Does the idea of teaching chemistry concepts to upper elementary students have you shaking in your boots? Are you nervous about all of the prep and worse… the clean-up? I feel ya teacher bestie! That’s why today I am sharing three ways that you can make your classroom chemistry unit educational and memorable for students.
1) Incorporate Books
One easy way to help students build the background knowledge that they need in order to experience success in any science unit is by incorporating books into your unit of study.
There are a few ways that you can do this!
You may want to do a whole group read-aloud that touches on chemistry concepts. One of my favourites is Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows. It’s a super quick read and does a great job of introducing students to the scientific method.
Another way to incorporate books into your classroom chemistry unit is to have a variety of nonfiction books that focus on chemistry in your classroom library. Students can choose to read the books independently. Or you could even use one as a mentor text when teaching nonfiction reading skills such as summarizing or determining importance, etc.
2) Do Lots of Experiments
Ok so I know what you’re thinking… experiments are SO MUCH WORK!
And the truth is… you’re right!
Experiments are a ton of work.
It takes time to set up the materials. It takes time to clean up afterwards. It takes time to set up student expectations.
BUT… and here’s the important part… it’s worth it!
The time that you put into creating hands-on learning experiences for students is NEVER a waste.
If you are looking for some super engaging Chemistry experiments, you can check out my hands-on unit HERE.
Want to try a FREE acids and bases experiment? Click HERE to have it sent straight to your inbox!
3) Review Important Concepts
It is amazing for students to be introduced to concepts through experiments and hands-on learning. But… they need to review those concepts.
One way to do this is with a quick debrief after each chemistry experiment.
Another way to review important concepts is with a Classroom Chemistry digital escape room. Best of all, this review activity requires only 2 minutes of prep, zero clean up and NO MARKING! After all, we need to make up for the heavy load of hands-on learning activities somehow.
I hope that these ideas and activities help to make this your BEST chemistry unit ever.