Big Idea 1: The Practice of Science

A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of "the scientific method."

C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

General Information
Number: SC.2.N.1
Title: The Practice of Science
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 2
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.2.N.1.In.1
Ask questions and make observations about things in the natural world.
SC.2.N.1.In.2
Identify information about objects based on observation.
SC.2.N.1.In.3
Recognize that the results of a scientific activity should be the same when repeated
SC.2.N.1.In.4
Recognize that scientists work to solve problems.

Supported

SC.2.N.1.Su.1
Answer yes and no questions and make observations about common objects and actions in the natural world.
SC.2.N.1.Su.2
Identify characteristics of objects based on observation.
SC.2.N.1.Su.3
Recognize that science activities can be repeated.
SC.2.N.1.Su.4
Recognize that people work in science.

Participatory

SC.2.N.1.Pa.1
Request a change or help to solve a problem in the environment.
SC.2.N.1.Pa.2
Use senses to recognize objects.
SC.2.N.1.Pa.3
Recognize common objects in different environments.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Assessment

Classification Performance Task:

Using simple items, colored shapes, students use a binary classification system to divide objects, then justify their scheme.

The task assesses primary students' abilities to perform process skills such as classification by using observable differences and similarities.

This task is designed to take students approximately 8 minutes to complete.

Type: Assessment

Lesson Plans

Gr. 2 Lesson 3-Wet Season-Dry Season Fish Relay:

Students will run a relay race imitating parent Wood Storks feeding their babies; one team during the wet season, the second team during the dry season. Students will draw connections from this relay to what happens to aquatic life as the waters in the Everglades dry.

Type: Lesson Plan

Taking Flight :

Students will explore airplanes in this project-based lesson/unit with multiple lessons that are all tied to a final project.

Type: Lesson Plan

What Goes Up Must Come Down! :

This is a second grade science lesson that incorporates math, science, and engineering as students work in collaborative groups to investigate gravity using real-world situations.

Students will investigate the following problem:
How can you design an invention that keeps a balloon in the air instead of letting it be pulled to the ground by gravity? Can you keep your balloon in the air longer than the other teams?

Type: Lesson Plan

Healthy Snacking:

In this fun inter-active lesson, students will utilize mathematical computation skills and knowledge of healthy eating to decide on the best snack to order for the Healthy Snacking program.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pop, Pop, Pop!:

Students will utilize mathematical computation skills and knowledge of the effects of sugar and caffeine on their health to decide which soft drinks should be removed from vending machines to keep the school compliant with the Healthy School grant.

Type: Lesson Plan

Animal Sanctuary Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is a hands-on investigation in both math and science. Students will be able to use prior knowledge and problem solving skills to solve non-routine problems and real-world situations, using mathematical and scientific models. It is a great way to introduce your students to real-world problem solving. Students will be engaged in hands-on learning by designing and creating an enclosure for zoo animals. Both math and science standards have been incorporated for an integrated lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Perils of a Plant: Watering Can - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of life cycles from SC.2.L.16.1 (Observe and describe major stages in the life cycles of plants and animals, including beans and butterflies), the understanding that all living things have basic needs from SC.2.L.17.1 (Compare and contrast the basic needs that all living things, including humans, have for survival), a knowledge of habitats from SC.2.L.17.2 (Recognize and explain that living things are found all over Earth, but each is only able to live in habitats that meet its basic needs) and practice working with money (MAFS.2.MD.3.8 solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately) as they build and experiment with containers to meet the water needs of bean plants in all stages of their life cycle. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Nature Journaling:

This is a detailed lesson plan for introducing the importance of detail accuracy through nature journaling. Students will find a leaf, flower and insect to draw in their nature journals. From this lesson the students will conclude that it is important to pay attention to detail when observing and identifying objects in nature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tadpole Habitat - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This engineering design challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of life cycles from SC.2.L.16.1 (Observe and describe major stages in the life cycles of plants and animals, including beans and butterflies), the understanding that all living things have basic needs from SC.2.L.17.1 (Compare and contrast the basic needs that all living things, including humans, have for survival), build on their knowledge of habitats, and practice working with money as they build structures to meet the needs of a tadpole. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

South of the Border with Borreguita: An Engineering Design Challenge:

This is an integrated lesson that includes an Engineering Design Challenge, a study of Mexico using an informational text, and a traditional folktale, Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema. The Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students investigate and generate explanations (SC.2.N.1.1) and practice working with money (MAFS.2.MD.3.8) as they design and build flagpoles to display a flag representing story concepts. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

If the Shoe Fits...:

In this lesson, students will create line plots based on linear measurements that they collect while participating in the practice of scientific inquiry.

Type: Lesson Plan

Crazy Crayons!:

In teams students will make a decision on how to select the best crayons for a school supply store based on various crayon characteristics such as cost, transfer to paper, vibrancy of color, color residue, and breakage.

Type: Lesson Plan

Model Paper Airplane Kits for Sale?:

In this MEA (Model Eliciting Activity) students are being asked to evaluate a Paper Airplane Kit that will be sold in a Model and Toy shop. Students are being asked to provide the store owner with their thoughts as to which kit they think would sell the best and leave customers happy with their purchase.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mac-N-Chz Please!!:

This MEA (Model Eliciting Activity) is written at a second grade level. In teams of 3-4, students will help determine which Mac-N-Chz Carrot Grocery should stock on their shelves by reviewing sets of data provided on taste, healthiness, cost and cheese content.

Type: Lesson Plan

Three Pigs 2.0 - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of force from SC.2.P.13.1 (investigate the effect of applying various pushes and pulls on different objects) and the concept of wind from SC.2.E.7.4 (investigate that air is all around us and that moving air is wind) as they build structures to withstand the force of high-speed winds. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Marshmallow Cereal Comparisons: A Tasty Treat:

Students will analyze information to determine the best selection of three Marshmallow Cereals for a selection in the school cafeteria.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cheesy Pizza Delivery: I Need a New Car:

The Cheesy Pizza Delivery MEA gives students the opportunity to work in collaborative groups to solve the problem of buying new delivery cars. It also touches upon the topic of Hybrid vehicles.

Type: Lesson Plan

Insects Everywhere!:

This resource was completed on a general lesson plan template, but also includes the 5E lesson model. The lesson allows for students to use Reading, Writing, Science and some Math skills. It is an interactive lesson that includes an outdoor exploration, if you do not have the ability of taking your students outdoors you can complete the lesson by having an ant farm in the classroom available for student observations (we have an ant habitat from Steve Spangler Science that includes space aged gel allowing students to get a close up look at the ants and their tunneling).

Type: Lesson Plan

Three Billy Goats Gruff Build a Bridge - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of force from SC.2.P.13.1 (investigate the effect of applying various pushes and pulls on different objects) as they build bridges to hold the greatest load. It is also intended to help students apply the concepts of money from MAFS.2.MD.3.8 (Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately) as they strive to construct the most cost effective bridge. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lighthouses and Lenses - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of force from SC.2.P.13.1 (investigate the effect of applying various pushes and pulls on different objects), the concept of wind from SC.2.E.7.4 (investigate that air is all around us and that moving air is wind), and practice working with money (MAFS.2.MD.3.8 solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately) as they build structures to withstand the force of high-speed winds. The first day's lesson also provides practice in recognizing and drawing shapes (MAFS.2.G.1.1). It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Double Bubble Science:

In this lesson, students will understand how to use the scientific method to find answers to questions. Students will understand how an inventor uses a question to solve a problem. Students will investigate how to make bubbles with household items and identify different steps of the scientific method that help solve a problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is It Hot In The Light?:

In this activity, students will make observations that things in direct sunlight are warmer than things that are not in as much sunlight. Also, they may notice that there may be more heat near asphalt, brick, or cement because heat can be stored and radiated from these materials.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rocks, Rocks, Everywhere:

The students will be able to sort rocks based upon color, hardness, texture, layering and particle size.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Local Ecosystems:

This lesson provides students with opportunities to investigate the habitats of local plants and animals and explore some of the ways animals depend on plants and each other.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hatching Chickens:

This lesson will help students understand the importance of carefully observing and caring for eggs and chickens in the classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Butterfly Life Cycle:

In this lesson, students will explore the life cycle of the butterfly through different centers and observation of a living butterfly going through its life cycle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energized:

In this lesson, students explore different ways we use energy and then use those concepts to create a functional solar oven.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Plant Life Cycle (using lima beans):

In this lesson, students observe the life cycle of a lima bean.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's the Weather?:

In this lesson, students use daily observations, videos, and activities to learn about meteorology and the changing nature of weather. Students also identify weather events that are commonly reported in the news and discuss how weather affects lives.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Tour of Soils:

With teacher guidance students will have an opportunity to discover the makeup of different kinds of soils.

Type: Lesson Plan

Effect of Shape on Volume:

The students will learn that volume is not affected by a container's shape.

Type: Lesson Plan

Henry and Mudge Meet Leonardo da Vinci:

This is an integrated lesson that includes an Engineering Design Challenge, a review of forces, an introduction to drawbridges, and a literary text Henry and Mudge and The Long Weekend by Cynthia Rylant. The Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students investigate and generate explanations (SC.2.N.1.1) and practice working with money (MAFS.2.MD.3.8) as they design and build movable drawbridges. It is not intended as an initial introduction to these concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Soil Composition - Soil Soaks Up Water:

This activity is a classroom lab where students explore sand, soil, and water in relation to absorption and permeability.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Physical Changes of Matter:

Students will be using the open inquiry (student-driven) approach to conducting a science investigation. They will be looking at matter and how it can be affected physically by it's size, shape, color, and by adding/taking away heat.

Type: Lesson Plan

You Name It!:

Students are given a variety of materials and asked to identify each material as a solid, liquid or gas. They use their five senses — sight, sound, smell, texture and taste — to identify the other characteristics of each item.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Diversity and Evolution grades K-2:

This resource kit is designed to facilitate K-2 teachers in the development of a unit of instruction that is focused on diversity, adaptation, and classification of living things. Complete with background information for teachers as well as engaging activities and lessons for students, this kit contains exemplary materials that align with Florida's NGSSS for science and includes recommendations for informational texts that align with Florida Standards for English language arts.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Original Student Tutorials

The Flu and You: Part 2:

Discover what a virus is, actions that cause viruses like the flu to spread from one person to another, and strategies to decrease the spread of viruses to others.

This interactive tutorial is part 2 in a two-part series. Click HERE to open part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Flu and You: Part 1:

Discover what a virus is, actions that cause viruses like the flu to spread from one person to another, and strategies to decrease the spread of viruses to others.

This interactive tutorial is part 1 in a two-part series. Click HERE to open part 2.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Collecting Population Data: "What Lives in the Wetland?":

Want an unforgettable field trip led by a real scientist where your students get hands-on experience with collecting population data? Consider the "What Lives in the Wetland?" educational program from Remote Footprints.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Resource Collection

Air and Weather - FOSS Module:

The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change.

Type: Resource Collection

Teaching Ideas

The Study of Life Cycles:

This teaching idea overviews a project by second grade students who studied life cycles of insects and created a book with illustrations about insects. Each entry contained descriptive information about the insects being studied- including habitat, life cycle, diet, behavior, predators, and interesting facts.

Type: Teaching Idea

What Snake Am I?:

This teaching idea shares an activity that students completed after a study of snakes. Second-grade students created a "what am I" book, written in the first person from the perspective of a snake. The first page includes information about a particular species of snake, including a description of physical appearance, habitat, food, predators and reproductive cycle. Students also created realistic drawings of each snake.

Type: Teaching Idea

The Gummi Bear Experiment:

Students will have an opportunity to conduct an investigation about Gummi Bears and how they dissolve.

Type: Teaching Idea

A Shrimpy Home-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will demonstrate how changes in an environment can affect the survival of an animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

A Slick Operation: Oil Spill Lab-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given selected materials, the students will be able to demonstrate and discuss the effects of oil on a bird's feathers and discuss a variety of ways humans might be able to remove it.

Type: Teaching Idea

Here Comes The Sun:

This activity will have students predict, measure and record temperatures and provide evidence showing that the sun is the source of heat and light for Earth.

Type: Teaching Idea

Big as a Baby Whale-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will create life size chalk drawings of J.J. the gray whale to discover the size and growth rate of juvenile gray whales.

Type: Teaching Idea

Shadows:

Students will explore and measure shadows and their relationships to time of day. Students will measure the lengths of a meter stick's shadow at different times of the day (or seasons) to determine when a shadow casts its longest and shortest shadows.

Type: Teaching Idea

Dolphin Polo-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will play a game to experience how dolphins use echolocation to find their food.

Type: Teaching Idea

Focused Observation: Recording A Hike:

Students will learn how to focus their observations during a nature hike. The children record their observations on a sheet of paper which has been horizontally divided into thirds. Alongside the divisions is a stick figure with the top of the head touching the top line and the knees directly touching the bottom line. This way the paper is divided to record things observed above a student's head, below the student's knees and in between the student's head and knees.

Type: Teaching Idea

How Degrading-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given examples of trash generated by a family over a 24-hour period, the student will be able to demonstrate how some materials degrade in salt water better than others. They will be able to generate ideas for ways to reduce plastic pollution.

Type: Teaching Idea

Introducing The Nature Journal:

This is an introduction to the nature journal. Students will get an opportunity to use their nature journals when we visit the prairie garden at our school. Students will choose one plant and describe it in words and with a drawing. As a classroom follow-up, students will try to match their journal entry with photographs of the plants from the garden.

Type: Teaching Idea

Investigating Motion With Marbles:

In this guided inquiry activity, students will use 2 marbles of different size and a box to investigate what makes the marbles move and what will cause the marbles to change speed and direction.

Type: Teaching Idea

Investigating Oobleck: Solid or Liquid?:

The students will make their own predictions and conclusions on whether Oobleck is a solid or liquid by using focus observations, conducting focus explorations, raising questions, clarifying questions, and making conclusions about Oobleck.

Type: Teaching Idea

Investigating The Water Cycle - Evaporation:

In this water cycle activity, students investigate the evaporation process by participating in an outdoor evaporation experiment held on the school grounds. Students will determine where evaporation takes place the fastest and how nature and humans can affect the process. Observations will be done and data is recorded in each student's science notebook so that the process can be discussed and analyzed.

Type: Teaching Idea

Manatee Musical Chairs-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will learn about factors that affect manatee populations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Mighty Macros-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will be able to identify three macro invertebrates that are part of the food web found in a compost pile. Students will be able to sort animals into herbivores and carnivores.

Type: Teaching Idea

More About Wet Soils:

Students discover unique components of soil when dry or wet.

Type: Teaching Idea

No Place to Hide-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will learn how the destruction of a coral reef affects the animals that live there.

Type: Teaching Idea

Solid and Liquid Stations:

Students investigate the properties of solids and liquids.

Type: Teaching Idea

Solid or Liquid?:

In this chemistry lesson students will investigate if certain materials are solids or liquids. Students are expected to make predictions, record observations, draw conclusions, and formulate questions for further investigation.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sorting Solids:

Students are asked to sort solids in a variety of ways and justify their reasoning for sorting the solids.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sports Equipment - What Kind of Force?:

Children discuss, observe and "play" with equipment used in familiar sports. They discuss how the equipment is used and predict how the equipment is put into motion or stopped from continuing to be in motion.

Type: Teaching Idea

Webcams: Animal Inquiry and Observation:

Observe animal habits and habitats using one of the many webcams broadcasting from zoos and aquariums around the United States and the world in this inquiry-based activity that focuses on observation logs, class discussion, questioning, and research.

Type: Teaching Idea

What Makes Things Move?:

Students will use an inquiry based approach to discover how things move. They will discover that a push and a pull are forces that put things into motion. They will also investigate how friction is a force that slows a moving object.

Type: Teaching Idea

What Makes Things Move?:

Students will use an inquiry based approach to discover how things move. They will discover that a push and a pull are forces that put things into motion. They will also investigate how friction is a force that slows a moving object.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wiggly Worms:

In this inquiry-based worms lesson, students will compare and contrast red worms and earthworms through exploration (magnifying glasses provided) and a read-aloud.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Matter: Solids:

In this unit, properties of matter are introduced and solids are explored. Exposure to the engineering design process synthesizes information learned about solids and asks students to create a homemade play dough recipe.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Parts of the Human Body:

In this unit, students explore the major parts of the body in different stations. An engineering design process lesson allows students to design and construct a helmet that protects the "main computer" for your body: the brain.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Rock Composition and Classification:

In this unit, the class is introduced to how rocks are formed, where they come from, and the many shapes and sizes that they are found. A class rock collection is made from samples collected around the school and a final lab shows the concept of erosion through rock "shakers."

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Water and Wind in Weather:

This unit builds on concepts learned in the "Weather Measure" resource for Grade 2. Students are introduced to evaporation and wind. "Windmills" synthesizes information about how wind can move objects by engaging students in the engineering design process in a project that calls for the design and construction of a functioning windmill that can lift a weighted cup.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Soil Composition and Classification:

This unit builds on the previous lessons about rocks to explore soil. Different types of soil samples are observed, classified by various attributes, and manipulated by adding water. Finally, the "Cement" lesson involves synthesis of information learned from previous lessons in an engineering design lab that asks students to build a wall from their own mortar mixture creation that will withstand the force of a rolling ball.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Weather Measure:

In this unit, students learn about meteorology and act as meteorologists, predict and take temperature measurements, and create a severe weather preparedness plan.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

How do Objects Move | Engineering Design Challenge:

In this unit, students explore and explain the many different ways that an object moves and how its properties affect its movements. In one lesson ("In What Ways"), students predict and test their predictions on how different objects will move when gently pushed on their desks. In "Do All Tops Spin Alike?," students use different materials to construct their own tops and test its movements. "Making Objects Move" introduces the concept of acceleration and allows students to use different sizes and types of balls and other materials to build tracks that will be used to stop the ball at a certain location. "Playground Equipment" gives an engineering experience by engaging students in a competition with a given scenario and asking them to design, test, and re-design (if necessary) a functioning piece of new playground equipment (the terms "force," "motion," "gravity," and "simple machine" are introduced).

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Worksheet

Changing States of Matter:

In this activity, students will see that the liquid water can change state again and freeze to become ice.

Type: Worksheet

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

The Flu and You: Part 2:

Discover what a virus is, actions that cause viruses like the flu to spread from one person to another, and strategies to decrease the spread of viruses to others.

This interactive tutorial is part 2 in a two-part series. Click HERE to open part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Flu and You: Part 1:

Discover what a virus is, actions that cause viruses like the flu to spread from one person to another, and strategies to decrease the spread of viruses to others.

This interactive tutorial is part 1 in a two-part series. Click HERE to open part 2.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Resource Collection

Air and Weather - FOSS Module:

The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change.

Type: Resource Collection