High School Science Activities With More Than You Bargained For
When you go through my high school science activities I hope you’re surprised at how much you get. Sure, you expect student handouts and some sort of teacher notes. But what about customized PowerPoints, quizzes and homework assignments, copies pictures, and a thorough set of video notes complete with step-by-step explanation and illustrations that you can customize your high school science activities?
This is an excerpt from the lesson- “Interactive Notes-States of Matter“
High School Science Activities That Reach Everyone
When you stop and think about it, teaching high school science activities is quite scary. You’re standing in front of 30 students. Some are having a good day, others bad. You have varying attention spans to deal with (thanks in part to video games, television, and cell phones, and sugar). There are high and low achievers- a future ivy league student could be sitting next to a soon-to-be dropout. This realization is sobering and it reminds us who our high school science activities are supposed to serve, and how awesome our task is. And your task is to come up with an activity that will be meaningful to each and every one of these science students. Wow! (Dont think about this too long because it will turn your attitude negative, and you’ll convince yourself that you can’t teach high school science activities).
So how in the world can you make Plate Tectonics or DNA meaningful to everyone? Begin by putting a good demonstration in their hands, which will pull them all in. The number of students who enjoy doing demonstrations is about the same as those who enjoy opening presents at Christmas. That leaves a door open for you to follow with a discussion to hang ideas and concepts all over that demonstration just like you were hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree.
High School Science Activities- All Fun?
With high school science activities, being interactive is important, but I want to do more than just entertain your students. The neat thing is that after experiencing a good demonstration, students actually crave a good explanation. That’s why my teacher videos strongly emphasize you being mentally prepared. You should never walk into your classroom not having a clue what you’re doing that day. If that’s your habit, you might occasionally have a good day of learning, but you and your students are missing out on many more.
Step 1, then, is going in with knowing what you’re doing. And step 2 then would be deciding what kinds of things you’ll say during the high school science activities. If you seldom give thought to your words before a lesson, try it and see what happens during your next high school science activities. Everyone wants to be part of a great lesson, but it’s usually the unseen work and mental preparation that make it successful.
High school science activities That Include Everyone
Is it really true that these high school science activities are for every student in your room? Let’s see- we know the “good” kids who normally pay attention will continue to do so. But what about the daydreamers, the troublemakers, and those who panic when things get “wordy” and technical? I designed each of my high school science activities to keep everyone interested:
- The daydreamer will become intrigued with the demonstration
- Troublemakers are usually kids who hate worksheets because they have trouble reading, so they’ll love getting their hands on science
- And those with weak stomachs will be ok too, because they’ll get a boost of confidence from what they did themselves. And that which you have done with your own hands you are no longer afraid of.
Great Questions During high school science activities
They’re rare hard to find, but they make all the difference in high school science activities. I’m referring to great questions. One great question is powerful enough to carry an entire activity- it gives you something to build around and up to. Or you can leave it with your students to chew on for a homework assignment that wraps on into tomorrow.
My high school science activities include some great questions, but you can come up with more of your own by going through the activity in your mind beforehand.
And don’t forget the importance of good mental preparation before the activity. Plan a series of leading questions that culminate in that one special question that you almost cant wait to get to. Since great questions seldom pop up out of nowhere, you should invest time in the activity before the activity, as described in my Yellow Sheet. By doing this you’ll give yourself a chance to come up with some great questions of your own.