Science experiments are a fun, engaging way for students to explore the world around them while also practicing reading, writing, and math skills without realizing it.
Science doesn’t have to be boring, it can be fun! And science doesn’t only have to happen during your science block or in the general education classroom – you can bring the excitement to your special education classroom too!
Science Experiments for Special Education
As teachers, we know that students learn best when they are involved in their learning. But when you have multiple students in your classroom with varying grade levels and instructional levels, how do you plan it?
And how do you know which science experiment to do? What supplies do you need? How much do you prep ahead of time? And how do I do this without spending more time and money on the supplies?
All very great questions – let’s get started then!
How to add science experiments to your lesson plans with ease
Step 1 – Look at your curriculum, for all the content areas. What are the standards you’ll be teaching this week, month, marking period or semester? Write those down. You’re basically going to create a graphic organizer for yourself.
There are so many ways for you to connect science into your math and ELA block. For example: if your math lesson is about measurement and it’s autumn, you could add in a pumpkin science experiment for math – whether it’s counting seeds, measuring volume or weight, measuring circumference… it’s all there in that one science experiment integrated into the math lesson!
Step 2 – Once you have step 1 completed, think about the time of year you’ll be teaching that topic or standard. It could be related to the season or a specific topic.
Here is an example:
- Standard: measurement. When: February. Integrations could be: Valentine’s Day… see this lesson here.
Step 3 – Set up the basics of your lesson plan. You know the standards, you know the learning objective, you know what the content is, and you know what you’ll be teaching. Write it all down. Then you can go back in and fill it in with more.
Let me show you my science experiment lesson plans (which are included in this resource):
Step 4 – Get all of your supplies ready. Most times, you’ll have a lot of the supplies for science experiments already in your classroom… popsicle sticks, markers, straws, Dixie cups. And if you don’t have them, ask your teacher neighbor or teacher down the hall – more than likely, someone in your building has the one supply you don’t and is willing to share.
Step 5 – Teach the lesson!
When you’re thinking about science experiments, there are also some other things to keep in mind.
- Make sure you have graphic organizers that students can use during the experiment. Anchor charts are also a great addition to these lessons.
- Give students an experiment reflection.
- Introduce all of the science experiment materials to your students prior and explain what each item does. This could be a beginning of the year lesson in itself for all of those science lab instruments.
Here’s what teachers are saying about our visual science experiments:
My kids have so much fun doing hands on experiments like these and these made it so easy to plan them and have more fun engaging with them during it! These are perfectly planned and wonderfully easy to use! Your kids will have fun and so will you!Amelia B., Middle School Special Ed Teacher
This is a fantastic resource with lots of options to do with a wide variety of abilities and students. Each week we will do one experiment on “fun friday” since we do not have much time in our days to set specifically to science, my students loved it!Emily G, 4th grade teacher
My students love to do these experiments and I love that they aren’t super expensive, super messy, or super intensive to prep. Very satisfied!Elizabeth H., Elementary Special Ed Teacher
What is your favorite science experiment to do with your students? Share it with us in the comments below!