Investigating Worms Part 2

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Objective

SWBAT conduct a scientific investigation by following procedures they helped to design.

Big Idea

How can you conduct an experiment to answer your questions about worms?

Introduction

10 minutes

I try to gather all the materials groups requested into bus tubs before class to help ease the distribution.

I begin by placing a poorly written Worm Experiment experiment under the document camera, and ask them to tell their neighbor about this experiment.  I remind students that scientists do experiments, but they also must be able communicate their experiments and results to others, and challenge them to write their procedures in such a way that anyone who reads it would be able to follow it without any help.

Next, I pass out the Experimental Design Rubric, and I ask them how they would score this experiment.  We work as a class to revise the experiment, which really helps students understand what is expected from them.

Engagement

30 minutes

I have students send up someone to get supplies, and start passing out worms and coir, which is a coconut fiber bedding.  I remind them to have a fair test, they will need to divide the worms evenly among their different trials.  After materials are distributed, I circulate to keep them moving forward on their procedures.  Once they are making progress, I remind them to revise their written procedures to be specific and to make sure they have included all possible steps.

Closure

10 minutes

Once the worms have all been placed into their experiments, and the procedures have been recorded, I have each student write a prediction about the outcome of the experiment with a reason for their thinking.  The revisions we made to the sample experiment earlier in the lesson make this step more clear for students.

Finally, I collect science notebooks, and ask them to reflect on their participation during science today.  I use the Experimental Design Rubric to assess a sample of student work (Exemplary Student Notebook Sample), and I use this to determine areas of focus for future lessons, as well as identifying students that may need additional support.