Reflection: Complex Tasks What Is an Insect? - Section 2: Direct Instruction


Throughout this lesson, the students were asked to justify their classification of organisms as insects or not.  They could not just answer "insect" or "not".  They needed to support their classification with strong arguments based on what they learned about the characteristics of insects.

My students really met this challenge.  They did a great job verbalizing the why behind their decisions.  I often think that teachers do not take the time to push their students for the why.  Many times, it takes time for the students to formulate and express their arguments.  It might also take coaching from the teacher to help the students draw their ideas together in a coherent fashion. This all takes time and in our jam packed days, we often breeze over the "why", so we have time to move on to the next big thing that needs to happen in our classrooms.

The "why" takes time, but it is worth time.  We want our students to grow up to be thinkers, to be able to apply what they know.  They can't do this without practice and that practice needs to begin early, even at kindergarten.  We must be the role models for the behavior.  When a student asks us why something happens, we need to take the time to answer their questions, give an explanation and share the "why".  If we consistently do this and expect the same from our students, we are going to help mold students who think like scientists.  I know that I am going to continue to look at ways to get to the "why" to help my students express their thoughts and ideas and move to a deeper level of understanding.

  Why? Why? Why?
  Complex Tasks: Why? Why? Why?
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What Is an Insect?

Unit 9: Exploring Insects
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: Students will be able to classify organisms as insects by completing a sort.

Big Idea: Creepy crawlies galore! Students practice classification with supporting rationale as they learn about structures and functions unique to insects.

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6 teachers like this lesson
Science, Science Skills, ELL, insects
  40 minutes
insects and spider
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