This is a set of 4 explore/explain activities that can be used to help build skills in developing scientific explanations.
Often claim and evidence have different meanings and expectations when used in ELA or Social Studies classes so students might also have some confusion about how scientific explanations are different from an everyday explanation or explanations written for ELA or Social Studies and what makes good scientific evidence
- "Is it a Scientific Explanation?" This is an activity to get students thinking about what is a scientific explanation.
- "Is it a CLAIM?" The purpose of this activity is to get students thinking about what are the parts of a well written CLAIM in a scientific explanation.
- "Is it Scientific Evidence?" This card sort is a collaborative activity designed to get students discussing what are sources of good scientific evidence for science class.
- "Is it Necessary?" The purpose of this activity is to get students thinking about what evidence is necessary for supporting a claim. Often students think that any fact is important and will include them in scientific explanations. As students start writing scientific explanations they often will include every fact they have on the topic to make the explanation longer even though the additional facts do not make the explanation stronger. I developed this lesson so students could practice critically thinking about the evidence and making choices about which evidence to include to support the claim.
Teacher Notes for each activity (5 pages total)
- "Is it a Scientific Explanation?" 2 versions
- whole class 1 page
- MOD/Handout 1 page
- "Is it a CLAIM?" 2 versions
- Whole class 1 page
- MOD/Handout 1 page
- "Is it Scientific Evidence?" 2 versions
- card sort (1 page)
- MOD for lower students (1 page)
- "Is it Necessary?" 2 versions
- card sort (3 pages)
- MOD/ Handout (1 page)
- Answer Key (Provided for each activity) (3 pages)
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