Virtual Field Trip
Geology of Communities
Dynamic Earth
Hot Spots
Geology in the Classroom
Especially For Teachers
Hall of Fame
Geological Milestones
Table 1 - What You Should Know About Age/Grade Levels
Grade and Age Character of Students Desirable Presentation Style Desirable Activities Special Concerns
gr. K-3
5-8 years
Full of energy, talkative, curious, learn by senses, short attention span, used to working in groups. No lectures, please! Brief, hands-on activities to increase understanding of a few concepts. Avoid written material, be imaginative and flexible. You could dress as a field geologist and bring tools for discussion. Devise activities that will involve kids in touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing. Let kids know that their sorting, recording, sharing is doing science. They need concrete examples - they haven't developed abstract thinking. Breaks are needed - can't sit for too long.
gr. 4-7
9-13 years
Developing reading and basic math skills. Have learned a little about scientific instruments and about community, the environment and ethics. Brief formal presentation permissible but focus on hands-on activities and demonstrations. Developing an interest in printed material, a few slides are okay. They love instruments, e.g. stereoscope or microscope. If talking about maps, go into school yard and give them a practical demonstration. Relate concepts to their lives, pass around and discuss specimens. If you need groupings, have the teacher make them. Kids this age bore easily and should have a fast-paced presentation. Provide simple explanation, but don't baby them.
gr. 8-9
13-15 years
Some will act "cool" at the start. Social learning is a major interest and concern of many. Developing attitudes to S&T which will last their lifetimes. They can reason inductively and make generalizations. Able to handle advanced concepts but still need simple explanations. Can handle short formal presentations but you must get them involved. They can sit and listen longer than younger children but to prevent restlessness they require a fast-paced, exciting presentation. Hormones are becoming active. Some classes appear difficult to turn on but it's important you do so -these kids are at the crossroads.
gr. 10-12
16-18 years
They have developed complex thinking skills. However, career decisions may have been made and class will vary greatly in level of interest in S&T. Lecture type presentations are suitable if the topic is exciting. Leave at least 25% of time for discussion. Charts, graphs, experimental demonstrations and simple explanations of "cutting edge" concepts. High interest in career opportunities and job-related activities. Be prepared for questions you can't answer and be prepared to say "I don't know".

    Last Modified: 2004-12-10