A Close Look at Science Tools

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SWBAT identify tools that scientists use to investigate.

Big Idea

Goggles, hand lens, and balances-what do we do with theses?


10 minutes

To access students' prior knowledge, I ask: Please name the tools you think scientists use on a sticky tab. Be sure to write a complete sentence,  bring the sticky tab to the board so we can discuss.

As a class, I have students view the PowerPoint, science tools.  After the PowerPoint, students are asked: When will you use a stopwatch?; Why would a scientist use a thermometer?; What tool would you use to see something closer?; When would a balance be helpful. I  ask students these questions to ensure students understand when scientists tools are used. 




25 minutes

At the carpet, I inform the students that they will explore science tools at the 7 stations set-up around the room.  2-3 students are grouped, so they can rotate around the stations. They are grouped by abilities, high-low. In ability grouping, advanced students can assist low performing students. Students are placed in small groups to collaborate with their peers. I inform students that they will visit 7 stations which addresses MP5 using the appropriate tools.

I provide the students with a lab sheet for recording their information. This is done so students can see their results from using the appropriate tools.

I go over to each station as a whole group prior to starting the stations to ensure they understand how to use the tools.

Google Station- you will put on some goggles and spray a light mist of water on your face. You will record where the water landed on your face, and record why goggles are important.

Stopwatch Station- you will use a stop watch to record how many numbers you can write beginning with 0. I discuss how to use a stopwatch with the students.

Balance Station- you will use unifix cubes to weigh the objects. When you have enough cubes, the balance will be leveled.

Hand lens- you will use a hand lens to look at a rock. First, you will draw what the rock looks like without using a hand lens. Then you will draw what it looks like using a hand lens.

Microscope Station-you will look at the microscope and draw what you see and make a prediction about what is under the microscope.

Thermometer Station- you will measure the temperature of ice water-vs-room temperature water, using Celsius. I will discuss how to use a thermometer with the students.

Here are the teacher instructions for the stations!

Here is a sample of the student work.


10 minutes

As a whole class, students are called back to their desk to discuss their findings.  To access what students learn, want to learn, or have a question about, I have them to complete a 3-2-1 Ticket. When I observe the students' exit ticket, I want to make sure that students understand how to use the science tools. Also, I am checking for mastery.