Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Frogger (Day 4) - Section 3: Explore


While middle school students are quick to question authority figures, they shy away from questioning the ideas of their peers.  Questioning is an important part of science, so it is important for my students to learn how to question each others' ideas without taking it personally.  I use this project at the beginning of the year as a way to encourage my students to learn how to question without attacking. 

At the beginning of this project, I modeled to show my students the types of questions to ask.  I also used modeling to help the students understand what it is like to be asked difficult questions.  I am very careful to remind the students that I am not questioning their intelligence, but rather I am trying to learn more about their ideas.  Explaining that scientists and engineers use questions as a way to turn good ideas into great ideas also helps to ease the sting that sometimes accompanies a question about a project that the student thought was perfect.  By our second day of presentations, the students are asking well developed questions and the presenters are meeting those questions head on without embarrassment or fear.

I also encourage the students to practice their presentations and their questioning techniques.  In this project explanation clip, one student explains her project while another student asks questions.

I encourage these students to ask more probing questions and to give answers that utilize evidence.

  Learning to ask questions
  Discourse and Questioning: Learning to ask questions
Loading resource...

Frogger (Day 4)

Unit 1: Problem Solving
Lesson 9 of 16

Objective: SWBAT explain their engineering choices and ask appropriate questions about their classmates' projects.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students present and explain their final products for the Frogger project and ask thoughtful scientific questions as audience members.

  Print Lesson
3 teachers like this lesson
copy of copy of copy of frog
Similar Lessons
Wind Turbine Blade Design Part 1: Define the Problem & Research Solutions
8th Grade Science » Engineering: Wind Turbines
Big Idea: In this first lesson of a unit on wind turbine blade design, students are presented with the problem of designing wind turbine blades that will produce the optimal amount of electricity.
Brookline, MA
Environment: Urban
Ryan Keser
Using Rube Goldberg Simulation to Demonstrate Understanding of Energy Transformations
6th Grade Science » Energy
Big Idea: Learning science should be fun and meaningful and this lesson provides students with that opportunity.
East Walpole, MA
Environment: Suburban
David Kujawski
Design Your Own Simple Machine
6th Grade Science » Simple Machines
Big Idea: Engineering practices come into play for this hands-on design lesson where students create their very own example of a simple machine!
Brooklyn, NY
Environment: Urban
Drewe Warndorff
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload