Use the following 2 page document ALL YEAR long to have students design their own simple laboratory, as a guiding outline for upper level experimental design or as a supplement to a laboratory you already have a worksheet for.
The worksheet follows the steps of the scientific method and goes nicely with the NYS Regents questions on experimental design, but will work within any science curriculum.
I use this all year long to have students generate their own investigations or to summarize a pre-made lab they are doing.
Students are asked to:
1) Identify the question being investigated
2) Generate a hypothesis
3) Summarize/write a procedure of what they will be doing
4) Identify the control(s) and experiment(s) groups
5) Identify 2 variables that will be the same for all groups
6) Identify the independent and dependent variables in the lab
7) Analyze the data in the lab and write a conclusion (I make my students state the conclusion, state whether their hypothesis is supported or refuted, provide evidence for this claim, and make a connection from the lab to real life)
8) Generate 4 new questions they have after doing this lab