Science in the City

Apr 9, 2013

How to Find and Use Amazing Science Images in Class

I have been seeing so many amazing science related images lately. I have started collecting some of them here.
They are amazing, eye catching, and engaging. But how can I use them in class?! That's been a his question bothering me on and off recently.

Here is a list I've come up with, and I'd love if you'd add your ideas:

  • Print and hang them up like posters
  • Have students explain the image at the end of a unit  That works especially well for a photo like this from
  • Use them for engagement at the start of a unit
  • Use them as a writing activity on inference (thanks
  • Use them as a free write/prior knowledge -- what do they think is going on? -- this could be science related RTI, a few minutes left at the end of class, or simply for interest and engagement.  Remember why you think science is cool!!  Share that with the kids and get them excited about science! 
  • Maybe have them use the images to create images of their own (photos? Cartoons? Joint project with the art teacher?)
  • Create interest for a project that is coming up (example - animal photos, or adaptations, cool weathering formations).  Do a gallery walk or powerpoint to get them thinking. 

How would or do you use really cool science images in class?  Or do you just like to look at them?

Classroom freebies

Apr 7, 2013

Free For You: Fun Science Poster or Facebook Project Guidelines

Are you looking for a project that your students can do that is cross-disciplinary? Maybe a way to get them reading and writing and using science that is different than state tests, or after state tests?

Here is a project that I used last year, along with some great photos of student work. The English teacher and I did this as a joint project later in the year. We let the kids choose a biography book of a scientist or a book about an animal and create a Facebook page for that scientist or animal. You could also just have them research the scientist or animal. I also had one person comment that they did this project after going on an aquarium field trip. The kids researched one of the animals they saw on the field trip and created the Facebook page.

Facebook Scientist or Animal ProjectFacebook Scientist or Animal ProjectFacebook Scientist or Animal Project

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays

Apr 5, 2013

How Can I Engage and Differentiate with Online Videos?

Here is a teaching strategy that you may already be using, but if not, I highly suggest it.  Use online teaching videos (not brainpop or something as catchy, but simple content-based videos) in class as a means to differentiate.  A great site for Earth Science is  (see videos below) Or you could try Khan Academy, or many others.   
  • Find the video(s) you want to use the teach the content you are trying to teach
  • Make a guided note sheet (similar to what you would put in a powerpoint or what you want kids to take notes on
  • Include some higher level thinking questions as they go through.
  • Then make an application section, or some other activity using the information they they just watched.
My kids used the netbooks, put on headphones, and were totally engaged.  They could stop and re-start the video as many times as they wanted, ask questions where they were specifically stuck, and gauge their understanding better. I had kids comment that they really liked that they could go at their own pace.

Depending upon how you want to run the lesson, you could make the application task homework if they don't finish, make different levels of application questions etc.  People will finish at vastly different times, but hopefully they all finish and grasp the main points of the content.  That's why we are here, right?! 

Have you ever used a similar strategy in your classroom?  If so, how did you do it?  I also found this to work well for review when the topic was familiar, but some needed instruction again and some just needed reinforcement.
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