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Traditionally, in England at least, science has not been taught formally to young children in a thorough systematic way. Adults who are middle aged or older now, frequently had very little science education, if any at all. Nowadays things have changed considerably for the better, but this does mean that primary school teachers find themselves having to teach science to their young charges with little confidence in their own knowledge and little experience from their own childhood. This module offers practical advice on teaching science to children aged 5 –7 in a fun and effective way.


The aim of this module is to offer advice to teachers of children aged 5-7 who want practical ideas to help plan their teaching of science.

Science is an important subject

A sound knowledge of science is essential in today’s modern technical world and will probably be even more so in the future. You should treat science as an important subject. By this I mean you should set aside a set time each week to spend on a science lesson or lessons. You probably already do this for english and mathematics and you should do the same for science. How much time you spend each week is up to you or your education board but I would recommend that you spend one hour a week in a formal science lesson and perhaps another hour a week as part of topic work.

Science is a practical subject

Science, in essence, is a way of finding things out about the world. The scientific method, has allowed man to make very rapid advances in knowledge and understanding about the natural world. This method is best demonstrated by Gallelao’s experiments with gravity. The wizdom at the time suggested that heavier objects fell faster than light ones. He dropped two masses and timed how fast they fell to disprove the accepted wizdom. Such a simple experiment but no one had thought to do it before him.

When teaching science aim not to teach facts, instead aim to teach skills. Pupils with the necessary skills will, with your help of course, be able to find out the facts for themselves. The skills needed to become a scientist can only be learned through practice. Pupils gain theses skills by performing experiments. You should aim to do at least one investigation or experiment every week. For very young children, the experiments should be simple with clear results.

A very simple experiment for a child in this age group might be to find out the answer to“What happens to an ice cube if we leave it on a dish in the classroom?”. This is an experiment that a child as young as three or four can comprehend. As the child grows older related questions can be investigated. How long does it take for the ice cube to completely melt? Does the position it is placed in the room affect how fast it melts and if it does then what can that tell us about the temperature around the room.

Science is a playful subject

Children, especially young children, are naturally curious about the world and will, if left to their own devices find out about the world through play. As teachers we can exploit this natural tendency and encourage playfulness as a powerful aid to learning. Allow pupils time to play with science equipment. You could for example, give them a torch and ask them to find out as many things as they can about shadows, they must report back to the rest of the class in 5 minutes. If you do this you will find them teaching themselves. You can sit back and simply enjoy the fun.

Formal games can also work well. You want them to learn the functions of different parts of a plant? Make a set of cards with“makes food for the plant”,“soaks up water from the soil”and so on. Give each child a picture of a plant to colour in and explain the rules. Each child takes a card from the pack. They identify the plant part from the function then colour it in. If they get a card they had before too bad. If they colour in the wrong part they are out. First child with a fully coloured in plant is the winner. It does take some time and planning on your part because you have to make up the cards but once you do you can reuse them year after year. Again you will be able to sit back and watch the children teach themselves and each other! Other games, such as bingo, dominoes, and snakes and ladders type games can all be adapted to help teach science.

Science is a fun subject

Pupils love doing hands on work. With a little effort you can make science their favourite subject. Plan your lessons carefully. Keep learning objectives clear and simple. Do not try to teach too much all at once. Plan multiple activities that have the same learning objectives. Children have a short attention span, keep them enthusiastic by not exceeding that span. An hour long lesson should be divided up. For example you might plan :

  • A 10 minute starter activity (such as a video) to get them interested.
  • Two 15 minute practical activities to get them learning.
  • A 15 minute game to reinforce the learning.
  • A five minute teacher led whole class discussion to recall what they have just learned.

The time will fly by, fun will be had by all, and the pupils will come to love science.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Collection. OpenStax CNX. Dec 22, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11259/1.7
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