Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Day Three of Joey's Plant Lab - Section 5: Instruction


While I am a firm believer that students will not develop an in-depth knowledge of important scientific concepts without hands-on inquiry; I also believe that they will not sustain this knowledge without the experience of grappling with these concepts in complex text.

That being said, students need "guideposts" or strategies for doing so.  Simply handing them a piece of complex scientific text and expecting them to extract ideas from it probably isn't going to work.  If there is one area that I have seen students become easily overwhelmed, it is in the area of reading Science content.  They need substantial vocabulary development, as well as strategies for learning how to take the "pieces" of text, pull them apart, and make sense of this.  This sense making process is best done as a collaborative activity among a community of learners.  In this Video Clip I am working with a student to extract meaning from a text - providing the scaffolding he needs to synthesize the most important parts.  This is the kind of work that will help students to be successful in content areas.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Integrating Reading for Conceptual Development
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Day Three of Joey's Plant Lab

Unit 2: Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems
Lesson 10 of 20

Objective: SWBAT explain how plants acquire their material for growth; describe basic plant structures; and explain how matter cycles through ecosystems.

Big Idea: What is the function of plant structures? How do they work together to provide for the needs of a plant? Students investigate the xylem in celery, and then use a close reading strategy to do further research and construct models of plant structures.

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