Unit 1 – What is Science – Vocabulary


At the start of every unit, we are going to have a list of vocabulary words that we will need to define for the students. Let’s do this with an interactive word bank. I prefer an interactive word bank over a regular one because it forces students to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills will later help your students with their test-taking skills.

If you are a teacher and need a way to do complete this lesson virtually due to social distancing or might need to be able to switch to virtual in the future, please scroll down and see what resources I have created for you to stay a head of this wacky world we are living in. 

If you are a parent and would like to add computer education to your list of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) please scroll down and see what virtual activities you can get for your own home! 


  1. Index cards (20)
  2. Marker
  3. Poster Board
  4. Tape or Glue


  1. Each vocabulary word will need two cards. On the blank side of the first index card, write the term, leave the lined side blank.
  2. On the lined side of the second card, write the definition. Leave the blank side blank.

If you have older students with neat handwriting, they can help you with this part, make sure not to let them know what definition goes with which word. The cards also need to readable because we will be using them again later.

Vocabulary words:

1. Environment – the way nature interacts with the other parts of the natural world and with the human world

2. Natural – the elements of the world that are not created by humans and can exist without human contact

3. Elements – the different pieces that are needed to create the Earth and weather

4. Science – the study of how parts of the world work together to make a whole

5. Water – a liquid that is needed for all life to continue

6. Air – the substance that surrounds all our world and is essential for humans to breath

7. Forest – an area that is mostly trees, but also has a bunch of other plants and animals

8. Animal – a living being that is aware that it is alive and reacts to the conditions around it

9. Plant – a living being that is not aware that is alive

10. Atmosphere – the air and other substances that surround everything all around the Earth



    The Activity:

    There are three different levels of difficulty you can do with this mix and match activity.

    1. Shuffle all the vocabulary words together and shuffle all the definitions together—keep the piles separate. Hand the different piles to students and have them match all the descriptions to the terms. When they get a word wrong, help your student use their reasoning to correct the answer. Younger students might need more help with this activity.
    2. Let students read the words and definitions together one time. Now flip all the cards upside down and shuffle them around. Students now must stretch their memory capabilities to remember the location of the word and the definition.
    3. Do not let students read words or definitions first. Shuffle all cards and make students play mix and match. They will have no prior knowledge of what the possibility is and must decide for themselves if the word matches the definition.

    Once our game is complete, have students glue or tape the cards onto the poster board to use for future reference

    The last step will be to have students log their vocabulary words in their science journals for extra repetition.

    Your finished word bank poster should resemble this:


    No Problem!! This activity is available on Teachers Pay Teachers. I set up a virtual mix and match game and connected it to next lesson for you for *FREE!* You can find not only these lessons but all lessons in my store. This way if you are jumping back and forth between in-person learning and socially distant learning you can feel confident knowing you are not going to have to change your entire unit around or scramble to find materials and ideas. 

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