Scientific method worksheets for kids help teach and reinforce the general steps any young scientist can use to explore science concepts and conduct research. Click on the scientific method printable PDF worksheet that best fits your child's age and educational level to download and print. If you need help downloading the printables, check out these helpful tips.
Scientific Method Worksheets for Lower Elementary
According to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), kids in grades K through 2 learn about motion and stability, Earth's systems, molecules and organisms, humans, waves, matter, ecosystems, energy, and engineering design as part of their science curriculum. All of these subjects are explored through scientific investigations. Kids in this age group can start by learning the basics of the scientific method then using those steps to explore simple things like plants, reactions, and rocks. When using scientific method worksheets, elementary students can gain a better understanding of important concepts.
Simple Scientific Observation Worksheet
Kids in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade can watch of help create simple experiments that show an observable difference within seconds. This worksheet features a before and an after observation box where kids can draw what they saw at the start of the experiment and what changed by the end. Color-changing and other reaction experiments, along with observation experiments like growing mold on food, work well with this PDF science observation worksheet.
Plant Experiment Worksheet
One of the first experiments many kids participate in is simply growing a plant. With this worksheet kids can measure their plant before introducing any variables, document things like sunlight and water exposure, then see if their plant grew over the course of the experiment.
Scientific Method Worksheets for Upper Elementary
Students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade expand on their earlier science concepts and are introduced to heredity, biological evolution, information transfer, weather, circuits, life cycles, and genetics. At this point, kids need to be taught how to record data, create hypotheses and read the data to draw conclusions.
Experiment Data Collection Worksheet
Kids who are ready to use all the steps in the scientific method for a slightly more complex experiment can use this step-by-step worksheet to write down each step from the method. There are places to record a hypothesis, data, and a conclusion.
General Lab Experiment Worksheet
Younger kids conduction general experiments can use this worksheet to document their methods and findings.
Scientific Method Worksheet for Middle School
Students in 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade are capable of asking and answering unique questions that require research and experimentation. Junior high students learn how to set up an experiment and practice skills such as measurement, data collection, graphing, and presenting their findings. This general experiment worksheet takes kids' research and methods to the next level with more in-depth questions and sections.
Scientific Method Steps and Variations
There are several versions of the scientific method, but most contain similar steps and aren't endorsed by renowned scientific organizations. Today, some call these steps scientific practices or scientific inquiry to show that asking questions and finding answers is not a linear process, but a cyclical one with lots of variables. You can teach the scientific method as it was originally designed or adapt those steps to teach scientific inquiry.
Steps in the Scientific Method
These steps serve as a guideline for how to approach a scientific inquiry and are meant to be done in order.
- Ask a question/identify a problem
- Conduct background research
- Make a hypothesis
- Perform experiments/observe
- Record and organize data
- Make a conclusion
Scientific Inquiry Practices
These skills should be taught and practiced through scientific inquiries in any order that makes sense.
- Ask a question/define a problem
- Create and use a model
- Plan and do an investigation
- Record and analyze data
- Use mathematical thinking
- State your explanation and design solutions
- Conduct background research and communicate your findings
- Use evidence to argue your stance
Teaching the Scientific Method
Teaching the scientific method helps kids understand the process of exploring science and engineering through something they're comfortable with - structure.
Scientific Method Teaching Tips
Help kids grasp and use the concepts from the scientific method by:
- Using catchy songs or fun neumonic devices to help kids remember the steps.
- Teaching one step at a time and providing several examples and hands-on opportunities to reinforce it.
- Letting kids explore different topics and queries then identifying which steps they used.
- Allowing room for variation from the steps where it makes sense to demonstrate that not all science discovery is linear.
- Providing age-appropriate tools and materials that encourage discovery on an individual and group level.
Scientific Method Teaching Ideas
Encourage natural and planned discovery in your classroom or at home with open-ended activities and scientific inquiry prompts.
- Give kids a simple toy such as a Jacob's Ladder to play with then ask them to explain how they think it works.
- Keep plants or small pets kids can observe over time in personal notebooks or on a large dry erase board.
- Keep a classroom tally sheet that includes each of the steps where kids can add tally marks whenever they use a step during lessons.
- Create a jar where kids can submit questions then choose one each day to explore.
- Staple the worksheets into packets kids can start when an idea strikes.
- Perform simple science experiments together or independently then discuss the results.
Steps to Scientific Success
For kids, most learning stems from questions about the things around them. Scientific method worksheets help kids explore their world in a way that makes sense and enhances their science learning skills.