LESSON 1 Science Poems: Teaching Science with a Smile
Grade Level: 7-9

1. Grades 7-9

2. Overview Science to children in this twenty first century has to be re-presented in such a way that they will love it. In Africa, children are used to singing and dancing. Poems that have rhymes are very effective in communicating information. Teachers should adopt methods that will not only convey scientific information but also make it appealing and interesting. Children should be made to see the joy in learning science-put a smile on their faces.

3. Purpose The purpose of this lesson is to first make the teacher use a relatively innovative method to present several topics in science to children. Using this approach should make children learn poems that convey different science topics.

4. Objectives Students will be able to:

  1. Identify science topics
  2. Memorise the poems with the identified topics
  3. Discuss the science conveyed in each poem
  4. Write their own science poems

5. Resources/materials Tape recorders, video tapes and play back equipments. Books on poems.

6. Activities and Procedures This lesson should begin with the Poem with the title "Science Time".

Teacher says it's time for science
A time to use our senses
Look, hear, touch and smell
It's fun time again
Science time is time for fun
And not a time to fear.

If properly introduced, this poem should set the class aglow, putting smiles on the faces of the children and the teacher.

Simple poems which have real meanings to the students should be collected by the teacher. The poems should initially be read aloud to the children with explanations about the content. The rhymes in the poems should be emphasised. Gradually, there should be a transformation from simple everyday poems to science poems. Here, it becomes imperative to explain the poems bringing out the science concepts depicted. The students should note the science concepts. After a reasonable number of poems have been studied and the children have shown considerable interests, they should then be encouraged to write their own poems depicting something in science. Teaching science through poems should put a smile on the faces of the children. As much as is possible, the lessons should be recorded on audio and possibly video tapes.

7. Tying it all together This innovative approach in the teaching of science, sets the true spirit of integration in science. Here is an example of inter-disciplinarity in school subjects-science, English and drama. The science teacher should here demonstrate resourcefulness in teaching. Co operation between the Language and Science Departments is called for here. The poems learned during this lesson should be recited in class and to the school population including parents during school "Open Day".

8. Assessment The level of success of this lesson is determined by the general interest shown in learning science by the students. The students should carry science beyond the four walls of the classroom. Also, the number of new Poems contributed by the students should be a good measure of success.

9. Author(s) S. T. Bajah and Alice Eta Asim Early Learning Science Series for Africa [ELSSA]

10. Reference(s) Bajah, S.T. and Alice Eta Asim (1997). Science Poems for Children. Lagos: CSS Limited