Reflection: Gradual Release Mystery Conductors Day 1 - Section 2: Mini Lesson


I made a conscious decision to withhold modeling how to carry out this investigation.  I did this in order to allow my students to grow as scientists. They are given access to everything they might need and a challenge, but no instructions. 

This approach lifts the rigor of the task. As a group, the students need to define the real problem, discuss solutions, create investigations with their group, gather materials for the test, and begin to keep data. 

So many times, science experiments are laid out for the students. This sets them up to run trial and error type investigations. In order to learn how to "create" the investigation, there should be nothing set up. During this session, some students put switches into their circuits, for no apparent reason. Some put motors into their circuits and some used lights. 

Allowing differences, withholding control, and allowing creativity, is a wonderful way to support and grow thinkers.

  Withholding Instructions
  Gradual Release: Withholding Instructions
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Mystery Conductors Day 1

Unit 9: Electricity
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: Students will be able to use their current knowledge of circuitry to detect a hidden wire.

Big Idea: Today's lesson will allow students to show what they know about circuits without having all of the materials given to them. They will have to define a problem and solve it as a group, using their prior knowledge.

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Science, circuits (Electricity), Electricity, complete and incomplete circuits, investigation, physical science , conductors, insulators
  47 minutes
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