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Construct A Hypothesis_LR


What is the basis for my experimentation?  What statement is guiding my scientific process?
Formulate testable, measurable hypotheses.
Common Core Standards Assessed: ELA.W.1
NGSS Assessed:  HS-LS3; HS-PS4; HS-ETS1

Time To Complete 

1-3 Hours

I Can Statements 

  • I can formulate a testable, measurable hypothesis that answers my research question and is based on evidence.
  • I will know my hypothesis is of high quality if it:
    • Is testable
    • Is measurable
    • Answers my research question
    • Is based on evidence

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their hypothesis process to gauge how well it meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to review their research question and evidence with you.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below.
Possible Activities 
  1. Ask students to form hypotheses in the simple if/then format: “If I do X (independent variable), then the effect will be Y (a difference to the dependent variable).”  This is a basic hypothesis from which you can formulate more sophisticated ones later.

  2. Provide students examples of higher-level hypotheses.  Have them identify the variable presented in each example and propose a potential experimental design.

  3. Have students critique weak hypotheses and change them into strong testable statements. 

  4. Ask students to use a mapping or outlining strategy, like mind-mapping, Cornell notes, or T-charts, to help them organize their thinking around their position. 

  5. Have students discuss or free-write about their understanding of a position on the issue they have researched.


  6. Using a graphic organizer, have students weigh the evidence for and against the hypothesis they have constructed to ensure that the evidence supports their chosen position.  Or, in pairs have a partner write and ask questions that may poke holes in the evidence supporting the hypothesis; then have the student decide after answering the questions if their hypothesis is truly supported by evidence. 

Downloadable Resources 
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