What happens when class finishes a few minutes early? Are students lining up at the door, starting to fool around, or generally off task? One way to help manage classroom behaviors is to keep students engaged throughout the class. So, for example, even though your science lesson ended a few minutes early, students don’t need to know that as they complete the following science time filler activities.
6 Science Time Filler Activities
Integrate more reading into your science classroom by using articles from science sources as a time filler activity.
Using sources like
will allow you to find content that fits into your curriculum.
Try locating engaging, topical, or interesting articles to hook students.
These resources will also work as quick and easy sub plans if you are out! Most have leveled reading articles to allow you to differentiate among your students!
Our students have grown up learning using videos, so incorporating them into your science lessons will engage their learning style.
Edpuzzle is an excellent choice to use as an informal assessment. Students will watch the videos independently and answer questions along the way. This activity works well as a graded homework or classwork assignment.
Science Friday is a free site that includes
Each Friday, topical materials are posted that you can use in your classroom. This is a great way to highlight current events in your science class.
Go to the Educate section to find lessons and resources for your classroom. You can filter topics by grade level and science concept, including science and engineering practices.
Best Books and Picture Books
No matter the age, students love to be read too, so this is the perfect science time filler activity.
Some teachers choose to read a novel aloud to students during the few minutes left at the end of a class period. Such novels could include:
Picture books also have a place in the science classroom. Choose to use books that integrate with science topics you are teaching or ones that have topics your students will love to learn more about.
Some favorites include:
A few extra minutes each day could be spent practicing CER’s claim, evidence, and reasoning strategy to help strengthen their analysis and writing skills.
Some ways to practice the CER strategy are through the use of:
Sometimes we need a brain, but brain breaks can still be engaging, connected to the curriculum, or reinforce learning in science.
One science brain break that works for students are word searches.
Word searches help reinforce science vocabulary terms that students will encounter. This will help them learn the word and the correct spelling.
Crossword puzzles are another favorite. These will help students reinforce their knowledge of science concepts using their critical thinking skills.
Spot the difference: Smithsonian magazine publishes these pictures daily. Students are timed to spot 10 differences in the photos. Since you wouldn’t use this daily, you could have contests in your class to see who can achieve this the quickest. It is an excellent way to integrate students with different skill sets.
One of the easiest and quickest science time fillers is to use a digital review game. There are many websites that you can use to vary which review you use with your students.
Some online review game sites include:
Quizlet is a site that I use to review vocabulary. At the beginning of each science unit, a link it inputted into the unit folder in Schoology so that students may practice the vocabulary during their free time, at home, etc. This can also be used as sub plans!
Blooket, Gimkit, and Kahoot are all pretty much the same in terms of what you can do. There are free versions that will allow you to make your own games or play a ready-made game by searching for your topic in the search bar.
Quizizz is a favorite of mine because it is the only game that does not require students to be fast to win. This game is great for struggling learners that might need to go at their own pace to show what they know. The music embedded in this site is also much more relaxing than others.