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Learning by Doing: The Importance of Hands-On Science Activities

Learning by doing the importance of hands on science hero

Learning about science through listening to lectures and reading about it, though valuable, isn’t always enough to truly engage students. Learning by doing science through hands-on science activities and experiments lets students see what they’ve learned in action and develop a deeper understanding of the subject.

An engaging science curriculum also allows students to connect it to other disciplines, such as English language arts, and an ELA-based science curriculum can save educators time on instruction.

Reading and ELD Specialist Marjorie Frank further explains why science and ELA are connected:

Science is a language-based endeavor. Scientists read journals. They write articles. They collaborate to do research by speaking and listening to one another. They make presentations and listen to others do the same. Within the course of a single day, a scientist may be involved in all these areas of language usage. The same is true for science learning. In this way, science is intimately connected to English language arts, and English language arts experiences could readily involve science.

Below you will find Activity Guides and FUNomenal Readers to use in your Texas classrooms. The Activity Guides consist of hands-on science activities that allow students to explore their understanding of science and make connections to the real world. Additionally, the guides feature informational text and workbooks to help students develop their ELA skills. The FUNomenal Readers featured are Above-, On-, and Below-leveled, standalone reading experiences that explore a lesson’s anchoring phenomenon.

Grade 2 Hands-On Science Activity

This Grade 2 activity will get kids thinking about how the body parts of animals are shaped to move pollen (for example, hairs on the body, legs, and antennae). After conducting the activity, students write about what they learned and now understand about how animals help plants.

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Grade 2 Leveled Reader

In this Grade 2 leveled reader, students will read to learn even more about pollen! Each reader featured in HMH Into Science contains a three-part, Read-to-Learn strategy:

  1. Students are guided to preview the text and look for words that may be new to them.
  2. They are asked to skim, look at the pictures, and make predictions about the selection.
  3. Students are prompted to read to learn about the main science idea of the selection.

Grade 4 Hands-On Science Activities

Grade 4 students can use the hands-on activity “Flower Power” to learn about the parts of a flower and the plant experiment “Slurp!” to discover how water is transported through a plant’s stem system.

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Download Student Activity
Download Teacher Guide

Grade 4 Leveled Reader

Using the three-part, Read-to-Learn strategy, students will learn how tree sap becomes syrup in this Grade 4 leveled reader.

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Grade 5 Hands-On Activity

Students will use glow sticks in this Grade 5 science activity to determine why the sun looks brighter than the other stars in the sky. Afterward, they will write the answer to the question: Based on your investigation, what might be true about the sun that would make it appear much brighter than other stars?

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Download Teacher Guide

Grade 5 Leveled Reader

How do scientists study the sun, our closest star, without damaging their eyes? Students will discover the answer to this question in this Grade 5 leveled reader while using the three-part, Read-to-Learn strategy.

Use engaging hands-on activities in your science classroom so students can apply their knowledge and truly understand the subject. Additionally, help students develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills by integrating science with ELA.


To learn more about HMH’s Texas Science offerings, contact your Texas team.