Ideas for elementary lessons

NSTA’s Discussion Forums and List Server groups often have questions from teachers looking for lesson ideas. Whether they are student teachers or beginning teachers looking to begin their library of science lessons, or experienced teachers looking for new ideas, NSTA’s K-12 journals have many articles that could be helpful.

Much of this interest seems to come from the elementary level, including teachers who struggle with trying to provide meaningful science lessons within a limited time frame. Two monthly features in Science & Children are relevant to this challenge.

Teaching with Trade Books explores a concept with recommended books and detailed lessons. Each article lists two books (grades K-2 and 3-5) and two lessons related to the books. (You could substitute other books related to the concept if the suggested ones are not available.) The lessons use the 5E format and have a chart showing the correlations to the NGSS. Here is a collection of recent Teaching with Trade Book articles (through the NSTA Learning Center).

The Early Years features easy-to-use lesson ideas for our younger scientists (PreK to grade 2). The article begins with a discussion of the unique needs of young children followed by an age-appropriate lesson that fosters the developing interests and curiosity of these young scientists. Here is a collection of recent Early Years articles (through the NSTA Learning Center).

NSTA’s Science & Children is a good source of other lesson ideas each month (and you can search the back issues by keyword or by year.) NSTA members can download the articles at no cost.

Many authors share resources related to the lessons and strategies in their articles through the Connections link for Science & Children. These resources include rubrics, graphic organizers, handouts, diagrams, lists of resources, and complete lessons.

For more on the content that provides a context for projects and strategies described in these articles (and additional activities), see the SciLinks: Alternative Energy Resources, Behavior, Constellations, Engineering Structures, Forces and Motion, Fossil Fuels, Genes and Traits, Heredity, How Do Animals Grow and Reproduce?, Inventions/Inventors, Life Cycles, Morse Code, Ocean Floor, Plant Growth, Seed Germination, Seasons, Simple Machines, Stars, Sun

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