I’ve recently turned two more of my lab activities into products available to other teachers through my TpT store.
Activity: Predict, Measure, Graph and Analyze with Tasty Candy!
I use this activity with my 6th graders as they are learning to make quantitative observations, but I think it’s useful for 7th-9th as well.
Students enjoy getting to eat the candy after they make their measurements. Skills practiced are making a bar graph, calculating averages and percentages and comparing their data to the data of other students.
My 6th graders come to me without much experience with measuring and evaluating quantitative data. Math is not applied to scientific thinking in the lower grades unfortunately! While I think they would benefit from quantitative thinking in science in 4th/5th grade, I am happy to introduce them to the world of data!
Inquiry Activity: Magnet Challenge! Includes Google Doc Worksheet Option
I was really happy with how well my students did with this activity. I created it over the summer to use as a beginning-of-the-year warm up to remind my 7th graders how to collaborate and get back into academic work. I enjoyed their enthusiasm for the activity as they got beyond their initial struggle with inquiry-style experimentation. Fear-of-the-wrong-answer-syndrome impacts many of my hardworking students! I like the challenge this activity provided to set aside this paralyzing fear and just enjoy experimenting with magnets. The link includes a product PREVIEW so you can see student work.
Metals Activity: Malleable, Ductile, Shiny, Conductive, High Melting Point
I made this inquiry activity years ago, but finally got around to making it available to teachers like you just recently. I like the way my students have to come up with their own ways to demonstrate the properties of metals with nothing more than a piece of aluminum foil. The only other supplies is a heat source such as a hot plate and some way to test electrical conductivity (easy to make).
The activity has a built-in assessment so you do not need any separate way to assess understanding.
You can have students partner up for this, but I like for them to work independently with this activity. Too much partnering leads to too much reliance on others to do the thinking. With a piece of foil being the only individual supply needed there’s no real need to share.
Take a look at the PREVIEW for this activity to see some student work!