Predictions, Again!

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Objective

SWBAT write science predictions that include scientific reasoning and background knowledge.

Big Idea

Scientists don't just guess when they write a prediction, they use what they know and have learned to make an educated and well-informed prediction.

Introduction

5 minutes

In previous science lessons, students learned how to write a basic prediction by making a statement and saying why they think that. However, their predictions were really short, mostly because they didn’t have a lot of science knowledge to support their prediction. Since then, students have studied various aspects of this science topic, ecosystems, and can now use that information to support the writing of more complex predictions.

I start by showing the class a prediction that we wrote as a class at the beginning of the unit. The prediction was 1 sentence and didn’t include a lot of details or explanation. I showed the class how I could think about this prediction and what I now know. I model how I know that plants play a special role and that role has a name that we can use in our prediction. I add the word "producer" to the prediction and show how I think about producers being affected by the gasses in the air or the condition of the soil. I then add that to my prediction as well.

Once I’ve revised a few parts of my first prediction, I ask students to describe what I did to make my prediction stronger. Students raised their hand and told me that I used science vocabulary and details.

How Can I Be More Specific

10 minutes

After the class example, I tell students that they are going to revise the prediction to their experimental question by using science vocabulary, details, and relating their prediction to the experimental question. If the question is about the condition of the water then their prediction needs to refer to the prediction of the water, not just say that plants will die or the water will change because pollution is bad. 

I give an example from the prediction written in class and ask for suggestions on how to revise it. Students share that I can explain why I think the plants are going to die by stating that plants collect mineral nutrients from the soil to survive but if their roots are destroyed by the change in the soil, then they cannot collect mineral nutrients. 

Write and Share

15 minutes

After students participate in the revision of the class prediction, I ask students to revise their own prediction.

After about ten minutes of independent writing, I ask students to share with a partner and provide feedback that might support them in revising further. Their partners can ask questions like, “Did you use science vocabulary?”, “Did you respond to the experimental question,” and “Did you explain your thinking with details?”.

Finally, at the end of the writing time, I ask a few students to share with the class.