Reflection: Coherence Days 6-7 What do plants really need? - Section 4: Elaborate / Evaluate


Constructing an Argument

At the end of the investigation, on What Do Plants Really Need?, I have my students write an argument piece on Plants Get Their Needs to Grow from Air, Water, and Sunlight. This written piece includes evidence based conclusions and scientific reasons to support the statement. At 5th grade, the common core requires students to take part in argument writing, so this assignment fully supported this standard. Common core focuses on having students support their claim with evidence in a logical way. Students are expected to use transitional words and phrases to connect evidence to reasons. Moving them toward argument writing can be a challenge as many students struggle with differentiating between facts and opinions. It’s important to model a well written argument by showing them how to use facts, data, and research successfully.

To help my students construct this written piece, I guided them in unpacking the data they had collected throughout their investigation. Stair-cased this by first having them write an evidence based conclusion on each independent variable tested by using the data they recorded each observation day. This helped them see a clearer picture because they were able to see and analyze each investigation separately before trying to write about it in its entirety. I found this helped them establish a clear position as they wrote about what plants really need. They determined what evidence supported the argument that plants need air, sunlight, and water. Argument writing is on ongoing practice during the year. Using it in science consistently improves students’ logical thinking skills and helps them develop a more authentic position on a claim.

  Writing An Argument
  Coherence: Writing An Argument
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Days 6-7 What do plants really need?

Unit 3: Ecosystems and Interactions
Lesson 13 of 19

Objective: SWBAT support an argument that plants get the materials they need to grow, develop, and survive from the sun, air, water, and soil by collecting evidence through multiple experiments

Big Idea: Students will construct a scientific explanation using evidence from several investigations to prove that plants get materials needed to grow from the air, sun, and water.

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Science, Ecosystems, interaction
  60 minutes
days 6 7 images of plant growth
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