Physical Science for First and Second Grade

In my combined first and second grade, physical science was one of the offerings for Choice Time – allowing participation and exploration while discussing and debating with their classmates. Children may learn as much from each other as they do from adults. Perhaps more. A center provides appropriate activities and materials to invite and nurture a child’s joy in discovery and excitement about learning.


pulleys, levers, and gears                       microscopes

magnets                                                       paper airplanes

magnifiers                                                   motors

electricity                                                    batteries

There was a science kit with pulleys, levers, and gears. The children experimented with various contraptions.

There was a collection of magnets, horseshoe magnets and different size and strengths of bar magnets, used with all kinds of projects. There was much experimentation, such as discovering the poles that would attract and those that repelled, making an electromagnet, finding what substances magnetism would and would not go through, and magnetizing a needle and a nail. They observed a magnetic field using iron filings.

Electricity was a big favorite. The class learned about circuits and knowledge was extended when they learned about lights in a series, those that were parallel, and short circuits. There were small motors that they found a variety of activities for.

Science provides opportunities for increasing their cognitive development. Concepts gained during science activities not only kept their minds active but provided an extra basis for abstract thought that would be a benefit throughout all academic areas. And there’s no limit to young children’s vast enthusiasm for learning.

Read more about science and other programs in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on


   Teaching Young Children © Peggy Broadbent 2011 - All Rights Reserved