Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Student Designed Lab: Testable Questions - Section 3: Guided Practice


It is important to have the students make connections between different lessons.  In the prior lesson, What is a Sandwich?, students had to develop definitions for carrots and sandwiches.  In this lesson, as students practice writing testable questions, the idea of "operational definitions" naturally comes up and provides a perfect opportunity to deepen student understanding of science terminology as it relates to experimental design.  

For example,  as students are writing testable questions based on the big idea, "How do plants grow?", many students develop a question that is similar to, "How does the amount of fertilizer affect plant growth?"  I ask the student what they mean by growth and go over all of the possible interpretations a reader can have (height, width, number of leaves or flowers, etc.)  I remind students of the experience of developing the definition of a sandwich and have them be more specific as they state what they determine growth to mean.  By connecting the students' experience with defining what is/is not a sandwich to the meaning of "operational definition", students are able to gain a strong understanding of the concept.

  Connecting Experiences
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Connecting Experiences
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Student Designed Lab: Testable Questions

Unit 2: Introduction to Science and Engineering Practices
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT write grade level appropriate testable questions centered on a randomly chosen object.

Big Idea: Students create their own investigations based on an object chosen from a big box of junk!

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Science, Science Skills, experimental evidence, experimental design, inquiry, asking questions and defining problems
  45 minutes
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