Reflection: ELL Students Animal Groups - What Purpose Do They Serve? - Section 3: Reasoning


Third grade students are quick to state a hypothesis or an idea as a fact.  I have found that this is especially true with ELL students because stating a fact is far less linguistically complex than positing something as a claim.  I often pull small groups aside to go over the differences in vocabulary that mark definitive statements vs conditional statements.

This is a framework for going over the difference between a belief and a fact, in the context of a simple science lesson:

  • I think monkeys have tails so that they can play.
  • I believe that monkeys have tails so that they can swing from trees.  
  • I know that monkeys have tails.
  • I can prove that many monkeys use their tails to swing from trees.
  • I can prove that many monkeys play.
  • I cannot prove that monkeys evolved to have tails so that they can play.
  • I cannot prove that monkeys evolved to have tails to swing from trees.

  Writing in Science
  ELL Students: Writing in Science
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Animal Groups - What Purpose Do They Serve?

Unit 7: Animal Groups
Lesson 2 of 6

Objective: Students will observe and act out a few group behaviors of non-herd animals and then will be able to discuss and write about possible benefits of living in a group.

Big Idea: Animals can defend themselves more effectively when they are in a group.

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9 teachers like this lesson
Science, predator, prey, animal, Groups, herds
  60 minutes
banded mongoose group strategy 7112
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