Making science engaging and interesting is one of the top thoughts on my mind each day. I want my students to love science. I feel that if students develop this love, it helps them to become better learners which will, in turn, create well-rounded students.
All too often because of different constraints, science may not be a student’s favorite subject or it could be of interest but because of those constraints, they find it boring. This is not acceptable.
I try a variety of ways to make science fun; through building background knowledge, to including various forms of technology, different ways to assess students, hands on activities or allowing them to demonstrate their understanding during class time. These strategies have been used by me and have shown student improvement and increased student involvement, but is it ever enough?
Another way I am trying to engage students is to include the holidays in my teachings. The holidays consume our lives so infusing their content into the holidays allows students to think of the assignment differently. It should be noted that due to many different religious beliefs, I try to stay PC and celebrate winter and other secular holidays. This ensures that I do not unintentionally leave any of my students feeling secluded.
Here are some ways to do this…
I find that this is an easy, fun way to integrate the holidays into your curriculum. Students are wrapping up and displaying their understanding and in doing so, they can show their festive spirit. One way that I do this in my classroom is through color by number activities. As students are answering the questions, they are coloring in a holiday picture. These types of activities look great on display and allow students to self assess their work as they will be able to easily view where their errors are.
Assign students’ projects to learn more about the holidays. In science, I find that the seasons, rather than a holiday, and the environment to tie in Earth Day or Arbor Day are good areas to pull into your curriculum. Students practice working on their research, cooperative learning, reading, and writing skills while they learn about snow, endangered species, and pollution.
Tie in STEM projects or experiments the day before a holiday. Often times these are the days that are hard to plan for anyway with many students absent or students who just do not have the capacity to learn on these types of days. Instead of showing a movie, allow students to learn more about the winter months, build a pot of gold, trap a turkey, or design their own experiments.
Integrating the holidays into your classroom doesn’t have to be hard. It will allow students to have more fun as they become more engaged with the different activities that they are completing and furthermore, it will open your students’ eyes to see that science really is everywhere. Making these real-life connections to science in our everyday lives is important for students to make connections to understanding that science is all around us.
Need More Science Ideas?
Subscribe to get easy to implement ideas into your inbox.