Third grade science standards require students to participate in investigations, observe results and offer reasons for findings. In Mrs. Julien’s third grade science class at Kimberly Elementary, the students utilized these scientific processes as they investigated the factors that allow plants to live and thrive in different regions of Georgia.
The rigorous science investigation required the students to learn about the adaptations of plant leaves that allow them to thrive in different regions. For example, some leaves are flat while others are rolled or contain a waxy coating. To simulate the leaves, the students used a flat paper towel, a rolled paper towel and a paper towel rolled in waxed paper. Each paper towel was saturated in water and set to dry overnight.
The next day, the students examined the evidence and discussed their findings, making the connection, between the paper towel “leaves” and leaves found in nature.
Mrs. Julien believes that involving students in hands-on investigations that prompt discussion, allows them to make connections to the science concepts they study in class. Her students agree.
“I like to do experiments because it makes learning more fun,” said one of her students.
“I can understand things better when we actually do them in the classroom instead of just reading about them,” said another student.
Mrs. Julien plans to incorporate a science investigation into her classroom curriculum each week.