In this cooperative activity, students are expected to sequence a story about the real-life use of the scientific method and then match the components of the scientific method to the steps in the story.
The cards print on 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper with 4 cards to each sheet. There are 12 story sort cards and 12 scientific method components. The scientific method includes identification of the independent, dependent, and constant variables.
The activity will take one to two 45-minute class periods depending on how easily the students can put the story in order.
These are the directions. They are also included in the download.
1. Divide your class into pairs or groups of three. This activity works well with smaller groups.
2. Hand a set of story cards to each group and ask them to put the story in order. These are the cards on the book outline. The intended order is listed going down on the answer key. List all of the first column in order and then all of the second column.
3. Typically, I check their work at this point. If they are out of sequence, I tell them the first card that is wrong and ask them to correct the sequence. I continue with this method until their story is correct. If I have a group that is struggling more than others, I try to ask them questions to help them figure out the order.
4. Once a group has the story in order, hand them the scientific method cards. Ask them to find the element in the story that coincides with the step or variable in the scientific method. There is a possibility that not everyone will get the same results. I have included what I would state as the corresponding letter on the answer key. Typically, if the group doesn't agree with my answers but can explain their rationale with accurate information, I will accept their answer.