Reflection: High Quality Task Exploring the Law of Conservation of Energy - Section 1: Engage


One of my favorite takeaways from the Next Generation Science Standards is the ability to slow down and dig deeper in scientific understandings. We should no longer be rushed through curriculum and we should be able to have thoughtful conversations about science concepts and student misconceptions. 

I believe that teaching the Law of Conservation of Energy is one of the most important concepts for students to understand. It is pinnacle in almost every invention and students need to understand energy transfers to understand the tools of their lives. I have worked on two strategies to develop deeper understandings. 

I dig deeper into science concepts via a challenge. I challenge students to prove me wrong. I ask them to stand up, chose a side, and convince one another of a truth. 

The philosophy is, "How can we discover the truth together?" I have an array of materials to help me during the conversation. I have demonstrations and video clips. I have no idea what will convince a student of a scientific truth so I collect a lot of tools for learning. For example, students explain their misconception that death is a loss of energy. I have an article from How Stuff Works about the human body after death. My students are fascinated to learn how bacteria helps break down the body. 

  High Quality Task: Deeper Thinking in Science
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Exploring the Law of Conservation of Energy

Unit 2: Generating Energy
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT describe how energy cannot be created or destroyed but instead is transferred.

Big Idea: Using toys and other fun props, your students can explore how energy transfers help scientists and engineers to innovate.

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newton s
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