Homeschool Science Corner ~ How to Record an Experiment

How to Record an Experiment | Elemental BloggingI have been homeschooling my daughter for over seven years now and every once in awhile I love to take a moment to look back over her previous work.

It cracks me up to read some of her responses and helps me to know how far we have come.

In this week’s Homeschool Science Corner, I want to share with you how to record the experiments your students have done. So that you can look back in future years and see how much they have learned.

How to Record a Scientific Demonstration in the Elementary Years

During the elementary years, the students are completing scientific demonstrations. They are observers in the process, so the record of what they have learned will be more simplistic.

Even so, this basic lab report will introduce elementary students to the scientific method. It will also prepare them for writing a more detailed report in future years.

Their reports should include four sections:

  1. Our Tools — This section will list the materials used during the demonstration.
  2. Our Method — This section will contain the procedure for the demonstration in the students’ words.
  3. Our Outcome — This section will contain what they saw and record any data they have collected.
  4. Our Insight — The final section will contain a sentence or more detailing what the students have learned. Ideally this will relate to the science they have studied, but it’s ok at this level for the sentences to be more superficial.

In the beginning, you will record their responses. As they grow and their writing abilities increase, you can have them fill out more and more of the sheet on their own.

Here is a free template to download and use with your students:

How to Record an Experiment in the Middle School Years

Middle school students are moving from demonstrations to experiments. These students are shifting from being an observer into performing their laboratory experiments.

Having the students write a record of their experiment at this stage helps them to understand the scientific method.

Their experiment report should include the following sections:

  1. Title — The title is the question the students were attempting to answer or it can explain what they were observing.
  2. Hypothesis — In this section, they should share their prediction of the answer to the question posed in the lab. If the lab is an observation, they can share what they think they will see or skip this section of the lab report.
  3. Materials — The materials section should contain a list of what the students used to complete the lab.
  4. Procedure — In the procedure section, they need to write a step by step account of what was done during the experiment. This should be a summary in their own words so that someone reading it would understand what occurred.
  5. Observations & Results — In this section the students should share what they observed during the experiment.  They should also include any data they have collected.
  6. Conclusion — In the last section the students will write whether their hypothesis was correct. They will also include any additional information they learned from the lab. If their hypothesis was not correct, you will need to discuss why and have them include that on their lab report.

During these years, you will need to discuss the  process with the students before they write. This will help you to verify they understand the science behind the experiment. It will also assist the students in formulating their thoughts before they have to write them down.

Here is a free template to download and use with your students:

Conclusion

Having your students record an experiment will firmly affix what they have learned into their minds. It will also let them see the steps of the scientific method that they followed on paper.

As a bonus, these write-ups will allow you to mark their progress. In two weeks, I’ll be sharing more about how your high school student record an experiment. So, be sure to check back!

If you have any questions about how to record an experiment, please feel free to leave a comment below.

by Paige Hudson

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Comments

  1. Terrific resource. Thanks for sharing it. I agree that it’s fun to go back and see the progress made and maybe have a giggle or two.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the experiment, my daughter keeps notes on an experiment sheet like the one in this post from Elemental Science. The rest of this blog post is her lab report as recorded on her experiment […]