Teaching the Scientific Method

We recently conducted an experiment in our homeschool that was conceptualized around the family dinner table. My girls wondered whether singing to, talking to, or yelling at a plant would impact its growth. So, we decided to test it ourselves. We reviewed the scientific method and designed our own experiment using four potted begonias; one that would be sung to, one that would be talked to, and one that would be yelled at, each for five minutes per day for seven days. The fourth was a control, and got the same amount of water, light, and time indoors as the others, but was otherwise simply ignored.

We tracked the progress of each plant daily. But some days forgot to bring them inside for their talking, yelling or singing. And some days forgot to measure them. And stretched seven days to ten. Interestingly, while leaves and petals on all four plant wilted (we determined we weren’t watering any of them enough) all grew taller, except for the control. Which suggested that ANY interaction with the plants was helpful to its growth, and did not support the original hypothesis that the plant that was yelled at would be stunted. However, at the end of the day, we decided our results were really inconclusive, because we had not controlled tightly enough for other factors, perhaps were not completely consistent in our measurements, and did not spend enough time with the plants.

In my mind though, the experience was a raging success, because we learned about the process of conducting an experiment, and internalized the scientific method. It was such a fun way to learn together! I’m sharing our FREE printable worksheet to help you create an experiment following the scientific method in your own home. Science is so cool!

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