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Safe Practices and Equipment

Safe Practices and Equipment

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to identify and demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

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Essential Understanding

The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures.

Science Background

Science Safety in Elementary Schools: BioEd Online (video) – This video covers safety fundamentals that promote a risk-free environment for students’ science investigations, including tips for safe classroom practices, safety equipment, and strategies for setting up a safety object wall.

Science Safety in Elementary Schools
BioEd Online,

Managing a Science Lab: McGraw-Hill Teaching Today (website) – Several guidelines to make safety a priority in the science lab are listed with suggestions on how to organize a lab, how to teach lab safety, establish and enforce rules and evaluate the lab environment.

Managing a Science Lab
McGraw-Hill Teaching Today,

Science and Safety - It’s Elementary! Council of State Science Supervisors (PDF) - A handy and concise reference that elementary teachers of science, primarily at the K-5 level, can refer to for information and resources on commonly asked questions about science teaching and safety. The document is intended to provide basic guidelines for safe practices and facilities.

Science and Safety - It’s Elementary!
Council of State Science Supervisors,

Signature Lesson

Science Safety is Elementary: Ohio Department of Education (PDF) – The purpose of this lesson is to initiate discussion about science safety and to identify and apply basic science safety procedures. Children will decide which of their five senses would need to be protected in different situations (personal safety) and identify precautions necessary to avoid hazards in the classroom (classroom safety).

Science Safety is Elementary
Ohio Department of Education,

Supporting Lessons

Clean Gene’s Germ-fighters Hit Parade: Gojo Industries (PDF) – Students learn to wash their hands thoroughly to clean them of germs as they write a song about fighting the spread of germs.

Clean Gene’s Germ-fighters Hit Parade
Gojo Industries,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Fire Safety: (website) – Students practice and learn about fire safety in the classroom and their homes. 

Fire Safety

Assessment Ideas

Students can create safety comics to demonstrate their understanding of the safety rules.

Literature Connections

Healthy Me: Fun Ways to Develop Good Health and Safety Habits. O’Brien-Palmer, Michelle ISBN-13: 978-1556523595

First Aid for You. Weber, Rebecca. ISBN-13: 978-0756509262

Safety. Gogerly, Liz. ISBN-13: 978-0778741206

Related Science TEKS

(3.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including observing a schoolyard habitat.

(3.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the use and conservation of natural resources by recycling or reusing materials such as paper, aluminum cans, and plastics.

(3.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world.

(3.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data.

(3.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.

(3.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations.

(3.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

(3.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.

(3.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, sound recorders, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(3.4B) Safety Equipment
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

3.13A  The student is expected to collect, organize, record, and display data in pictographs and bar graphs where each picture or cell might represent more than one piece of data.

3.13B  The student is expected to interpret information from pictographs and bar graphs.

Additional Resources

Student Lab Safety Worksheet: McGraw Hill (DOC) – Download a safety worksheet to guide student thinking about safety concerns before conducting an investigation. 

Student Lab Safety Worksheet
McGraw Hill,

Lab Safety: Educational Rap (website) – Use a safety rap to reinforce safe practices in the science lab.  An audio version of the rap is available for download for a small fee but the lyrics are available for free.

Lab Safety
Educational Rap,

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