STEM

Preview – Sesame Street Little Discoverers: BIG FUN with Science, Math, and More!

Unit & Class Plans – Scootle

Plants – Splash, SAPS,

Insects

Life Cycles – Mrs Gren, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story,The Very Hungry Caterpillar Nat Geo Unit

Animals – Australian, Zoos

Upd8 is a website that provides activities for 5-11 year olds which use topical events to create uniquely engaging science lessons.

Locations of film extracts and provides brief summaries of the content for various primary school levels

Scientific intervention strategies:

  1. encouraging students to test their ideas
  2. encouraging students to develop more specific definitions for particular words
  3. encouraging students to generalise from one specific context to another through discussion
  4. finding ways to make imperceptible changes or features perceptible
  5. testing the right idea alongside the students’ own ideas
  6. using secondary sources
  7. discussion with others

3d concept maps using real objects and/or student-created images can replace concept words, and strips of card (with focus words from the students) can be the connections between what is provided and/or images.

Language use is also important in the way teachers interpret students’ responses. We may too
readily interpret students’ responses as ‘signs of missing [or incorrect scientific] ideas’. GC
Alternatively, we could use students’ responses to ‘identify what it is they need to learn’ (Papageorgiou and Johnson 2005, p. 57). When students say, for example, that they think air (or sometimes oxygen or hydrogen) is what the bubbles are made of when water is bubbling, this could simply mean that students ‘do not have the idea that water itself can form a body of gas’.

Should set up situations that cause disagreement, teachers need a clear task with at least one example that may cause debate; for example, when discussing solids and liquids, include steel wool, talc or jelly. These latter materials, called dilatants, display properties of solids or liquids, depending upon conditions (everyday examples are toothpaste and snot). They are difficult to classify and would encourage deeper discussion about what is a solid, liquid and a gas. A constructivist lesson sequence that could develop deeper thinking about unusual substances and materials, such as dilatants. Their steps were:

  • identify students’ experiences with the phenomenon to be studied (e.g., slimy soap)
  • have students pose questions about the phenomenon
  • encourage students to talk about the phenomenon as they attempt to answer their questions
  • facilitate students’ exploration and investigation of the phenomenon by observing and manipulating materials
  • encourage recognition of similarities and differences
  • talk with students about relevant scientific views and encourage students to question these views
  • support generalisation of ideas where possible (e.g., What about glass that flows?)