I begin the lesson by finding out what your students already know about science. I will say "What is science?" Each student is required to use the sentence stem "Science is . . ." Using the computer and the ENO Board, I will type in one sentence from each student and place their name next to it. I will give everyone an opportunity to share with the whole class.
I allow two days for this process taking into account my kindergartener's attention spans. I am learning my students personalities, their ability to express themselves, and their prior knowledge about science. I am setting the foundation for my students to express themselves and communicate information publicly. While each student shares what they know about science, I take anecdotal notes and informally evaluate their understanding of science.
This is also a time of building community and setting the tone for how we will treat each other with respect when practicing the Next Generation Science Standards such as communicating information or engaging in argument from evidence.
I begin this section of the lesson by reading What is Science All About? I read this book as a "novel." I allot two days to reading the book as well. I give attention to reading because when students are read to so many senses are involved that learning becomes personal. They hear my voice, my tone, my inflections, and my excitement for the subject. I also use a special aroma every time I conduct a science lesson. When possible, I use the same fragrance each time to invoke interest and stimulate recall. This technique comes from Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist. (His book will be easy to read and very informative for educators.)
I will explain to my students that they are scientists and they do what scientists do naturally. They ask questions, seek out answers, and observe. My goal is to cultivate a scientific mindset. I will continue to explain science in small increments because coming to an understanding of "what is science" will not be mastered in one lesson.