Safety in Science

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SWBAT to explain the elements of safety in science.

Big Idea

Implications in science have social, ethical and safety issues.


5 minutes

This lesson will focus on safety in science.  This is a huge skill to teach children in science.  It is important that they understand the high need to be aware of their senses in science and how those senses will help them to become better scientists.  

This lesson is connected to standard ETS1-1.  While it is not spelled out in any standards that safety is a concern, it is imperative that students be taught how to carefully conduct an investigation. If safety concerns are not taken into account while conducting an investigation, students will not be able to appropriately ask questions, make observations or gather information with in the correct sense of the investigation. This lesson is a foundation lesson. Safety will be continually be addressed in all investigations.  

"Boys and girls, today we are going to be talking about something very serious in science.  Please get your new journals out that we began working in yesterday.  Turn it to the next blank open page. I would really appreciate you getting your scissors and team glue bottle out as well. Then I would like you to focus your attention on the Smart Board."  

At this point I have my science journals Safety in Science on the screen and open to slide number 5.

The beginning slides are important to my routine and establishing my lesson, but they are not the highlight of the lesson. 



10 minutes

"Ok, everyone, we are going to talk about our senses.  I know that you are all very familiar with what your senses do for you.  In science, they have to work extra hard.  Because your senses are what help you to become a really good scientist.  The first sense you are going to use is your eyes.  They help you to see and observe everything that you will be exploring."

I move on to the next three slides and explain each sense exactly this way. (nose, hands, and ears). When I get to slide number 9, I look at the children and explain in a VERY serious tone of voice that there is one sense THEY WILL NEVER, EVER use in science investigations.  

"We will never ever use our mouth to explore in science.  Can anyone tell me the reason why we wouldn't do this?"

The children are always pretty good at coming up with answers to this question.  However, it is imperative that the conversation happen in a classroom setting.  

Never in the course of my year, will I have any harmful substances that in an investigation in class.  This lesson is really setting a life long skill that needs to be taught.  


20 minutes

After having the conversation about what senses we will use and not use in our investigations this school year, I want to really make sure my students do not forget what we just discussed.  I have them open their new journals to the next open (blank) page.

I move to slide number 10 in the power point.  This slide shows the students what we are going to add to our journals to help us remember these important things.  The master blackline is the last page of the power point.  

Whenever I make a new power point, and I create the work the students will use during the lesson, I include it within the power point.  This keeps all the learning in one place and it is easy for me to access at a given moment.  

"I am going to bring each of your teams a piece of paper. I would like the team leaders to pass one to each of their teammates and then you may cut the outside edges off the page."

I demonstrate how I would like the children to cut out the page.  Next we fold it in half along the center line.  

"Boys and girls, I would like you to take your scissors and cut each line that is between the letters.  But I want you to be very careful and don't cut the whole page.  When you cut like this, it will make a door for you.  (I show them what I want them to do). Slide number 11 shows them how to make a trail of glue around the entire page and glue it in.  I call these trails of glue "snail trails"  


10 minutes

In order to make sure this lesson as made an impact on my students, I want to check for their understanding.  I like to use my clickers.  I am fortunate to have the Smart clickers in my class. I use this quick assessment safety in science quiz  to see how they brought in the information.  It is very self explanatory.  

If I see that many of the students are not answering well, I will reteach the lesson.  However, generally it is a very successful and easy lesson.  That always has good results.