I used to wonder why my students treated our Science Lab time as play time rather than a time to learn and experiment. Visiting our school’s science lab felt more like taking my students on a field trip to the zoo than a time of meaningful inquiry. Finally, I realized I needed more structure and clearly defined roles for each “scientist” while in the lab!
In this document, you will find 6 sets of four primary lab roles (a 5th “scientist” role is included for any odd numbered groups) along with a color coordinated group sign to place at each group’s table in the lab or classroom. Careful modeling of each role is necessary for students to be able to complete their role independently within their groups.
I like to print out the roles on cardstock and laminate them to make “ID Badges” for each of my scientists. You can punch a hole and tie string for scientists to wear around their necks, or use them as an actual badge by hot gluing a safety pin to the back. I have families donate old white work shirts to use as lab coats and then safety pin the roles to the coats so that I don’t have to constantly attach/unattach them or worry about students’ fingers getting pricked!
I hope this helps you to create a more meaningful time of learning and exploration in your own lab or classroom!
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