FREEBIE: Back to Square 1-4-5 (Scientific Knowledge and a Double Square Puzzle)
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- A Second Day of School Starter Pack (or Survival Kit), because all that faculty team building and professional development on growth mindset leaves little time for teacher planning for the first week back to school. Once the class rules and routines are established, it's time for Ts to turn to contePrice $14.00Original Price $21.50Save $7.50
Start the Science class with one (1) square. It's simple, because one square is unambiguous. But then challenge students to take four (4) polygons and arrange them together to make a square shape. A-ha! That's trickier. Like Science, there can be many hypothesis on how they fit together, but the best solution solves the puzzle. If it doesn't work, it's back to square one.
This lab activity gets students/student teams to think about the nature of science, and also, to show the importance of being an active participant in the learning process. Ss should realize that science is dynamic, and it changes as knowledge of a subject increases. Because there's a final challenge: integrate all five (5) polygon pieces from the previous puzzles together to make a super-square -- just like when a new piece of evidence emerges from experimentation and has to be included in any scientific explanation.
This resource uses a puzzle which includes five interfitting pieces, four of which can form a square and all five of which can be fit together collectively form a larger square. Just copy, cut out, give to kids to crack the puzzles, and let the class consider how scientific knowledge is open to revision in the light of new evidence.
And as an in-class example, I've adapted the Question Exploration on What Helps Proves Post-Pangaea Plate Tectonics. Wegener's Puzzling Continental Drift Evidence is a great case study to have students grasp the concept of how scientists look for clues.
This Content Enhancement Routines are classroom tested to help students with the following Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in Science:
- SC.7.N.2.1 Identify an instance from the history of science in which scientific knowledge has changed when new evidence or new interpretations are encountered.
- SC.7.N.3.1 Recognize and explain the difference between theories and laws and give several examples of scientific theories and the evidence that supports them.
- SC.8.N.3.2 explain why theories may be modified but are rarely discarded
- SC.912.N.1.2: Describe and explain what characterizes science and its methods.
- SC.912.N.1.3: Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.
- SC.912.N.1.6: Describe how scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observations and provide examples from the content being studied.
- SC.912.N.1.7: Recognize the role of creativity in constructing scientific questions, methods and explanations.
- SC.912.N.2.4 Explain that scientific knowledge is both durable and robust and open to change. Scientific knowledge can change because it is often examined and re-examined by new investigations and scientific argumentation. Because of these frequent examinations, scientific knowledge becomes stronger, leading to its durability.
- SC.912.N.3.1 Explain that a scientific theory is the culmination of many scientific investigations drawing together all the current evidence concerning a substantial range of phenomena; thus, a scientific theory represents the most powerful explanation scientists have to offer.
- SC.912.N.3.2 Describe the role consensus plays in the historical development of a theory in any one of the disciplines of science.
- Question Exploration What Proves Continental Drift of Post-Pangaea Plate Tectonics?
- Concept Comparison Scientific Theory vs. Law and Question Exploration How is a Scientific Theory? Different from a Natural Law
- Lab Activity STEM Activity: Ingenuity! Spinning STEM Paper HeliCopter Lab
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