Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Plate Movement Day 2 - Section 3: Students in Action


This lesson is day two of Plate Movement. During the day one lesson, students connected the visual examples of scientific videos to a concrete model using a sandwich cookie. As we watched the videos and created the models we took notes using a graphic organizer. Today they wrote about their understandings from the notes taken in day one. 

Students are learning with a greater depth of understanding when they can recreate using models. Middle school students are often still very concrete thinkers. This lesson models for students how to look at the type of scientific drawings they are likely to see in videos and science textbooks and simple make sense of them by creating their own concrete models.

Students further demonstrate their understanding by communicating their findings as scientists. Writing is a great way to understand if students can use their newly acquired science vocabulary appropriately. Writing is one more connection to the vocabulary and content providing additional exposure to deepen student understanding.

Students can easily monitor their own understanding when the abstract concept is connected with the concrete model.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Developing a Conceptual Understanding
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Plate Movement Day 2

Unit 2: Earth Science
Lesson 5 of 10

Objective: SWBAT communicate to other scientists explanations of how the lithosphere and asthenosphere interact to create three different types of plate boundaries using content specific vocabulary.

Big Idea: What do the scientific drawings tell us? We create scientific drawings, real life images and models to explain what we learned.

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