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Rigorous Second Grade Science Centers for NGSS

What do second graders need know in science? What science topics should you teach in second grade?

As an elementary teacher that follows the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), these second-grade science units help me easily set up science learning stations in the classroom.

Teachers - Do you need ideas and materials to teach second grade science? These Next Generation Science Stations are perfect for your science classroom. It includes physical science stations about the properties of matter, life science stations about habitats and how plants grow, and earth science stations about wind and water changes. And there's more! It's a complete year of science content for your elementary classroom.

These science centers cover ALL of the NGSS science topics for second grade and include hands-on activities for each standard. They also include digital components for Google Classroom!

Second Grade Science Stations – Your Questions Answered

Before I link up to all of our 2nd grade NGSS science units, let me answer a few quick questions that you might have about them. If you have a question that I haven’t answered below, let me know in the comment section at the end of the page.

What are the Next Generation Science Standards?

The Next Generation Science Standards are multi-dimensional. They include Performance Expectations, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices

There is a lot of interwoven content, concepts, and science practices in each and every NGSS science standard.

Find out more about how to read the NGSS and which parts of each standard we used when designing the Second Grade Science Science Stations.

The Next Generation Science Standards are hard to read. What do teachers need to teach their second grade students in science? What are the topic for second grade? How do teachers focus on the disciplinary core ideas, performance expectations, and cross-cutting concepts? In this post, we unpack the second grade NGSS.

What If I Teach in Texas using the TEKS?

You’re in luck!

We have an alignment between the NGSS and TEKS that shows which standards in the NGSS match which standards in the TEKS. All of our Science Stations are linked in the alignment so you can easily find them.

Do you teach science in Texas and wonder how to successfully teach science lessons that are aligned with the next generation science standards? We created an NGSS and TEKS alignment tool for second, third and fourth grade teachers in Texas who want to use our science stations and 5E units. #ngss #teks #sciencestandards #sciencelessons #secondgrade #thirdgrade #fourthgrade

Why are there so many Science Stations?

We originally created 8 Science Station Units for second grade with 8 stations per unit. Many teachers were only using parts of each of the units, so we broke them down into individual science stations. The individual science stations are only available on TpT. The UNITS and YEARLONG BUNDLE are available on my website.

Here is how they are broken out:

  • INDIVIDUAL Science Station
  • UNIT Bundle by NGSS Standard (8 Stations in each UNIT)
  • DOMAIN Bundle (Physical Science, Life Science, Earth Science)
  • YEARLONG Bundle

While you can purchase each science station individually, you save more money by purchasing the science UNITS or a larger BUNDLE.

Teachers - Do you need ideas and materials to teach second grade science? These Next Generation Science Stations are perfect for your science classroom. It includes physical science stations about the properties of matter, life science stations about habitats and how plants grow, and earth science stations about wind and water changes. And there's more! It's a complete year of science content for your elementary classroom.

What are the Eight Different Science Stations?

Each science station UNIT BUNDLE or topic has these 8 INDIVIDUAL stations.

  • WATCH a Video – Students watch one of two videos about the topic and answer questions about the video.
  • PLAY a Game – Students play one of two video games about the topic and answer question about the video game. They can also play a board game or do a word search or crossword puzzle
  • INVESTIGATE – Student investigate the topic with a hands-on activity. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.
  • DIAGRAM– Student diagram the topic with a hands-on activity. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.
  • READ – Student read about the topic. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.
  • MODEL – Student model the topic with a hands-on activity. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.
  • EXPLORE – Student explore the topic with a hands-on activity. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.
  • SORT – Student do a sort about the topic. Included is a reading passage and differentiated questions.

Also included in each UNIT BUNDLE are vocabulary cards and checklists. In addition, each science station that includes a reading passage also has an audio version of the reading passage. Students who struggle with reading can listen to the reading passage.

Teachers - Do you need ideas and materials to teach second grade science? These Next Generation Science Stations are perfect for your science classroom. It includes physical science stations about the properties of matter, life science stations about habitats and how plants grow, and earth science stations about wind and water changes. And there's more! It's a complete year of science content for your elementary classroom.

How do I use the Science Stations in my Classroom?

Great question! There are many ways to use the science stations. Some teachers use them in small groups or as science centers. Other teachers use them one-at-a-time in a whole group format. Since COVID, many teachers are using them in a distance learning environment with Google Classroom.

There really is no one-way or right answer to this question. It depends on how your classroom is set up and how much time you have for science instruction each week.

Click the image below for more information on how I set up my science stations.

4 tips for successful science stations

Are there Digital Science Stations?

Yes! All of our science stations come with digital versions with Google Slides and Forms. Students can do many of these activities online or respond to the hands-on activities in Google Classroom. The Google Classroom components vary a little from station to station.

► Google Forms™️ with Reading Passages, Differentiated Questions, and Links to the Videos are available for all stations

► Google Slides™️ with Activity Directions & Worksheets to record results are available for the Investigate, Diagram, Model, Explore, and Sort stations

Please note that while we have included digital versions for online science learning, many of the core activities are hands-on and require additional materials and resources.

Click the image below for an explanation of how some of our science stations have been adapted for Google Classroom.

How are teachers teaching science during distance learning? We've added Google Forms and Google Slides to many of our science stations for second grade, third grade, and fourth grade. Teachers can copy the files and assign them to students. All of our science stations cover the Next Generation Science Stations for each grade level and include multimedia components to engage students.

Second Grade Science Station UNIT BUNDLES

There are 8 Second Grade Science Station UNIT BUNDLES. Directly below are links to purchase each unit. Keep scrolling to find more links and in-depth details and photographs about each UNIT BUNDLE.

What Science Topics are Taught in Second Grade?

Below are the Second Grade Science Stations UNITS or TOPICS that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. They are organized by UNIT BUNDLE and include links to more photographs and in-depth descriptions of some station.

Physical Science Stations for Second Grade

The physical science resources for second grade focus on states of matter and reversible and irreversible changes.

Structure and Properties of Matter – NGSS 2-PS1.A

In the Structure and Properties of Matter Science Station Unit students play games, watch videos and explore the properties of matter. Students explore how matter changes states by heating and cooling. They diagram hardness and used a hardness chart. Students model how small pieces can be put together differently to make different things and explore the properties of air.

Engaging second grade science stations that follow the NGSS science standards for states of matter. These properties of matter science stations will have your 2nd grade students focused on reading and writing about science. Students learn about properties of matter, test different materials, and learn about how objects can be disassembled into small pieces and made into something new. #secondgradescience #ngss #2ndgradescience #sciencestations

Here are details about the Structure and Properties of Matter SORT for second grade.

Engaging second grade science stations that follow the NGSS science standards for states of matter. These properties of matter science stations will have your 2nd grade students focused on reading and writing about science. Students learn about properties of matter, test different materials, and learn about how objects can be disassembled into small pieces and made into something new. #secondgradescience #ngss #2ndgradescience #sciencestations

Reversible & Irreversible Changes – NGSS 2-PS1.B

In the Reversible and Irreversible Changes Science Station Unit students play games, watch videos and explore the how matter changes states and whether it can change back. Students read about reversible and irreversible changes and experiment with food to show whether or not it can change back. Included are four hands-on yummy activities, and four other stations that do not include food.

Life Science Stations for Second Grade

The life science resources for second grade focus on the growth of plants and habitats.

Green and Growing – NGSS 2-LS2.A

This How Plants Grow Science Station Unit is about the biology and ecology of plants.  Students learn about what plants need to grow, how they reproduce, and the role of pollinators in their life cycle. It includes 8 different science stations where students deepen their understanding of the plant growth and reproduction.

Here are details about the Green and Growing SORT for second grade.

Elementary students sort the part of the plant we eat: stem, leaf, root, or flower. This science station aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for second grade. Students read a passage and have two options for the sort: color table sort and a black and white cut and paste sort. After sorting students respond to the sort and reading passage by answering questions in one of four formats including short-answer and multiple-choice. #NGSS #secondgradescience #secondgrade

Biodiversity & Humans – Habitats – NGSS 2-LS4.D

In this Habitats Unit students learn about the biology, ecology, and climate zones of Earth’s habitats.  They learn how structures of different species suit them for their environment. Students learn about the the following habitats: arctic, temperate forest, intertidal, pond, desert, and land and water habitats.

Earth Science Stations for Second Grade

The earth science resources for second grade focus on plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, maps, and surface water.

History of the Planet Earth- The Changing Earth – NGSS 2-ESS1.C

In this Changing Earth Unit students learn how plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, and erosion have shaped our planet Earth.  Students learn how some events cause changes quickly and some events cause change slowly.

Here are details about the Slow and Fast Landform Changes SORT for second grade.

Earth Materials and Systems – Wind and Water Erosion and Weathering – NGSS 2-ESS2.A

This Wind and Water Changes Unit is about how wind and water change the shape on land.  It focuses on weathering and erosion caused by wind and water.

Here are details about the Wind and Water Changes SORT for second grade.

Elementary students sort whether wind or water changes the land. This science station aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for second grade. Students read a passage and have two options for the sort: color table sort and a black and white cut and paste sort. After sorting students respond to the sort and reading passage by answering questions in one of four formats including short-answer and multiple-choice. #NGSS #secondgradescience #secondgrade

Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions – Maps – NGSS 2-ESS2.B

This Shape of Our World Unit students learn about how maps show where things are located.  Students will learn about how different maps show different types of land and water features. Students deepen their understanding of maps, the globe, reading maps, plates, bodies of water, and landforms.

The Role of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes – NGSS 2-ESS2.C

This Water on Earth Unit is about the different places water is found on Earth, including oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as the forms of water.  Students will learn about the role of the water cycle on Earth and the state of water in different locations on Earth.

Here are details about the Types of Water on Earth SORT for second grade.

A second-grade science station about saltwater and freshwater habitats. This interactive elementary science activity is perfect for second graders who need to learn about different habitats. #sciencestation #secondgradescience #elementaryscience

Where can I get the Second Grade Science Stations?

The NGSS Second Grade Science Stations can be purchased on my website or on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Rigorous Second Grade Science Centers for NGSSRigorous Second Grade Science Centers for NGSSRigorous Second Grade Science Centers for NGSS


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