Observation over time

Observations over time can take place over any period of time. For example Year 1 (age 5-6 years) pupils are asked to observe the changes across the four seasons. This could involve identifying a tree in the school grounds and observing all the changes that occur over the year. Children could take photographs, draw pictures and make a diary to record all the changes they see over the year.

Four seasons. Trees in spring, summer, autumn and winter taken from the same position over the year

In key stage 2 (ages 7-11) children could investigate how materials change over time. For example how chocolate changes state when heated or cooled. You could use this as a starting point to introduce a bigger project that explores how manufacturers stop their chocolate from melting quickly in warmer climates.

This type of investigation can also be used to measure and observe changes in living things. For example, how we grow from a child to an adult or observing chicks hatch and grow into mature chickens.

Use the comments below to discuss any observation over time you have done or would like to complete with your children.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre