EdPlace's Key Stage 1 Home Learning Science Lesson: Science Investigations
Looking for short lessons to keep your child engaged and learning? Our experienced team of teachers have created English, maths and science lessons for the home, so your child can learn no matter where they are. And, as all activities are self-marked, you really can encourage your child to be an independent learner.
Get them started on the lesson below and then jump into our teacher-created activities to practice what they've learnt. We've recommended five to ensure they feel secure in their knowledge - 5-a-day helps keeps the learning loss at bay (or so we think!).
Are they keen to start practising straight away? Head to the bottom of the page to find the activities.
Now...onto the lesson!
Grouping living things can be a thorny problem. Is that classified as a plant or a problem?
During Science lessons, your child will conduct a range of simple investigations to answer a question. Children often really enjoy carrying out these practical investigations but can find it difficult to make it ‘fair’.
As a parent, you may be wondering how to explain this concept in a child-friendly way to your child, who can be a ‘little’ disengaged when working at home?!
We're confident that if you follow the step-by-step approach below your child will be able to:
1) Understand that to make an investigation fair, only one variable should be changed.
2) Apply this understanding to describe how they could conduct an experiment.
3) Explain how the result of the experiment compares to their initial prediction.
Before we get going, it is crucial to check your child understands the important language we will use for this objective.
Diagram: a visual representation, a drawing of the experiment.
Measurement: the unit and method that will be used to measure the result of the experiment. For example, how long did it take for the chocolate to melt?
Prediction: a statement describing what might happen during the investigation.
Variable: any of the elements of the test that can be changed.
Step 1 - Preparing for a Science Investigation
Before a science investigation, it is crucial that your child understands 3 things about it.
1. The aim: what is the question you are trying to answer? For example, ‘does a plant need light to grow?’
2. Write a list of equipment required and ensure this has been collected.
3. Make a sensible prediction about the outcome of the investigation.
Step 2 - Fair Investigations
Two or more things are compared in a fair investigation. For the investigation to be fair, only one variable can be changed, the rest must remain the same and are controlled.
Children often find it helpful to create a plan and write down or draw what they will change and what they will keep the same.
A fair test will begin with a question, in the classroom, your child will then plan, carry out, take measurements, record results, and write a conclusion.
At home, you could plan these parts of a simple investigation together…
How will you do this?
Step 3 - Conduct a Fair Test
The best way to understand a fair test is to have some fun doing some at home together!
A great one to conduct at home is ‘does a plant need sunlight?’
Together plant some seeds in two different cups. Place one cup on a sunny windowsill and the other in a dark cupboard.
Answer these questions:
1. What will stay the same/ be controlled?
2. Which variable will change?
3. What are you measuring?
4. What do you predict will happen?
Step 4 - Extra Tasks to do at home
Great effort covering all of this together, now why not challenge your child’s ability to conduct a fair test by doing these investigations together at home?
For each investigation, think about the variable that will change and the ones that will remain the same. What equipment will you need? What are you measuring? Can you make a prediction using the word ‘because’ before you begin?
1. Set up a range of different liquids, which liquid evaporates the quickest?
2. Get a range of chocolate (yum!), which chocolate melts the fastest? (Always supervise a child working with hot liquid.)
3. If you are blindfolded, can you work out where your partner is in the room when they clap? What happens to the noise as they move around?
4. Go outside on a sunny day, is your shadow different at different times of the day? Why not record the movement of your shadow using chalk?
5. Can you make a bottle organ using some empty bottles and water? Fill the bottles to different levels with water, what happens to the sound?
Step 5 - Putting it into Practice
Now, you’ve had some practice, why not assign your child the following five activities in this order to test their understanding.
All activities are created by teachers and automatically marked. Plus, with an EdPlace subscription, we can automatically progress your child at a level tailored to their needs. Sending you progress reports along the way so you can track and measure progress, together - brilliant!
1. These variables will remain the same: the number of seeds, the type of container, the amount of water and the amount of time they are left for.
2. The variable that will change is the position of the cups containing the seeds.
3. We are measuring whether seeds can grow without sunlight.
4. A prediction that suggests that the seeds without light will not grow as well as those with light.
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