Introduction to Scientific Tools
The student will collect information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and timers; non-standard measuring items such as paper clips and clothespins; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.
The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to investigate the natural world.
Tools and Equipment of Science: BioEd Online (video) - Barbara Tharp, MS, explains what types of tools are used in the elementary classroom and how to introduce the proper usage of tools to students.
Scientific Instruments: SciTechStory (website) – This article discusses how scientific instruments extend our senses and open up new worlds of discovery. In kindergarten, this can be seen in the form of a magnifying glass allowing students to see the details of a tiny object which could not be made out with the naked eye.
Science Tools: Rice University (website) - This is a very complete lesson that can go in very different ways as decided by the teacher. Students are required to complete a task. To complete the task, they need to select the tool or tools that will help them to collect information. For kindergarten students, the teacher should pick a task that is appropriate for a kindergarten student.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Fruits and Vegetables: Ohaus (PDF) – Students use a pan balance to order a group of fruits and vegetables from lightest to heaviest. This lesson is on page 5.
A Magnet Project Makes a Great Science Fair Idea! Easy Science Fair Projects (website) – Students make predictions, observe outcomes, collect data, and test various objects to find out if they are attracted to a magnet.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Shoebox Full of Surprise: Kids Science Experiments (website) – Students use their senses as tools of observation to discover each object in the mystery box.
Magnets: What “Sticks”: Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project (website) - Explore what does and does not “stick” to a magnet.
Students select three tools. They make a drawing of each tool and then connect with a line to another drawing showing the tool in action doing something. Have them label the drawings when appropriate.
What is a Magnifying Glass?, Blevins, Wiley (ISBN-13: 978-0516273280)
Experiments with a Hand Lens, Tocci, Salvatore. (ISBN-13: 978-0516269948)
You Can Use a Balance, Bullock, Linda, (ISBN-13: 978-0516278995)
Scientists Ask Questions, Garrett, Ginger (ISBN-13: 978-0516246628)
What is Science? Dotlich, Rebecca Kai (ISBN-13: 978-0805073942)
Science Equipment: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Education Place (website) - Make your own science tools using everyday household materials.
Tools to do Science: Learning Science (website) – On this page, teachers will find free tools so students can measure, graph and calculate.