Notebook Assignments

Levels of Questioning

EASY Level 1: Basic Input / Gathering Information

Complete     Count       Match       Name        Define                 Select          Describe    

Identify           List             Observe     Recite

MEDIUM Level 2: Processing Information

Compare                 Contrast                      Sort

Explain Why       Analyze                 Make

HARD Level 3: Creating Your Own Ideas

Evaluate          Generalize        Imagine   

 Judge                 Predict      If/Then           Hypothesize        Apply the Principle

Cartoon Project

The cartoon does NOT have to be funny

The Front of the Paper

Ø    Single Frame cartoon (like a Farside) or up to a 4 frame cartoon.

Ø    Maximum 2 lines for a caption (speaking bubbles are okay, but not encouraged)

The Back of the Paper

Ø    The science idea being shown is written.

Ø    A paragraph explaining why or how the cartoon shows the idea stated is written.

Tattoo or Body Art

You are in charge of developing a tattoo to allow the world to know about one of the assigned TOPICS or EQUATIONS.

1. The centerpiece of the tattoo must be the equation.

2. The surrounding artwork must demonstrate the equation’s concept in a real-life situation.

3. The artwork must be suitable for ALL ages and appropriate for viewing in all social situations.

4. A 1 to 2 paragraphs explaining how the artwork represents the equation.

Vocabulary Card Instructions

Front side-Cartoon or Diagram

1.     The diagram or cartoon must have at least 4 different colors.

2.     There should be little to no writing and/or explanations on this side of the vocabulary card.

Back side-Explaining the Words

1.     Vocabulary Word (spelled correctly)

2.     Link-a word that will help you remember the word, the meaning should be known/ often related or rhyming with the vocabulary word.

3.     Definition-meaning of the word using terms the student understands (1 sentence-not copied from the textbook or dictionary)

4.     Usage Sentences-2 sentences helping describe the meaning of the vocabulary word. These should be student generated.

Question Cards

Question Cards are written to reflect and review information. The QUESTION is placed on the front of the card. A SUMMARIZED ANSWER is placed on the back of the card.

Concept Mapping

Ø    When making a Concept Map the main theme or concept is the center bubble of the concept map.

Ø    Branching off the center bubble are related concepts or topics.

1.     Use at least 4 different colors and 4 different shapes on the concept map.

2.     Each color must represent a different thread of ideas or concepts. If a bubble is related to more then one thread of concepts, use all the colors to show this.

3.     Each shape of bubble must represent a different thread of ideas or concepts.

4.     Include a key identifying what each shape and color represents

5.     An explanation must be written next to the line connecting each set of bubbles.

6.     The explanation must explain how or why the set of bubbles are related.

Film Strip

Design a short filmstrip to show an assigned science concept.

1. Minimum 9 slides on filmstrip.

2. 1st slide must include a title and author’s name.

3. Include pictures/diagrams and text in the slides.

4. Write a paragraph explaining how the filmstrip demonstrates the assigned science concept.

Riddle Cards

Front Side-Riddle and Artwork

  1. Riddle should contain one or more clues. The clues might or might not rhyme, but must refer to aspects of the answer.
  2. The riddle card MUST have artwork on front of the card.  The artwork should reflect the topic of the riddle with a clue that MIGHT help solve the riddle.

Back Side-Answer and Explanation to Riddle

  1. The back of the card has the answer to the riddle. (Vocabulary Word) clearly and cleanly written across the top of the card.
  2. Definition-meaning of the word written in student’s words.
  3. Below the answer an explanation of HOW the clues and artwork lead to the answer must be given.

Haiku Assignment

Haiku is a minimalist, contemplative poetry from Japan that emphasizes nature, color, season, contrasts and surprises.

Usually it has 3 lines and 1syllables distributed in a 5, 7 and 5 syllable pattern.

It should show a sensation, impression or drama of a specific fact or concept.

17 syllables total:

5 syllables in the first line

7 syllables in the second line

5 syllables in the third line.


1.     It must follow the pattern and deal with the assigned topic covered in class. 

2.     The section must have a border and artwork reflecting the topic - you pick the aspect you want to emphasize in the haiku and artwork.

3.     There must be a short 3 to 5 sentence explanation telling how the Haiku shows an understanding of the assigned topic.


Limerick Assignment

General Guidelines For The Limerick Assignment

1.     The form or pattern of limerick writing must be followed.

2.     The Science topic or concept assigned must be addressed in the limerick

3.     An illustration about the topic must follow the limerick.

4.     A paragraph explanation of how the limerick and the illustration are related to the assigned topic must be written after the illustration.

The Limerick Pattern

1.     A limerick has FIVE Lines.

2.     The last words of the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other.

3.     The first, second and fifth lines are longer than the third and fourth lines.

4.     The last words of the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.

5.     The pattern of sounds follows the pattern: 

      Da DUM da da DUM da da DUM


Example: Physics Topic:   Heat and Energy (from the APS website)

The physics test was quite near-o,

And all thought everything was quite clear-o;

"Why study this junk

I'm sure I won't flunk,"

     But then he earned an Absolute Zero


A cinquain is a five-line poem written about a single concept, object or idea. An American poet developed cinquains after examining the Japanese haiku format. The format is a short, unrhymed poem of twenty-two syllables and five lines. The five lines contain 2, 4, 6, 8 then 2 syllables. Each line is supposed to deal with a specific aspect of the cinquian’s topic.

Example:                  Raindrop

Moisture, Falling

Sustain, Nourish, Cleansing

Teardrop, Diamond, Dropping, Earthward


The first line consists of two syllables / 1 word

(The title).

The second line consists of four syllables / 2 words (describes the title).               

The third line consists of six syllables / 3 words

 (states an action).               

The fourth line consists of eight syllables / 4 words (expresses a feeling)

The last line consists of two syllables / 1 word (another word for the title).       


General Guidelines For The Cinquain Assignment

1.     The Cinquain must be written on the assigned topic.

2.     Follow the format of syllables and words per line.         

3.     An illustration of the concept or topic must be made after the cinquain.

4.     A 3 to 5 sentence EXPLANATION of how the cinquain and illustration relate to the assigned topic must be made.  


Descriptive Poem

Summarize the most important ideas in a few lines.

1st line: defines the term or concept

2nd line: starts with Which

3rd line: starts with When

Draw a picture that represents the assigned concept and poem

Write a paragraph to explain how the picture and poem relate to the assigned concept.




Heart, an organ in the cardiovascular system

Which pumps blood through my body

When oxygenated blood returns from the lungs

 Acrostic Poem

An acrostic poem, sometimes called a name poem, uses a word for its subject. Then each line of the poem begins with a letter from the subject word. This type of poetry doesn't have to rhyme.


1.     The assigned term or word is written vertically (up and down)

2.     Words, terms and concepts related to the term are written horizontally (back and forth) off the letter in the vertical term

3.     An illustration representing the term or word must follow the acrostic poem.

4.     Write 3 to 5 sentences explaining how the horizontal words AND the illustration relate to the vertical term.


Hints on how to write an acrostic poem:

1.     Write the subject of the poem vertically (up and down)

2.     Brainstorm a list of words/ideas to include in the poem. Think of any words that might go with the subject word. Don't try to only think of words that begin with the letters in the subject word, list anything that might be related to the topic. You can make the words/ideas fit later.

3.     Look through the list of words/ideas. Decide how each might fit into the poem.

4.     Think how that word or term could be put into a sentence that begins with a letter from the subject word. 



A fable is a short story with a moral or point to the story.

1.     The short story is generally 2 to 3 paragraphs in length.

2.     The key ideas or vocabulary assigned in class must be used in the fable.

3.     The key ideas or vocabulary terms must be HIGHLIGHTED in the fable.

4.     The moral or point to the story is added AFTER the last paragraph.

5.     After the moral or point to the story is stated, there must be an illustration showing the key idea.

6.     After the illustration there must be an explanation of how the story, moral/point and illustration show the assigned science ideas or principles.


Rhyming Poem

1. Use the assigned vocabulary terms or concepts.

2. The terms must be highlighted

3. The title must reflect the major concept of the poem.

4. There must be at least 5 couplets (two lines rhyming with each other) in the poem.

5. Draw a diagram or picture that relates to the assigned concept and poem.

6. Write at least 2 paragraphs explaining how the poem and diagram demonstrate the assigned topic.

Example of 2 couplets:

       1            Science is a blast

       2            When bring knowledge from the past

       3            I practice lab safety all the time

       4            ‘Cause hurting my partner can be a crime


Narrative Poem

A narrative poem tells a story in an arrangement of actions or a sequence of events. It celebrates ideas and images in rhythms and rhymes.


1. The poem must tell a story about an assigned science concept. 

2. There must be a title reflecting the major concept of the poem.

3. The poem must be at least 10lines.

4. The science terms must be highlighted.

5. Draw a diagram or picture that relates to the science concept and poem.

6. Write a paragraph that explains how the picture and poem relate to the assigned concept.


Song or Rap

1. The song must use the assigned vocabulary or topic

2. Use a song or tune familiar to you (Once you have a clear understanding of the concept you have to convey, try to use a song you’re already familiar with such as “Bingo,”  “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or even a nursery rhyme.

3. Change the lyrics of the original song to demonstrate the topic and use the vocabulary.  Remember: when presenting the song, be prepared to sing/play it out loud

4. There must be an illustration showing an understanding of the assigned topic and concepts.

5. There must be a 1 to 2 paragraph explanation after the song and illustration to explain how each covers and demonstrates the assigned topic and vocabulary.

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

You are charged with writing a radio public service announcement on one of the assigned CONCEPTS.

1. The PSA must be NO LONGER than 30 seconds when read aloud.

2. The CONCEPT must be identified at least twice during the PSA.

3. The PSA must include at least 5 vocabulary terms or phrases from the current unit.

4. Each vocabulary term or phrase must be high lighted.

5. After the reading of the PSA, there must be a one-sentence declaration of the organization responsible for developing the PSA.

6. Write a 1 to 2 paragraph long explanation of how and why the PSA would influence people to better understand the main CONCEPT.

Radio Commercial to Review Homework - Thirty Seconds Of Fame And Glory

Write a 30 second (maximum) RADIO commercial advertising the assigned concepts or vocabulary terms.

1. The one idea or concept considered to be most important should be the main message of the commercial.

2. The commercial MUST use at least 5 vocabulary terms or phrases from the current unit.

3. Each vocabulary term or phrase must be high lighted.

4. A description of any sound effects or music that would accompany the commercial may be listed in parenthesis and highlighted inside the body of the commercial.

5.  An illustration showing a printed advertisement to accompany the radio campaign must be drawn.

6. An explanation of how both the radio commercial and the printed advertisement meet the key points of the assignment must be written. Write at least one paragraph about each type of advertisement.

Newspaper article

Write a 2 to 3 paragraph long newspaper article suitable for the school newspaper about the assigned SCIENCE CONCEPT or TOPIC.

1. The article must contain the H5W (How, Who, What, When, Where, Why) about the concept or equation.

2. The article must have at least two interesting facts people could use in common day conversations.

3. There must be an illustration representing the concept or equation being applied.

4. There must be a caption of 2 to 3 sentences explaining the graphic.


Letter to the Editor

1.     The letter must be 2 to 4 paragraphs in length.

2.     The letter must contain the assigned topic or vocabulary terms.

3.     Each use of the assigned topic or vocabulary terms must be HIGHLIGHTED.

4.     YOU must state an opinion about the topic.

5.     At least 5 specific facts must be used to support the opinion.

6.     An illustration of the topic must be made after the letter.

7.     A 3 to 5 sentence explanation of how the letter and illustration are related to the topic must be written.


Designing A Magazine Ad

Design a magazine advertisement on one of the assigned   CONCEPTS or EQUATIONS.

1. The ad is for a favorite magazine of teenagers or young adults.

2. The name of the magazine must be placed above or below the advertisement.

3. The advertisement must be no more than a half page in length and use a minimum of 4 colors.

4. There must be at least one paragraph of claims or selling points on the advertisement. (Focus on the importance of the concept.)

5. Below the advertisement, use at least 2 paragraphs to explain 1. Why the magazine was selected. 2. How the artwork gets across the concept or equation use and 3. Why the claims or selling points help explain the importance or develop the understanding of the concept.

Clothing Line

1.     Your love of SCIENCE and startling fashion sense has you as the owner of a company offering a clothing line named after one of the assigned SCIENCE CONCEPTS.

2.     1. Describe one item from the clothing line and how it represents the SCIENCE CONCEPT.

3.     2. Make an illustration of the article of clothing with the logo advertising the SCIENCE CONCEPT. One portion of the logo must use or apply the concept as part of the illustration.

4.     3. Use at least 2 paragraphs to describe how the name of the clothing line will help it sell, how the illustration shows the SCIENCE CONCEPT and how wearing the clothing would help a student learn the science behind the concept.

Toy Design

Apply your knowledge of fun and SCIENCE to design the hottest and best selling toy of the season. The toy must apply one of the assigned SCIENCE CONCEPTS and not cause serious bodily injury as part of normal use. As part of the campaign to promote sales the following information must be provided.

1. What is the name of the toy?

2. What is the basic SCIENCE CONCEPT used when playing with the toy?

3. What are the most fun features of the toy?

4. What age group is the toy designed to reach?

5. How will playing with the toy help teach SCIENCE?

6. Make an illustration of the toy being used by a happy consumer.

7. Use at least 1 paragraph to describe the slogan to sell the toy. Part of the slogan must contain an everyday application applying the toy’s SCIENCE CONCEPT.


Free Fall Sporting Event

Design a non-injurious sporting event, Newtonia that requires a team of players to work together to win.

The sporting event will take place in free fall (no apparent gravity) inside a large air filled bubble.

Players are NOT allowed to use any electrical devices or electronic enhancements.

The sporting event must apply at least 5 different SCIENCE concepts or principles during play.

1. Write the rule or rules to win.

2. Describe and illustrate the uniform or equipment needed to play.

3. Write each of the SCIENCE concepts or principles to be applied during the game and describe how applying each will help a team win the game.

4. Describe any special problems that would have to be solved due to the game being played in free fall (no apparent gravity)

Pet Name

You are the proud owner of a new and unique pet and have honored it with one of the assigned SCIENCE VOCABULARY OR CONCEPTS for a name.

1.   What is the name of the pet?

2.   Explain how the name of the pet fits its behavior.

3.   Describe ONE trick you will have the pet learn to represent and show off its name.

4.   Make a drawing of the Pet showing off the trick representing its name.

5.   Describe how the drawing and trick represents the CONCEPT.

Vehicle Name

As part of design team for a new model vehicle, you must select a name for the model. The name must reflect the vehicle’s abilities and one of the assigned SCIENCE CONCEPTS

1.  What is the model name of the vehicle?

2.  Explain how the model name of the vehicle fits its abilities.

3.  Write the advertising slogan to be used to represent and show the vehicle.

4.  Create a magazine advertisement showing the vehicle and emphasizing its abilities and name.

5.  Explain in at least 2 paragraphs how the slogan and magazine advertisement represent the SCIENCE CONCEPT.


Tee Shirt Art

Design artwork for a tee shirt representing one of the assigned   CONCEPTS, VARIABLES or TERMS

1.  Front of Shirt must have artwork showing the concept, variable or term.

2.  Back of the shirt must have a 1 or 2 line ‘cute or clever (but CLEAN)’ saying using the concept, variable or term

3.  A minimum of 2 paragraphs explaining how the artwork and saying get the SCIENCE idea across must be written.


You are on vacation and just discovered a new science concept that you can’t wait to share with your family. Design a postcard and write a letter to describe the science concept.


Front Side: Diagram/Picture

1.  Draw a picture or diagram that shows the science concept.

2.  There should be minimal words or explanation on this side of the postcard.

Back Left-Side: Letter

1.  Word or Concept (spelled Correctly) at top

2.  Write a descriptive letter about the science concept to someone you know.

3.  Include details specific to the science concept in your letter.

Back Right-Side: Stamp and Address

1.  Create and color a postage stamp in the upper corner.

2.  Write your name, class period, recipient’s name and a fictional address.

Fold It 1 – Explain One Term

Fold a piece of paper ONCE

Front has the WORD and an ILLUSTRATION representing the term.

Back Top has the type of word (Noun, Verb, etc) and a definition of the word

Back Bottom has the word used in context in a sentence.


Fold It 2 – Compare and Contrast Two Terms

Tri-fold a piece of paper

Left side – One TERM and an ILLUSTRATION

Inside Left Side – Type of word and a definition of the word

Right Side – One TERM and an ILLUSTRATION

Inside Right Side – Type of word and a definition of the word

Inside Center – A bulls eye diagram to compare and contrast the two terms


Fold It 4 – Concept Map Riddles

Tri-fold a piece of paper.

Cut each flap in two (to form two ‘doors’

Place a riddle and illustration on each flap

Inside each flap, write the answer and the reason why

In the central area, construct a CONCEPT MAP with the terms as spokes. Be sure to have the reason connecting the term to the central concept.


Bulls Eye Comparison

Compare and contrast two to three topics using a bull’s eye diagram.

Differences between the two topics belong on the outside sections.

The similarities between the topics belong in the center bull’s eye.


The Ring of Truth

Create a Ring of Truth for the assigned TERM or CONCEPT

1. Inner Circle – Write the TERM or CONCEPT being reviewed

2. Outer Circle – List specific facts, ideas and information about the TERM or CONCEPT

3. Outer Area – Write down common WRONG or INCORRECT ideas or information the Person On The Street (POTS) might have about the TERM or CONCEPT

4, Underneath the Ring of Truth, use at least 2 paragraphs to explain why the wrong ideas are incorrect and why people might have these misconceptions.

People In Your Neighborhood Flip It

Select one of the assigned equations as a neighborhood. Now describe the people in the neighborhood. Each person has separate Flip It to be taped into the notebook.

1. Front of the Flip It – not more than 4 cm wide and 10 cm long

2. Front has a colored diagram of the person in appropriate work or leisure clothing.

3. Front has the name of the person (the variable must be part of the name) across the bottom of the Flip It.

4. The back has the name of the person across the top

5. The job or workplace of the person is described

6. How the job or workplace fits the person’s name is described

7. How the job helps the neighborhood (the equation) to operate and solve problems.


Flap Books

1.  Make folds for the # of flaps desired (example has 4 flaps)

2.  Fold the flaps down to approx 3 cm from the end.

3.  Cut the flaps apart (see diagram)

Front Flaps: Terms

A different term or concept should be written correctly on each flap

Inside Book: Picture and Explanation

1.  Top (underside of flap) Picture or diagram for each flap.

2.  Middle (covered by flaps) write info, definition, or description

        of the word or concept in your own words.

        Give an example for each word or concept.

3.  Bottom (not covered by flap) write a title connected to the main concept.



4-Square Analogy


Complete a 4-square analogy on a given science concept.

1.  Write the name of the concept at the top of your paper

2. Divide your paper into 4 sections and number each section in the upper left corner.

3. Write the following starters at the top of each quadrant.


Option A: Answer in complete sentences.

Quadrant 1: Write as much information as you can about: _________

Quadrant 2: __________ is like __________ because:

Quadrant 3: Describe what it would be like to be ____________

Quadrant 4: What are some important characteristics of ___________?


Option B:

Quadrant 1: Vocabulary Term

Quadrant 2: Illustration

Quadrant 3: Definition in own words

Quadrant 4: Characteristics

Box of Colors

As part of a campaign to make SCIENCE more color conscious, colored markers are given names describing both the color and a VARIABLE or SCIENCE CONCEPT.

1. Four basic colors must be used:  Blue, Red, Green and Yellow

2. At least two extra colors must be added to the basic four.

3. Draw each marker with the name of the color and variable/concept on the label (Displacement Red and so on)

4. Write a 3 to 5 sentence description explaining how the color and the variable/concept make a natural fit.

5. Draw the outside of the box with a slogan to entice people to purchase this mix of colors and SCIENCE.  A warning label must be included across the bottom of the box.


Hero or Villain

Design a comic book hero/heroine or villain.  The costume must reflect the name.  The name of the hero or villain must reflect one of the major concepts of the unit.  The superpower or strength of the hero or villain must be related to the major concept of the unit.

1. Draw a single frame cartoon showing the hero or villain doing an impressive feat.

2. Write a paragraph explaining how the costume and superpower are related to the major concept of the unit.

3. Write a second paragraph to explain how the impressive feat in the cartoon demonstrates the application of the major concept of the unit.