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Choose A Topic For Scientific Inquiry_LR

Description 

What makes for a good topic for scientific inquiry?
Identify an issue, or a topic within a larger issue, that you wonder about. 

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.7

I Can Statements 

  • I can identify a topic for scientific inquiry that:
    • Promotes questioning and encourages my curiosity to learn more about the subject
    • Is clearly and accurately defined and related to my current area of study
    • Is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable inquiry process
    • Requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation
  • I will know if my topic for scientific inquiry is of high quality if it:
    • Promotes questioning and curiosity to know more about the subject
    • Is something I feel strongly about or want to learn more about
    • Is clearly and accurately defined and related to the current area of study
    • Is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable engineering design process
    • Requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their topic to gauge how well the topic meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to state their topic and explain (orally or in writing) how it meets the quality criteria for a high-quality challenge.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below.
Possible Activities 
  1. If students have complete freedom over the topic they select, you might model your own brainstorming process by showing how you gather information about the world. Model how you connect to the content area or subject students are studying.

     
  2. Have students brainstorm several topics for their lab report and ask them to write, draw, or discuss each one for a few minutes.  They can use writing partners, re-read their own work, or ask the whole class for advice on which topic is the “thickest”, most relevant, or most interesting

  3. Share a few sample experiments that are relevant to your classroom content and/or students’ interests. Explore your textbooks, support resources, and classroom posters for more examples and have students examine how they communicate important information on relevant issues

Downloadable Resources 
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