Investigate at School - Primary
Transform your classroom into an investigation centre! Collect your own objects or discover real Museum specimens online. Develop and use scientific skills by making observations, asking questions and looking for evidence.
These resources support four stages of a classroom scientific investigation as inspired by the work of our Museum scientists. The resources are flexible and can be tailored in many ways to suit your class.
Here are some top tips from Museum staff on how to learn more from your specimen.
Investigate at School: Top tips
Here are some questions that might be useful to ask your pupils to prompt investigations:
- Why did you choose this specimen?
- What can you see?
- How does it and feel?
- What patterns, colours, and textures do you notice?
- Have you seen anything like this before?
- What questions do you have about your specimen?
- Can you see any clues that might help you to answer your question?
- Does your partner agree with your idea to answer your question?
- Does your partner have any other ideas what the answer could be?
Additional suggestions for investigating digital specimens:
- Encourage pupils to look for hidden details.
- Rotate in all directions, zoom in and out as far as it will allow and turn it upside down.
- Focus on shapes and patterns.
- Compare different specimens.
Equipment is not essential for this activity. However, there are some items that might be useful to enhance investigations, if available:
- Pencil and paper for recording ideas and drawing diagrams.
- Simple weighing scales and rulers can be used to take measurements.
- Magnets and torches can be useful to find out more.
- Crayons can be used to make rubbings of suitable specimens.
- Magnifying equipment can be great for looking closer.
Pupils can use the Museum recording sheet to record their observations and ideas. Alternatively, they can create a video or audio recording documenting their investigation.