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How Can My Students Become Scientists and Artists?

If you are interested in this activity, or other great ways to integrate science, art, and literacy, please contact:

21st Century Science, Art and Literacy Coach
APD 21st Century Learning and Accountability


Investigation Skills

Is it Art? Or is it Science? Fourth and Fifth graders investigate at the De Young and the Cal Academy of Sciences

Ms. Bohlen's and Ms. LG's class were both scientists and artists on a field trip to the De Young museum and the California Academy of Sciences. Initially, students drew specimens and drew them in a creative environment. They also investigated the topic of decomposition. They first examined how light was used in the African Hall exhibits in the Academy, and later that day, observed light and exhibit design at the Papau New Guinea gallery at the De Young. On the following day, students shared what they learned, and how they were scientists and artists in both places.

Students Will Learn:

  • Observing – using the 5 senses to find out information about objects: an object’s characteristics, properties, similarities, and other identification features.
  • Classifying – the process of grouping and ordering objects.
  • Measuring – comparing unknown quantities with known quantities, such as: standard and non-standard units of measure.
  • Communicating – using multimedia, written, graphs, images, or other means to share findings.
  • Inferring – forming ideas to explain observations.
  • Predicting – developing an assumption of the expected outcome.

CA Standards and Framework

Grade 4 Standards

Investigation and Experimentation

6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

a. Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists’ explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations.

b.Measure and estimate the weight, length, or volume of objects.

c.Formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.

d. Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction and draw conclusions about the relationships between predictions and results.

e.Construct and interpret graphs from measurements.

f.Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation.