Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Scientists Learn From Books and Media - Section 4: Sharing Our Discoveries


I want students to form some background knowledge about trees and leaves before creating a book and venturing outside to observe a tree. I know that as second graders they are in the early stages of reading for meaning from a nonfiction book. Some of them will use their own understanding  of leaves and trees rather than find facts in the books.

I collect all that they have written and review it to check for their understanding. I can see that many of the children wrote about the shapes of leaves, or that leaves change color but that the level of understanding is still very basic. By reviewing their work I know that students still need to dig deeper. My task is to help students to persevere and deal with the more complex understanding. 

I will need to plan a lesson to talk more about how leaves make chlorophyll and that in the fall they don't get enough sunlight, or warmth to feed them and so there is not as much chlorophyll in the leaves and the other colors, which were hidden under the green now begin to show. I may also use a piece of celery in colored water to show how trees drink in the water through their roots, but in the fall they are drinking in less water out of the cold ground. A demonstration is one way that I can help my students to persevere as they try to understand what is really happening when the leaves change color.  

I may also show additional videos on how chlorophyll is made to help students visualize this more complex fact. I will scaffold what they have written with what I hope they will begin to understand to help them persevere and deal with the more complex understandings.

  Checking For Understanding
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Checking For Understanding
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Scientists Learn From Books and Media

Unit 1: What Do Scientists Do?
Lesson 9 of 14

Objective: SWBAT use different media to find the answer to a science question

Big Idea: Scientists do more than experiment to find things out.

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