Section 2 : Measurement

Theme: Making science practical

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • organised students in small groups to use apparatus to solve a problem;
  • designed questions at different levels to enable students to participate in a practical demonstration;
  • organised children into groups to collect data and present it appropriately.


Organising practical work is an important part of being a science teacher. Gaining first hand experience of materials, organisms and processes can increase understanding and assist retention of knowledge. Shared experiences and real objects may also be helpful for students who find English difficult. All practical work requires careful planning and some improvisation.

In this unit we take the topic of measurement and illustrate three different ways of organising practical work: demonstration, a laboratory parade and solving a problem. Some of the ideas in this topic are demanding and in your class you will find that some students race ahead, whereas others find the ideas difficult. We have used these activities to show how you can differentiate the work and cater for students of all abilities. You need to be able to support those who are finding the work difficult and challenge those who are capable of taking it further. Resource 1 provides some ideas about the different ways of differentiating work.

Resource 6: Ideas for demonstrations

1. Thinking about measurement in groups