- Subject: Science/ Environment
- Driving Question: How do scientists work?
- Pedagogical Method: Project-Based Learning / 5E
- Grade Level: 7, 8, 9
- Duration: 5-6 periods
- Delivery Method: Blended
In this lesson, students will explore how scientists work and go through the different steps of the scientific method with four curious kids who love science, Nour, Jad, Omar and Leila.
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to
Explore the way scientists work
Apply the scientific method
Keywords: Scientist, scientific method, water pollution, hypothesis, research question
In this phase, students engage in activities that aim to activate their prior knowledge and inspire them to explore the world around them. Encourage them to be curious and ask meaningful questions!
Ask students how they think scientists work. Listen to their answers and then introduce the scientific method.
Engage the students in reading the story of the four little curious kids. Show the story on the interactive board and assign different students to read aloud. You can find the story in the Engage Section of The Four Little Scientists module.
After reading the story, discuss the events of the story and guide students to relate what they have read to the elements of the scientific method. Highlight the moments when the students made observations, identified the problem, and formulated hypotheses. Following are some questions that may help students analyze the story/problem from the lens of a scientist.
2. What did Nour, Jad, Omar, and Leila observe?
3. State the developed research question.4. What are the formulated hypotheses?
In this phase, students identify more linkages among the discussed concepts as they engage in a set of interactive activities. E-learning is based on discovery, play, and instant feedback.
After completing the Explore and E-Learn phases section of the module, foster a whole-class discussion and motivate students to uncover their learning and highlight the different elements of the scientific method applied by the kids in the story.
In this phase, students get to develop a more in-depth understanding of the topic. Guide them to apply what they have learned and extend their knowledge.
Scientists engage in research to better understand problems. They read what other scientists have written about the same problem. Tell students that, in this phase, they will act like scientific researchers to gain more knowledge about the environmental problems identified in their context. Additionally, collaboration and argumentation are fundamental practices that help scientists develop a deeper understanding of a problem from different angles. Encourage students to work as scientists and collaborate with the members of each group to find answers to the following questions. They can search the web and/or refer to experts.
Water pollution is a global environmental crisis. Do you know that around 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water?! And 1 out of 5 deaths of children in the world is due to diseases from unsafe water?! Think of the activities performed by people in your community and specify whether or not they lead to water pollution.
Is wastewater (sewage water) one of the sources of water pollution in your city/village/country?
List some consequences of water pollution.
The United Nations defines sustainable development as the “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Does the way wastewater is managed in your country reflect an act of sustainable development? Explain.
Following are some suggested links that you may share with the students.
- When students finish researching, ask them to discuss their findings in groups. Remind them that scientists may have different points of view, and consequently, they argue a lot! They try to convince each other by providing convincing evidence. It is OK if one or more of their classmates had different perspectives. Encourage them to respect their classmates, listen to them, and engage in scientific argumentation. Furthermore, ask each group of students to present their perspective(s) and research results. Highlight the importance of providing evidence for convincing others with a point of view. Remember to promote their creativity. Tell them that they can present their work in any way they choose. There are some example ideas in the list below.
Poster - Report – Podcast – Video – Prezi – Powerpoint presentation – Cartoon strip - Other
After they present their work and receive feedback from you, as a teacher/ facilitator, and their classmates, encourage them to share their knowledge with their community. As responsible citizens, they should aim to raise the awareness of the public towards water pollution and its adverse impact on the environment as well as their health. One simple way of sharing their knowledge is by informing their families. Another wide-spreading way is social media. Following is a quote that you may share with students to motivate them to share their knowledge.
"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."
In this phase, students evaluate their work through self-assessment and peer assessment and/or reflect on their learning.
Have students individually reflect on the following questions.
What is the most important thing that you have learned from this unit?
Have you changed any ideas you used to have / behaviors you used to do as a result of the learning you acquired in this unit? Explain.
How was the feedback of your teacher and classmates regarding your presentation? How can you improve it?