Many teachers, and science teachers especially, are familiar with the habit of spending our own money on our students and classrooms. So when looking for resources to get our students engaged, finding resources that fit our small budget is really important. Keep reading for ways to get students excited to learn without breaking the bank!
Free resources are a great place to start, and thanks to the power of the internet we have more free resources than ever before!
One of the best places to find free science videos is on youtube! One of my favorite channels is the Ameoba Sisters, whose channel is great for teaching biology! Check out some of my other suggestions below!
Music is a great way to get students interested in a topic! And if the song is catchy enough it might even get stuck in their head! (A sneaky way to leave students thinking about science all day long).
You might include songs in your classroom by having students listen to the songs and list things they recognize or have questions about!
Here’s a small playlist of science songs!
- The New Period Table Song by ASAP Science
- The Muscle Song by ASAP Science
- The Scientific Method Song by Have Fun Teaching
- The Water Cycle Song by Have Fun Teaching
- The Simple Machines Song by Scratch Garden
Believe it or not, TikTok can be a great free resource. There are tons of scientists and science teachers who make videos all about science. Creating a playlist of TikTok’s relating to the same topic can be a great way for students to engage with science through something they already do!
Here are some different TikToks to get you started!
Reach out to your local library and see if they have any resources available to teachers! Even just checking out a book to share with your students is a great way to get students engaged! Here are some books that are worth sharing with your class!
- Hidden Figures by Lee Shetterly
- Lab Girl by Hope Jones
- The Atom: A visual Tour by Jack Challoner
What are some of your favorite science books?
Resources You Have to Pay For ($$$$)
Sadly we can’t always get by with free resources. So here are some suggestions for resources on the cheaper side.
That’s right craft supplies. And I’m not talking about the fancy stuff that costs a lot of money. I’m talking about things like tongue depressors, beads, and other supplies that can be bought in bulk. Check. out this cool blog post about how to use craft supplies in the classroom!
You never know what you might find at a thrift store, and often from under $5! Check out this cool article on how to shop thrift stores for your classroom!
How will you use these resources to engage your students?
I have seen some students making TikToks for different teachers. I think there is a very carefully balanced line to walk with this, especially when teaching minors. If you want to have students make their own TikTok’s it is important that you work with students on internet safety. You can also have students make “TikTok’s” that they just don’t post to the site. So in short, yes I think it can be a fun way to connect science to something students already engage with, you just have to make sure you are taking steps to keep students safe.
I think it depends on a few factors. What song you are using? What your end goal is? And how engaging it is for students. Before using a song I think it is important to ask: Am I trying to get students engaged with this song, or do I just want them to use this song to memorize things? The goal should always be the former. Using songs can be a great way to pull students into a topic, but it shouldn’t be where you stop teaching that topic. And at the end of it all you can always have students write their own verse to the song too!
I think you did an incredible job with this blog post. The organization made it really easy to follow along, and I think that the resources you provided are top-notch! I especially like the “crash course” series and I think it is an amazing resource for science educators. I know you talked about showing your students some science tiktoks, but do you think there would be some value in allowing them to make their own as well?
Keep up the good work!
I really enjoyed your post and felt that it offered many realistic examples. I especially liked your music section- I remember my freshman year of college in my biology class my professor played us a song about the Kreb’s Cycle and I still remember it to this day! I think songs are a great way for students to initially memorize things before they jump into the real, important details of it- it gives them an initial framework to work with. Do you think songs could work in any grade level/subject, or do they lend themselves better to specific content areas or ages?
Any toy truck or car you find can be a great example. You can use them to demonstrate force, inertia, and momentum! If you find any ball at the thrift store, whether it be a soccer ball, baseball, or even a football can help you demonstrate different projectile motion paths. Just make sure you do so outside! The key is to just get creative!
I thought it was awesome that you incorporated not just free resources but paid recourses as well. I got focused on the idea that everything had to be free, but you should some cheap ways to get students engaged in learning. The thrift and dollar stores provide many opportunities for teachers to acquire meaningful resources for the classroom and should always be considered. I think that this method of obtaining resources can be very budget-friendly. A question I have for you is what are some examples of objects you could find at the thrift store that would help you in demostrating physics ?