Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Recording God's Creation: The Use of Science Journals

"God saw all that He had made, and it was very good."-Genesis 1:31

Since it is the beginning of the school year, I thought I would share something I did with my students when I taught 6th Grade Science. There is so much I could say about using science journals, but I will try to keep it brief. I love Science. It is the study of God’s creation. In using science journals, children get to record their observations of all that God has made.

When I taught 6th Grade Science, my students had a notebook that they brought to class every day. Things they included in it were notes they took, observations they made, vocabulary, drawings, charts, and assignment questions. They were graded on whether or not they had the correct amount of entries for the journal, and I took off points if something was missing. I didn’t grade on the quality of the contents, because it was their journal; it belonged to them, and they could use it for study purposes for testing for which I did take a grade.

Although Leonardo DaVinci is probably most well known for painting the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, he was also a scientist who kept extensive journals. He conceived in his mind things like the tank and flying machines before man ever had the capabilities to produce such things. He also dissected human cadavers and drew the human body. (Gross, I know.) His drawings are incredible, very detailed. He is worthy of further research, but I point him out because of his use of journals.

Using a science journal as part of your homeschool curriculum will accomplish many things. You will give your child a way of expressing himself/herself. Science journals will give them an avenue for authentically expressing the knowledge they acquire aside from simply testing and giving the right answer. If you choose to use a science journal you can cover several different subject areas. Using the science journal, your child will be practicing their writing skills, which is a language arts requirement. If your child chooses to include drawings and science poems in the journal, this would be art and language arts. Drawing graphs would meet a math requirement. There are so many things you can do with this. At the end of the year, you would have a neat little record of what your child learned, and a keepsake for the future.

Creating the journal could be something special you could do with your child. You can get as creative as you want or not. A simple spiral-bound notebook will suffice. Simply put the child’s name on the front and voila! You have a science journal. You can the also modify the use of science journals to fit the assignment requirements of the student from kindergarten up through high school.

So when it is sunny outside, grab that science journal, a pack of colored pencils, and go outside to study that anthill. Challenge your child to put those poetry skills to use or encourage the budding artist to record his/her perspective of the ant hill. Then go inside and research how an ant creates that hill! The science journal is just one more tool for your toolbox in educating your child.

How do you use science journals?


(This post was first published here at Growing Your Homeschool.)

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