Scientific Revolution Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Travel with your students back in time to the earliest days of scientific discovery. A video lesson from highlights key figures and events in science and a fun activity allows students to play scientist.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • outline key events in the scientific revolution
  • identify important figures of the scientific revolution
  • outline the steps of the scientific method
  • apply the scientific method


1 hour

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


  • Begin by asking students to define science. Discuss these definitions as a class, and write key ideas on the board.
  • Now have students list three important scientific breakthroughs. Once again, discuss and write key points on the board.
  • Now play the video lesson The Scientific Revolution: Timeline, Breakthroughs & Effects.
  • When the video lesson has played in its entirety, revisit the list on the board of important scientific breakthroughs. Did anyone select any of those mentioned in the lesson? Could the breakthroughs that the students listed have occurred without the work of Copernicus, Bacon and Newton? Discuss this as a class.


  • Have students pair up. Each pair will begin by researching and recording the steps of the scientific method.
  • Once the pairs have the steps of the scientific method recorded, they should design a simple experiment based on the steps. They do not actually have to carry out the experiment as the point is to understand the importance of the scientific method and its role in the scientific breakthroughs over time.
  • When all pairs have finished designing their experiments, ask them to share them with the class for discussion.

Discussion Questions

  • How can we connect more recent scientific breakthroughs to those of the earliest days?
  • How can we use principles of the scientific method in daily living to improve things?


  • Have students conduct research on the most significant scientific breakthrough in each of the following years 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2000. What do these breakthroughs have in common? How have they impacted our lives?
  • Ask students to carry out the experiments they designed. Were they successful? Why or why not?

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