Reflection: Discourse and Questioning What Do Plants Need-Part I - Section 5: Closing

 

At the close of this lesson, I gave the students the opportunity to share their predictions about what would happen to each plant and their rationale for the predictions with another student.  This discussion brought our lesson to a close.

I was impressed with what the students shared during this time.  Many of the students tapped into prior knowledge and shared something they had experienced in regards to plants to support their prediction.  For example, I heard, "My mom forgot to water one of our plants one time and it died, so I think the plant without water will die."

Throughout the year, I have really pushed my students to share WHY when we have been having our science discussions.  At the beginning of the year, this required lots of modeling and prompting, by May, I really didn't need to do any prompting at all.  The students new what was expected of them and they really stepped it up.

Teachers will often talk about their struggles to get students engaged in scientific discourse.  This discourse doesn't just happen.  It requires scaffolding and support.  I began by using lots of sentence stems (I think _____ will happen because of _____).  I often modeled conversations with students for the class.  It took time, but the results were amazing.  When I listen to my students, I am so proud at the way they have learned to share their scientific thinking.  Now, I need to focus more on the other half of the discourse.  I want them to learn how to ask more questions, especially ones that probe deeper to help broaden their understanding of a concept.

 

  Sharing Predictions
  Discourse and Questioning: Sharing Predictions
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What Do Plants Need-Part I

Unit 7: Planting
Lesson 11 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to describe what plants need to survive by completing a simple investigation.

Big Idea: What do plants need to survive? Students will be able to draw conclusions about plant needs and begin to compare them to human needs after completing this simple investigation.

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Subject(s):
Science, Science Skills, plants, inquiry, questioning strategy, plant
  50 minutes
what plants need
 
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