Science Inquiry Lesson Plan | Observation and Inference Activity

Classroom 214
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  1. Everything you need to start your unit on science inquiry for your middle grades students! This bundle focuses on important foundational science skills such on observations, inferences, inquiry and processes skills. Start your unit off right with an exciting lab experience with The Great Pencil Ca
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An exciting mini-inquiry science lab! Teach and reinforce good observation and inference skills in this fun easy to prep activity. Your students will love solving the mystery of the broken pencils! Perfect for forensic units, inquiry units, the beginning of the school year.

This is an exciting mini-inquiry lab that uses a common everyday classroom supply, pencils! In this inquiry lab activity students read a short newspaper article about a pencil thief who is sneaking into classrooms and breaking pencils. The police are hoping that if they can figure out how the bandit is breaking the pencils it can lead to a break in the case. At this point students get to put their observation and inference skills to work to help the police make observations and inferences about how six pencils were broken. This activity fits nicely into a variety of science units including a forensics unit.

This lab is easy to modify to fit the level of your students. It is readily adaptable for students who need more support and equally easy to modify for students who are ready for increased challenge.

Looking for additional inquiry resources? Check out the Science Inquiry section of my store!

Enhance the quality of your student's observations during this activity with the Science Inquiry Lab Observation Guide. Making high quality detailed observations is an important first step to any scientific investigation.

I usually use this lab to introduce science process skills and scientific thinking at the start of the school year. To increase my students awareness of what good scientists do I use this set of Science Process Skills Posters to decorate my classroom and provide my students with a visual reminder.

The best science lab activities are safe activities. Use the Activity Behavior Guide to communicate your behavior expectations during any lab to your students and their parents.

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.


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