Sometimes I hear educators pushing back against whole group instruction. Some people believe it doesn’t benefit our students, and it’s not engaging. But in my eyes, there is a time and a place for whole group instruction in the science classroom! You don’t have to put together elaborate labs or stations to have fun with science activities.
During whole group instruction, I am a big fan of using Google Slides, but that doesn’t mean simply lecturing at the board. I want to share some of my favorite ways to make whole group science lessons engaging, so you can have fun with science activities – no matter the format!
#1 Include Students in the Instruction
You might be thinking, “Well, duh, I should include my students.” But I don’t mean just asking them to answer questions. I mean really getting students involved in the whole group instruction.
Make it a requirement that students be active participants by requiring that they write their answers down on a whiteboard or piece of paper. Then, select students at random to come up with the board where your Google Slide is displayed and have them answer or solve for the class.
If they get stuck, let them “phone a friend” and get help from another student. This isn’t about embarrassing or punishing students but rather getting them engaged in the lesson!
#2 White Board Games
Another way to have fun with science activities and whole group instruction is by using whiteboards. Have students answer quick questions as you go through the Google Slide, and then raise their board so you can check for understanding.
You can also have students draw a visual representation of a concept or answer a quick vocabulary check. Have fun with it! Not every question has to be super serious but can keep students alert and engaged.
#3 Create a Review Game
What better way to have fun with science activities than to make it a game? Turn your Google Slides into an interactive challenge, such as playing trashketball, trivia, or Jeopardy.
There are a couple ways you can do this. First, you can tell students that you will be playing a team game at the end of the lesson and ask them to take notes during whole group. Then, they can use these notes during the game!
Second, you can actually repurpose your Google Slides into a game by taking the content and questions from the slides and using them in a new way.
Fun with science activities and google slides
Looking for some Google Slides to try these new whole group ideas and have fun with science activities? Check out these Google Slides:
Periodic Table Google Slides and Print Activities – Cover concepts like what is the periodic table, how to obtain information from the periodic table, the arrangement of elements, and more.
Interactions of Earth’s Spheres Google Slides and Print Activities – Cover key material for this unit, like geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and more.
Thermal Energy and Heat Google Slides and Print Activities – Help students master concepts like kinetic theory of matter, temperature, transfer of heat, conduction, and more.
Changes in States of Matter Google Slides and Print Activities – Cover key concepts in the unit like states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), thermal energy, changes in states of matter, and more.
Want more Google Slides activities? Check out these five activity ideas to make Google Slides engaging and interactive.