There are many teachers looking to move their learning into digital format! Schools are shifting to 1:1 ratio for iPads. It may seem difficult for topics like science and math where students are used to being hands-on, but in this blog post, I’m going to suggest a few ideas on how to teach science virtually. First, we will check out virtual field trips and online resources that will help your lesson plans. Then, we will look at activities you can assign to your students.
Virtual Field Trips
One way to teach science virtually is with virtual field trips! Many websites have added virtual tours and virtual field trips. You can find virtual tours of farms, museums, planets, national parks, and more! When assigning these virtual field trips, ask your students to take notes on what they see, what they hear, and the facts they’ve learned. You can give them guided assignments about the field trips, or you can simply let them explore! Take the virtual tour of the Smithsonian, for instance. This field trip allows students to check out science exhibits at the museum without leaving school or their home.
I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite that I think your students will love.
- Explore the World’s Largest Cave
- Check Out Mars
- Virtual Tour of the Smithsonian
- Discovery Education’s Collection of Virtual Field Trips
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
Online Educational Videos
There are many ways to bring educational videos to life. A few examples are note-taking, scavenger hunt, illustrations. While you ask your students to watch online videos, set an intention for them. In other words, give the students a job as they’re watching these videos! They’ll be more aware and focused if they’re watching these fascinating science videos with purpose and intention.
National Geographic for Kids has gathered up a ton of videos and activities online for students to explore!
Link to National Geographic Kids
In addition to watching National Geographic clips, Miss Frizzle is a classic! The Magic School Bus has tons of educational science videos for students to watch and learn!
How to Teach Science Virtually Using Google Classroom
Since students can do experiments on iPads or laptops, reading comprehension and research is a great way to assign work. Using Google Slides, you can digitally assign science learning! Give students a passage to read or a topic to research. Then allow them to use the slides to answer questions or write about what they’ve learned. Below, I will show you two resources I’ve made specifically for virtual science! They are my Science No-Prep resources and my All About Animals resources.
Let’s learn about different science topics! These digital science activities were converted from my no-prep science worksheets, reading passages, and learning activities for primary students. Each science set covers primary science skills and allows students to read and respond. These no-prep packs include prior knowledge worksheets, passages, activity worksheets, mini-books, and more! They come in Google Slides.
- Rocks and Minerals
- Force and Motion
- Water Cycle
- Life Cycles for Spring & Life Cycles for Fall
Here is a link to the bundle that holds all 13 of those sets. Or you can choose to scroll through the single units here if you’re only looking for an individual unit.
All About Animals!! Each of the animal nonfiction study units comes with a wide range of activities. It has sets for common animal groups- mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, insects, and amphibians. There are two parts to each set. First, it has a part that focuses on examples of individual animals. Then, it has another part that reviews all types of animals. Within the individual studies of animals, you’ll get a reading comprehension passage, questions, fact writing sheet, and fold and snip book. They also come as Google Slides. After students read all about an animal, they’ll fill out the information and answer questions about the animal!
Here is a link to the bundle that holds all 6 of those animal sets. Or you can grab the individual sets here.
You’ll find a free reptile activity at the bottom of this blog post! You can download the free Turtle set for free.
Easy Hands-On Science to Do At Home
It’s a great idea to try to involve parents in your students’ learning, too! If you send home a newsletter or you post ideas for at-home learning extension, you can recommend hands-on science experiments! Students can use stuff that is likely laying around their house for them to try out! Some of these experiments will be simple observation-based experiments. Others will be hands-on interaction. If you’re asking students to do at-home experiments, make sure there are clear instructions and easy-to-access materials.
Steve Spangler has gathered up family favorites on his website. These are all experiments that can be done at home! First, check out which experiments look like something your students could do at home with their parents. Check out the materials and ingredients needed to see if it’s something your students could do! Then, assign an experiment to them. Finally, ask for them to send in pictures or videos of their results!
Link to Steve Spangler At-Home Experiments
Nonfiction Books on Epic
For a limited time, Epic! has free access for teachers. This is a great way to give your students access to nonfiction science texts without your classroom library being available to them. When you get to the website, just click nonfiction. You can either let students choose the books they’d like to read freely. Likewise, you can assign specific books and set an intention with that book!
Link to Epic Reading Materials
Other Free Science Websites
When learning how to teach science digitally, it’s important to find lots of online resources to pull from! I’ve gathered up lots of websites, videos, and resources for science activities throughout this blog post. Here are a few others I think you should check out that I didn’t include above.
- Science for Kids
- NGSS Storylines
- BrainPop and BrainPopJr. (free access during school closures)
- Wonderopolis: Science Tab
- Kids Discover (free account does require sign-up)
- Animal Planet
Suggested Digital Learning Resources
Here are some science activities to assign your students that are simple enough to upload right to your Google Drive or share with students with a link. showed these two resources above! They are my All About Animals sets and my Science No-Prep sets.
Click on the buttons to grab the link you need.
Click on the buttons to grab the link you need.
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