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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. 

Essential Understanding

The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and uses environmentally appropriate and responsible practices. 

Science Background

Science Safety in Elementary Schools: BioEd Online (video) - Begin the school year with a focus on safety in the science classroom. Michael Vu and Barbara Tharp discuss safety fundamentals that can promote a risk-free environment for students’ science investigations, including tips for engaging students in safety and a review of key safety equipment.

Science Safety in Elementary Schools
BioEd Online,

Science and Safety, It’s Elementary: Council of State Science Supervisors (PDF) – A free, downloadable safety guide for teachers and educators which discusses chemical, biological, and electrical safety. 

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

Signature Lesson

Science Classroom Safety: SuperSTAAR (website) – These two activities will help students recognize and demonstrate basic safety information and reinforce student safety rules for classroom and outdoor science lessons. 

Science Classroom Safety
by Dee Mock, SuperSTAAR

Supporting Lessons

Science Safety Procedures - Grade One: Ohio Department of Education (PDF) - A sample lesson from the Ohio Department of Education. Students will experience the safety procedures used in science investigations through exploration, role playing, and modeling activities.

Science Safety Procedures - Grade One
Ohio Department of Education,

How to Wash Your Hands: USDA, New Mexico State University (PDF) – Hand washing steps are required to kill germs.

How to Wash Your Hands
USDA, New Mexico State University,


Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Safety Preschool and Kindergarten: (website) – Series of activities designed to teach fire safety and keep young kids safe in school, on the playground, and at home. In addition, this website offers more lessons as part of a fee-based membership.

Safety Preschool and Kindergarten

Milli’s Safety Tips: American Chemical Society (PDF) - Safety tips for young children.

Milli’s Safety Tips
American Chemical Society,

Assessment Ideas

Elementary Science Safety-Student Involvement, Laboratory Safety Practice Drills for K-5: Science Safety Consulting (PDF) - Scenarios designed to assess students understanding of science safety rules.

Elementary Science Safety-Student Involvement, Laboratory Safety Practice Drills for K-5
Science Safety Consulting,

Thumbs Up or Down - Students are given various safety scenarios in which they are asked if the students responded is a safe manner or an unsafe manner. Students should respond with thumbs-up for a yes or positive answer or with thumbs-down for a no or negative response. This gives the teacher immediate feedback about whether or not students understands the safety rules.  

Literature Connections

Don’t be Hasty with Science Safety. Pederson, Bridget, ISBN-13: 1599285818

School Safety. Rivera, Sheila, ISBN-13: 0822568223

The Kids’ Science Book, Hirchfeld, Robert, ISBN-13: 978-0913589885 

Related Science TEKS

(K.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.

(K.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations such as ways objects move.

(K.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data and make observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, and non-standard measurement tools.

(K.2E) Communicate Observations
The student is expected to communicate observations with others about simple descriptive investigations.

(K.4B) Five Senses
Use senses as a tool of observation to identify properties and patterns of organisms, objects, and events in the environment. 

Related Math TEKS

K.15A Justify his or her thinking using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology. 

Additional Resources

Sample Safety Contracts: North East ISD (website) - Sample safety contracts for Pre K-1 and 2-5th grades in both English and Spanish, along with safety symbols and certificates. Modify to suit your classroom.

Sample Safety Contracts
North East ISD,

Skin Health and Hygiene Solutions: Gojo Industries (website) - Lesson Plans for grades K-5 to teach proper hand hygiene and its importance in keeping students safe and healthy.

Skin Health and Hygiene Solutions
Gojo Industries,

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