Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Writing a RECALL Lab Conclusion (Part 1/2) - Section 1: Introduction


Writing across the disciplines is an interesting challenge. I’ve often heard from my language arts teammate about what great writers students A and B are. My response is often, “really?”. They struggle with putting a sentence that makes sense together in science class. Students catch on to the claims and evidence part of writing arguments; however, the real challenge is to find creative ways to help students express their reasoning in an organized way:

Why did the results occur?

What scientific knowledge explains your outcome?

Why did your results agree or disagree with your hypothesis?

Explanations of these important questions often get lost when students are tackling a complete lab conclusion. I used to make the mistake of handing out an instruction sheet and announcing, “Write a one-paragraph lab conclusion”. By developing resources such as this one: RECALL Planning Student Example, I’ve been able to help students improve their reasoning skills by creating an organized structure to write within. This structure helps them express themselves in science, practice applying what they have learned in literacy classes to scientific writing, make their thinking public in more coherent way and receive more accurate assessment of their understanding of science concepts. By simply providing students with prompts for each section of the RECALL, such as:

What was the purpose of the experiment?

What were the variables tested?

What was your hypothesis?

students have a road map for an organized paragraph. Once an organized paragraph that summarizes the lab is written, we can go back into those analysis and reasoning sections to revise and refine their explanations and reasoning.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Providing Support for Scientific Writing
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Writing a RECALL Lab Conclusion (Part 1/2)

Unit 1: Communicating Scientifically
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT write a cohesive lab conclusion for a scientific investigation.

Big Idea: Expert communication skills are required when explaining and presenting scientific ideas - put all the pieces together to tell the world what you learned.

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scientific communication
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