Featured Website of the Month (Oct.) - Mystery Science
Explosions, microscopes, diagrams, dissections and lab reports are all words that pop into my mind when I think about science. Science is such a fun subject to teach! There are so many ideas and topics to teach. It seems like the internet is exploding with ideas for how to teach science.
I don’t know about you, but I love incorporating mystery and inquiry whenever possible. Sometimes, this is posing a thought-provoking question at the beginning of a lesson and having students hunt for the answer. Other times, this means presenting them with information and allowing them to piece it all together. Sometimes, this means watching a video clip and having the students discuss what they noticed and what they wonder. The beauty of mystery is that it engages so many students!
This month’s website feature is Mystery Science. I love this website because, just like the name implies, it incorporates mystery into Science. This website provides curriculum which allows students to interact with various science topics, in grade appropriate and hands-on ways. Mystery Science provides countless lessons, sorted into the main topics taught under each grade. There are units for students aged Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.
The catch-phrase of Mystery Science is “Stay Curious!” The creators of the website see the value in asking questions and discovering answers. Each lesson has a video or series of videos to go along with the main lesson. The videos introduce or enhance the lesson in some way. Each video ends with the phrase “Stay Curious!” to remind students that questions are good!
The lessons are detailed and all materials are listed so teachers know exactly what to collect. All required printables are also easily accessible on the website. There are detailed videos to give instructions on the various activities as well. The teacher could choose to explain the activity herself, or she could play the video for the students to watch.
On the website, there are Planning Guides which suggest possible timelines for teaching the curriculum throughout the year. These timelines are super helpful because they give the rationale behind why certain lessons should be taught at certain times. For instance, there are many Science Mysteries that the students have to uncover in the lessons. The Planning Guide gives detail of which Mysteries should be solved before moving on to the next lessons. In the Planning Guide, the Learning Standards are also indicated. This makes it easier for teachers to pinpoint which standards are being taught in each lesson.
To make things even better, Mystery Science is offering over 800 free memberships for the entire school year. This is a great way to test out the website to see whether or not you want to purchase a subscription in future years.
Teaching science should be exciting! We want students to experience the awesome world around them. What better way is there than giving them hands-on and interactive opportunities to experience things themselves. Mystery Science does a good job of creating engaging science lessons and activities. Have you found any awesome ways of teaching science? I would love to hear some of your ideas!
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