Instructional Openings

Experience Based Lab Introductions

Experience Based Lab Introductions is a strategy I use to get students to start thinking about their prior knowledge and how it can be applied to a problem or challenge. For example, I use the story about Who Polluted the Clark Fork to set the stage for our water filter lab. The story allows students to use their knowledge-base to answer simple questions throughout the story. As the activity continues, I see students' perspectives change as more elements and variables are added to the story. The stories peak students' interest and bring a call to action into a classroom activity. This strategy is embedded in the Conceptual Change Model, where I'm trying to expose students' beliefs, confront and accommodate those beliefs, and then extend the concept to help students move beyond their misconceptions.

Strategy Resources (3)
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is the lesson I use for the Who Polluted the Clark Fork activity, where I'm trying to get students to think about their beliefs. I have adapted this lesson to include information about our local area, which is why I have changed Potomac to Clark Fork. I also included historical information about mining from our area, as well as made connections to the ranching community my students live in. This lesson is easily adaptable to any location. (Credit: Northeastern)
Teacher In Action
 
 
This is a link to a demonstration we did on waves. During Demo Wednesday's, I often ask students a lot of questions at the beginning of the demonstration about what they are observing. This questioning helps me better understand how they are approaching what they are seeing. Demo Wednesday helps bring students' experiences into the science classroom by exposing their beliefs based on their prior experiences.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Ninth grade
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