Scientific Observation Teacher Resources

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Before heading out on a trip to a local art museum, learners practice taking observational notes. They discuss what to look for and how to make detailed scientific observations. They then go to a selected location on the school grounds and record everything they see at the selected site. Links to two related lessons are included at the bottom of the page.
Students study data. For this seal research lesson, students act as scientific researchers observing Monk seals in their habitat. They work in small groups to record data from a video and when through they share a piece of information with the class. This lesson includes resource links and a data worksheet.
Students record changes in an ecosystem. In this science activity students make a hypothesis about changes in a terrarium. They record their observations. The students conduct an experiment to test their hypothesis.
Third graders examine the non-standard method of measurement and compare it to the metric system of measurement. In this introductory module lesson, 3rd graders discover the scientific observation. Students also develop communication techniques during an activity. Students expand their knowledge of measuring distance and the tools of measurement.
Students are introduced to the use of dichotomous keys as a simple means of beginning scientific observations in nature. They comprehend how to use a dichotomous key. Students distinguish characteristics of a group of organisms. They comprehend of the candy key to identifying plants.
Students complete scientific observation to study similarities and differences in animals. In this similarities and differences lesson, students study pictures of twins and discuss similarities and differences. Students then study goldfish and crickets and discuss their similarities and differences. Students make illustrations for their observations and a vocabulary word wall.
Students observe a mystery photo and use descriptive language to solve the mystery. In this descriptive language lesson, students use scientific observation to figure out a mystery photo. Students rationalize their thoughts with descriptive words on a worksheet.
In this writing worksheet, students learn to write a scientific observation in the present tense with the passive voice. Students watch something for ten minutes, then write in the impersonal style of a scientific observer.
As a lesson on scientific observation, have your class investigate the features of a penny and a nickel. Working in pairs, they practice writing detailed descriptions using their senses and a ruler to gather information. This is an important skill to develop for any branch of science you may be teaching elementary learners. Use it at the beginning of the school year to prepare your aspiring scientists!
There is nothing more exciting for a child than going outdoors to explore a concept or idea. Take your second graders to the school play yard so they can locate and observe insects. The activity sheet includes two diagrams showing the parts of an insect's body and a scientific observation sheet to make bug watching a snap. During the class discussion it would be wise to mention how learners should treat the plants they will be coming in contact with. 
Encourage an active lifestyle and teach the new Common Core standards at the same time! In one of a series of innovative lessons, young learners take 20-minute walks as they listen to podcasts recorded on various subjects. This particular lesson deals with the life, inventions, and theories of Galileo. After returning from their walk, your class will take a short comprehension quiz, as well as engage in discussion about both the recording they listened to and the exercise they completed. These resources include the necessary podcasts and comprehension quizzes and numerous discussion prompts. Note: Because pupils need to listen to this podcast while walking, you will need an MP3 player for each individual. 
Sixth graders explore scientific observations by analyzing a group of data. For this fingerprint identification lesson, 6th graders identify the reasoning behind fingerprinting and create their own ink fingerprints. Students discuss the different fingerprint types and create a bar graph representing the similarities between fingerprints.
Students generate scientific observations of pine trees. In this pine tree lesson, students explore pine trees native to Virginia. Students take a nature walk making scientific observations about the plants and trees they encounter. Using a microscope, students investigate the cellular structure of objects acquired during the nature walk.
Students explore the monitoring efforts in Monterey Bay and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries. They develop an ecosystem monitoring plan that explains the rationale for ecosystem monitoring, the methods for monitoring based on research, the people involved in the project, the steps of the monitoring plan, and the benefit of the monitoring project to the area.
Students discover the world through a magnifying lens.  In this scientific observation lesson, students utilize a magnifying glass to investigate local plant life normally unseen by the naked eye.  Students practice using vocabulary related to scientific observations.
There are three types of soil. It's your job to introduce them to your students, and this lesson is a good place to start. Students are introduced to the three types of soil then work as groups to make scientific observations at four different soil centers. Each center is different and very engaging however a microscope and spring scale are required, every thing else is included as downloadable word files. A little work, but a lot of fun!
Students explore properties of coral. In this scientific observation lesson, students investigate properties and characteristics of coral. Students write statements describing the coral using observation words.
Students examine states of matter. In this solids and liquids lesson, students conduct a scientific investigation that requires them to make oobleck and record their observations pertaining to it.
In this scientific observation learning exercise, students understand the difference between quantitative and qualitative observations. Students also apply the processes of inferring, predicting, and classifying using scientific observations. This learning exercise has 3 matching, 17 fill in the blank, and 22 short answer questions.
First graders practice observing items in small areas. In this scientific observation instructional activity, 1st graders complete a worksheet that shows a child looking at a small patch of grass. They make a list of items that the child sees. They observe a small patch of grass at home or in the schoolyard if it is possible.

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