
The NSTA (National Science Teachers' Association) recommends that teachers assist their students in these 5 ways:
The Younger Crowd
Holiday Science Activities