Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Day 2-Vertebrate vs Invertebrate Animals - Section 3: Elaborate / Evaluate


Research in Science

In today’s day and age, almost everything is online. However, not everything online is accurate, which makes teaching students to conduct research a complex task. It is important to teach students how to properly conduct research so they can find useful information, become more aware and make sense of the world around them, and develop deeper understandings of concepts they are learning or curious about. Students need use a variety of skills while researching and it’s not just one at a time, but rather a combination of many like comprehension, common sense, analytical, evaluative, note taking, and communication-verbally and written. These skills help students become competent in locating, evaluating, using information they are researching. Students need to practice these skills in order to become good at research. It is important for teachers to model the process often and make it a regular task within the classroom. With many opportunities, consistency, reinforcement of skills, like anything else, progress is made. Overall, teaching students good online research skills helps them become better thinkers because they are engaged in rationalizing the validity of information before them. That in itself takes practice and reinforcement.

In this lesson, my students had the chance to practice using their research skills. With an inquiry based assignment, obtaining information about animals, this was a great opportunity for them to practice their skills. One thing I find effective with research tasks is having a discussion about all the components of research and its relevance for the assignment. Typically we discuss the purpose of the research for a particular assignment; in this case, it was about the characteristics and behaviors of specific animals. We also talk about what research looks like and how to go about it. Too often, online searches can easily cause distractions, causing one to lose focus. To prevent this and keep students on task, I usually provide them with a template to guide their research. In this lesson, students used the one to find out more about an animal’s life. It guided them in finding out about the animal’s features and behaviors that help them survive, how the animal obtains energy for food, and life cycle. I pre-selected some websites and made them available to them. Since, we research has been an ongoing practice throughout the year and have had discussions evaluating a webpage for accuracy and appropriateness, so I was comfortable with letting them perform searches on their own. Overall, my students handled the task well. The work they produced reflected their understanding of what they read and what they understand. They expressed that they enjoyed this assignment because they got to select the animals to research and got to use the computers.  

  Research in Science
  Intrinsic Motivation: Research in Science
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Day 2-Vertebrate vs Invertebrate Animals

Unit 3: Ecosystems and Interactions
Lesson 15 of 19

Objective: SWBAT identify and classify animals.

Big Idea: Students will conduct research to create an animal classification booklet.

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Science, Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals, Ecosystems, interaction
  60 minutes
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