Design Your Own Experiment (Day 3)

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Students will be able to plan and carry out their own investigations.

Big Idea

Students present their own investigations.

Preparing to Present

20 minutes

During the last two days, the students have developed, carried out and drafted a report of their own investigations. During the first part of this lesson, I tell the students to put the final touches on their presentation poster using the completed Experiment Design Planning Sheet and lab report rubric.

I start by asking the students to consider what we should be looking for in the presentation posters. Some anticipated responses include:

  • Clear experiment design
  • Labeled drawings and/or diagrams
  • Complete data tables and graphs
  • Conclusions and new wonderings
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Legible (able to be read from several feet away, etc.) 


If all of these criteria aren't suggested by students, I guide them using questioning. It's important that students all have an opportunity to interact with the criteria.

Since students cannot all work on the same piece of chart paper at the same time, I also ask them how this "work" problem can be solved (e.g., each student works on a different section on separate pieces of chart paper which they can then glue/tape to their final poster). 

I also tell them that although we present to the class today, the posters will also be showcased during Exhibition Night*.

I know that not all teams will finish at the same time. The option I have for the early finishers is to work on their blogs for that week. 

*At AdVENTURE we hold Exhibition Nights once every two months. These are student led presentations, where each student showcases work from all classes to at least two adults, one of which is not their own parent or guardian and receives formal feedback. 

Gallery Walk

35 minutes

Once posters are ready, we place them around the room.

Each team receives six I like-I wish-I wonder half-sheets and starts at their own poster (which they will not critique). I explain that on my signal they will move as a table group to the poster on their right, where they will have five minutes to review/discuss the poster with an I like-I wish-I wonder mindset, and provide feedback. The role of the recorder (person who is writing down the feedback) must switch at each poster. The gallery walk encourages students to "evaluate the validity of the findings of others" and "engage in discussions with scientific peers" (Practice 8 Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information), without having to worry about presentation skills.

Watch as this group engages in a discussion that attempts to evaluate the validity of the findings of the apple browning experiment:

As the students are walking, I take pictures of the posters for the closure activity.

From this activity, students often take away the skills that scientists need to be successful. These are not forced upon them, they come naturally as part of the discussion and feed back. As we can see in the student work, they discovered the power of clear directions, details and controlling variables, not because I said so, but because they figured it out for themselves.




5 minutes

At the end of the gallery walk, I collect all feedback half-sheets and scan/take pictures of them.

I tell the students that I will post the pictures of the posters, as well as the feedback sheets on Edmodo.

The assignment is to create a blog post where they respond to one of the feedback sheets. The title is "(Experiment Name) - Acting on Feedback". The body of the post must include the picture of their poster, the picture of the feedback sheet they chose to respond to and the modifications they would make to their experiment or poster based on the feedback. If they would choose not to act on the feedback, they must explain why.