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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science. Join the course to learn more.
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Engaging children with science at home

Welcome to the second week of the course. This week we start by looking at engaging pupils with learning at home and the crucial role that parents/careers will play. During this week you will build up a bank of activities and ideas for engaging children with science at home. Of course, you’ll be able to use these activities in the classroom, or to structure homework activities, once children return to school.

Sparking curiosity

Science is a creative subject, rather than a body of facts to learn, and scientific enquiry can be used to really spark children’s curiosity at the same time as developing a range of skills (Cutraro, 2012).

We know from educational neuroscience that engagement is necessary for learning, and children differ in how well they can keep their attention and what engages them to be interested in something.

Novelty is known to impact on the brain and increase engagement. The unusual and the unexplored can drive curiosity and learning very effectively. Tapping into a child’s curiosity about different phenomena can be turned into a learning experience.

I wonder

‘I wonder’ activities are a perfect example of good EYFS practice. Anything can be the stimulus for an ‘I wonder’ activity to get children’s imagination flowing. For example looking at a picture of a seedling popping out of the ground, children are asked ‘what do you wonder about this?’ and are prompted to reply ‘I wonder…?’.

Image of a seed with a shoot sprouting out on top of soil - Pixabay/truthseeker08

When they are playing with bubbles, what questions come to mind? Why are the bubbles different sizes? Can you make a cube shaped bubble? Why are there different colours on a bubble? Can we explore any of the questions further?

Girl blowing a bubble - Pixabay/FotoReith

Suggest

To build up a bank of ideas for ‘I wonder’ activities, we’d like you to contribute ONE idea. What stimulus material might you use for the activity?

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science

National STEM Learning Centre