How to Teach Science Virtually

Virtual Science Teaching Activities cover

There are many teachers looking to move their learning into digital format! Schools are shifting to 1:1 ratio for iPads. And currently, we’re experiencing remote learning with students at home. This may prove to be difficult for topics like science and math where students are used to being hands-on! 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. Finally, you can download a freebie activity! 

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips picture of aquarium

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 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. 

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 picture of reptile online learning

National Geographic for Kids has gathered up a ton of videos and activities online for students to explore! 

Link to National Geographic Kids

Magic School Bus science digital learning

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! 

Link to Magic School Bus

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 virtually 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.

ipad with Science activities

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.

Topics covered: 

  • Space
  • Magnets
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Matter
  • Energy
  • Force and Motion
  • Water Cycle
  • Landforms
  • Habitats
  • Life Cycles for Spring & Life Cycles for Fall
  • Weather
  • Plants

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. 

ipad All About Animals digital activity

All About Animals!! Each of the animal nonfiction study units come 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 reading all about an animal, they’ll fill out 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 involved parents in your students’ learning, too! If your students are at-home and in need or some hands-on experimenting, you can find 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 science experiments at home

Steven 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

Other Ideas:

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! 

Epic! nonfiction digital books online

Link to Epic Reading Materials

Other Free Science Websites

When learning how to teach science virtually, 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. 

Suggested Distance 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. 

Science No-Prep Bundle- contains both digital and paper version

All About Animals- contains both digital and paper version

Free Reptile Learning Activity

All About Turtles Google Slides FREEBIE

Finally, I have a free set to offer you. If you sign up for my email list, this free reptile digital activity will be sent directly to your inbox. Then, it will be followed up in the next couple days with a hello email! Then, every Wednesday, I send out strong blog posts, fun updates, helpful teaching content, or free resources. Click HERE to sign up or use the box below.

Want to pin this blog post to read for later? Click this pin here! 

Learn more about how to teach science with technology and digital learning. Virtual science activities are discussed for hands-on learning, science research, science reading activities and more. There are virtual field trips, science experiments for elementary kids at home, and distance learning options.

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