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- Ada T., Student teacher
- Camden Wyoming, DE
History of Science Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved History of Science educational resource ideas and activities
Young scientists investigate the scientific concepts and principles that help make common toys such as hula hoops, yo-yos, slinkies, and silly putty work. As a class, they read "Backyard Rocket Science, Served Wet" to get a look behind the scenes of inventions. They then develop exhibits to display in a "Science of Toys" museum.
Compare and contrast old and modern historical accounts of the life of Thomas Jefferson. Learners begin by evaluating the responsibilities of history textbooks in reporting historical events, people, and eras. Next, they discuss how new information should be used to enhance the information contained in standard texts. This exercise could be used as a critical thinking activity for your class.
Although the article that launches this lesson is about the history of the Periodic Table, the objective is reading comprehension. Using the eight-page informational text, learners answer five comprehension questions and craft one essay. They utilize text features such as headings and graphics to more efficiently move through the questions, and mark the text as they read to note important facts. This is also a great way to teach vocabulary in context and text features. The reading is not difficult or long.
Begin this powerful study on the Guatemalan genocide with a nine-minute video clip, which can be easily found online. The excerpt introduces the class to this tragedy through a personal account, which is what they will be collecting. Discussion questions following the clip drive scholars to deeper thinking about oral histories and justice, and they view a website dedicated to keeping memories of victims alive (linked). Learners then interview Guatemalans or other members of their community, collecting oral histories and reflecting on the experience. Another site offers guidance for this process.
Examine ways in which historic places and landmarks represent significant themes and events in American history. Then create theme-based travel guides for related historic locations. This lesson requires informational reference materials and includes great discussion questions and extension activities.
Learners explore West Virginia history with regard to Mountain and Appalachian Culture. They compare and contrast life now with life 100-150 years ago. They write and illustrate a short story about the life of children 100-150 years ago. There are also some ideas for planning a class Mountain Culture Celebration.
Readers learn how to summarize scientific text and evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges in writing summaries. They select science-related articles you've pulled and collected from the New York Times and, with a partner, generate summaries. It's great to give learners choice!
Reading, writing, and rings! A lesson from NASA combines space science with authentic reading and writing tasks. Included in this lesson are pre-reading activities, four mini informational booklets on Saturn, a structured note-taking guide, and an authentic final writing assessment. Young astronauts practice note-taking skills while gathering information about Saturn through their reading. Then they use this information to write a descriptive paragraph for mission control.
Explore connections within and between informational texts with this activity about encyclopedia articles. Middle schoolers write encyclopedia articles focusing on topics in American history. They discuss how to determine credibility online, practice fact checking, assess their own ability to read actively and skeptically, and write memos that educate others on how to do so. This resource provides vocabulary, assessment options, extensions, and interdisciplinary connections.