This is a great little introduction to any middle school or early high school science course. I don't like to bombard students right away with all sorts of "scary" science talk on the first few days of school, especially with younger students and this activity provides a nontraditional way of starting discussion about the scientific method. It opens with a poem written in the 1800s by John Godfrey Saxe. The poem illustrates wonderfully the importance of observation. I typically read the poem with the class as a large group and then allow the students to pair up to answer the three questions that follow.
Here is an example of one of the questions:
3. Many scientific errors can occur because the researcher does not use good skills of observation. Imagine a scenario where not being observant can result in an experiment going wrong. Describe this scenario in the space provided.
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