Process Activities Tips
Engaging Science Activities and Fun Experiments for Kids
Science A-Z Process Activities provide opportunities to apply important unit concepts and develop scientific practices through hands-on science activities and fun experiments for kids. Students learn to read, think, write, speak, and behave as real scientists in a structured format, which helps prepare them to design and pursue their own investigations in the future.
Each Process Activity includes a purpose, background information, a materials list, procedures, a data sheet, and several questions to help students analyze their data and draw conclusions. Teaching Tips help guide science projects for kids.
Why Use Process Activities
In Science A-Z Process Activities, students apply important practices in order to construct scientific understanding. Students identify problems, ask and answer questions, hypothesize, manipulate variables, apply math skills, gather evidence, solve problems, and communicate their findings through speaking, listening, and writing.
Students practice observing, proposing new ideas, designing experiments, and testing new ideas as they collaborate with peers on a Process Activity. These skills and habits of mind apply to everyday life long after students complete classroom investigations.
How to Use Process Activities
Use the Process Activity Materials Lists for each grade range as a guide for obtaining the science supplies that students will use when completing activities throughout the year.
Guide the Activity
Use the Teaching Tips provided with each Process Activity to help your science activities, experiments, or projects run smoothly.
- For grades 3-6, Teaching Tips are provided after the student pages and suggest how to run a smooth activity, how to keep students safe, and how to obtain materials. The Teaching Tips also provide answer keys that include possible results for the data sheet and sample student responses to questions.
- For grades K-2, the entire Process Activity is written to the teacher, and Teaching Tips are incorporated throughout, with sample student results and responses provided.
Determine the Inquiry Process
Process Activities provide everything required for structured inquiry, but the resources can also be used for guided inquiry or self-directed/open inquiry investigations.
- Structured inquiry: Students follow the provided procedures, fill in the premade data sheet, and answer the provided questions.
- Guided inquiry: Teachers might use the Purpose and Materials provided, but encourage students to design their own investigation, set up their own data sheets, and analyze the data in their own ways.
- Self-directed/open inquiry: Teachers can provide the focus of the investigation and serve as the facilitator as students do the rest.