Use this packet to introduce or as a final assessment of the NGSS standard for Grade 4 - Energy. It is also a scaffolded teaching tool of the scientific inquiry process so that step by step, students go from highly teacher directed science investigators to independent science investigators. Scaffolded inquiry (Directed, Guided, Connected and Full) provide essential support to help students construct the skills and knowledge needed to conduct independent inquiry.
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy
This series of activities written and illustrated by Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier begins with a Directed Inquiry to model the inquiry process as students explore ways to put a toy in motion and, predict how long it will stay in motion, and conduct an investigation to test the prediction. Students use systematic observations to conduct a Guided Inquiry to practice the inquiry process by investigating how different surfaces affect the time the toy stays in motion. Then students conduct an experiment doing another Guided Inquiry to investigate variables that affect the motion of a toy. Next, students go through a sorting process to learn how to select/compose an investigable question in a “Connected Inquiry” inactivity. These activities provide the scaffolding for students to conduct Full/Open Inquiry in the final activity in the series. A template is provided for their Full/Open Inquiry. Throughout the activities, students construct explanations and observe different ways that energy is transferred to make the toys move in order to conclude that the faster a toy is moving, the more energy it has.
Teacher background, step-by-step directions, recording sheets, rubrics, Science Notes, and concept maps are provided for all activities.