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Teaching the Scientific Method:

Have your students apply the six steps of the scientific method to different questions.  Example questions:

  • Do crickets prefer light or dark?
  • Will ice sink in water?
  • Which will a nail rust faster in?  Salt water or tap water?
  • Do earthworms prefer their soil moist or dry?

Use simple questions which your students will be able to solve with your help.  This is just preparation for the real thing - the Science Fair project, where they get to use this tool, the scientific method, to solve their own questions.

Once your students have found some questions, have them form hypotheses.  A hypothesis for the first example question would be "I think crickets prefer light to dark".  If you make the hypothesis the opposite of what you expect, you will be more objective when collecting the results of your method.

Figure out a method to prove your hypothesis.  In the example above, the class might tape a cardbord wall with a doorhole for the cricket into the center of a small box.  A piece of cardboard can be taped over one side of the box to create a dark 'room' for the cricket.  Some mosquito netting can keep the cricket inside the box.  Have the class place the box directly under a strong light for some hours.  Your students should observe the result and write it down.  Repeat the experiment with several crickets in the box at once.  Have the students write down that result. 

After two or three experiments, your students can look at the results and form a conclusion.  The conclusion should answer the question.

 

Links:

Science Lessons by Age

Field Trips and Museums - A Teacher's Guide