Discovering Science: classifying and categorizing (matter, grades 2-3)

Key critical thinking skills can be easily incorporated into science lessons.

And you can keep the “matter” of teaching science exciting, fun, and relevant!

NSTA’s “Discovering Science” lesson on matter provides you with a natural segue into strengthening students’ classifying and categorizing skills.

Those critical thinking skills help students see patterns and organize their thinking. They also build competency in literacy and problem-solving. Let students work together to classify matter as solids, liquids, and gases and see patterns in information. The Next Generation Science Standards Science Standards, (2-PS1-1) emphasize the importance of classifying, “Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.” Reinforce skills by giving students opportunities to arrange or sort: shapes, words, numbers, words, or animals. Being actively involved in these processes gives students the foundation on which to develop higher order thinking skills. Read more about classifying and categorizing.

Lesson Plan

Please take a look at the matter lesson plan for grades 2-3 students. Let us know how it worked in your classroom—we’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!

Image of girl watching raisins dance in club soda courtesy of Moore Memorial Public Library.

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