In this activity, students work together to make careful observations.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- explain what an observation is
- record and discuss their observations.
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- introduction/background notes
- what you need
- what to do
- discussion questions
- extension idea.
Nature of science
Understanding the importance of careful observation is crucial to the NZC’s nature of science strands ‘Understanding about science’ and ‘Investigating in science’. The science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’ states, “Science knowledge is based on data derived from direct, or indirect, observations of the natural physical world….” Observations differ from inferences, which are the interpretations you draw from the observations.
Observation is essential in science. Like most skills, observation improves with practice and knowledge. Explore this further in the article Observation and science.
See our nature of science resources.
Below are more activities to help students ‘warm-up’ and stretch their observations skills. They are also ideal for practising the science capabilities ‘Gather and interpret data’ and ‘Use evidence’. Use our search to find more activities using observation.
Professional learning development
Visit TKI to read more about the science capabilities.