Designing a Poppers Investigation

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SWBAT list and describe the steps of a scientific investigation.

Big Idea

Student use a self-created testable question to create a scientific investigation.

Warm Up

10 minutes

To begin this lesson, I ask students to review the Poppers Graphic Organizer and Model Lesson Exit Ticket that they created in the previous two lessons. It is important to reactivate the students' knowledge of testable questions and the investigation design process before asking them to delve into their own investigation creation process. I ask students to share with a partner the investigation they will conduct and the variables they will use in their investigation. This partner talk allows students to reconnect with their previous learning and to further test and revise their thinking.

Guided Practice

45 minutes

The majority of this lesson is spent with students engaged in designing their own investigation based on their testable question.  At the end of the lesson, students will have a completed plan on their Poppers Lab Write-Up Outline

I use a guided practice model for this section of the lesson so that I can provide feedback, guidance, and encouragement as students complete each section of their investigation design. I ask students to work with me through each step of the process. I display a blank Poppers Lab Write-Up Outline on the document camera for students to reference throughout the lesson. I provide directions for one section at a time and then provide students with a chance to complete the section. During student work time, I circulate around the classroom checking student work and providing help when it is needed.

We begin with the title section. This is a place where students can have fun and write an expressive, entertaining title that shares the purpose of the experiment. When all students have completed this first section, we move onto the purpose section. For the purpose of the experiment, students can restate the testable question directly from their exit ticket from the previous lesson. The next section is the students' hypothesis. I ask students to write and "If, then, because" statement where they provide the reasoning behind their scientific guess.  Students then need to compile a list of needed materials. In the next section, procedures, I ask students to write step-by-step directions for the investigation. To facilitate this process, I use leading questions such as; How would the experiment begin? What would you need to do next? Is there any information you'll need to record.

The next section, data, can be difficult for students to grasp. I explain my process for guiding students through the data section in the video representing data.

Students have completed their guided practice when they have all sections of the lab outline through data completed. The sections for conclusions and next steps will be completed in the next lesson after students conduct their investigation.


10 minutes

In the closing section of this lesson, my goal is for students to review the investigation they created and critically examine their work for any areas which may need improvement. To accomplish this, I have students work in partners to review their investigations. I give each student 5 minutes to share their work with a partner. During this time, I encourage the students to ask questions of one another to help their partner clarify any questionable areas in their investigation. After 5 minutes, I have the partners switch roles so that each student hs the chance to share their work.