Student Centric Learning
Throughout this series of lessons, students will transition from an initial teacher-centered style of learning to a more student-centric learning style to utilize the knowledge they acquire to better develop their own education through student directed learning.
Lesson Objective: Students will define and label the seven steps to the scientific method.
The scientific method is a cyclic process. If at first you don't succeed, try again! Sometimes it takes multiple attempts to come to the right conclusion.
Show Activity: Watch the following videos on the steps to the scientific method.
Lesson Objective: Students demonstrate the necessary skills needed to utilize the steps of the scientific method when given a sample problem.
Interact Activity: Goldfish Experiment
1. Show the students a bowl of goldfish. Make a few observations about the goldfish. Ask the students to name characteristics of the goldfish and to make observations. They might notice the color of the fish, their size, where they swim in the container, how they interact with other fish, etc.
2. Ask the students to list which observations involve something which could be measured or qualified. Explain how scientists need to be able to take data to perform an experiment and that some types of data are easier to record and analyze than others. Help students identify types of data that could be recorded as part of an experiment, as opposed to qualitative data that is harder to measure or data that they simply don't have the tools to measure.
3. Have the students pose questions that they wonder about, based on the observations they have made. Make a list of the types of data they might record during an investigation of each topic.
4. Ask the the students to formulate a hypothesis for each question. Learning how to pose a hypothesis takes practice, so it's likely the students will learn from brainstorming as a lab group or class. Put up all of the suggestions on a board and help students distinguish between a hypothesis that they can test versus one they cannot test. Ask students if they can improve any of the hypotheses that are submitted.
5. Select one hypothesis and work with the class to devise a simple sample experiment to test the hypothesis. Create fictional data and explain how to test the hypothesis and draw a conclusion based on the results.
Lesson Objective: Students will practice using the scientific method and work together in small groups to design and conduct their own experiments based on the tank of goldfish and their own individual hypotheses.
1. Ask students to present their results to the class. Be sure they state the hypothesis and whether or not it was supported and cite the evidence for this determination.
2. Have students critique each other's lab reports, with their grade determined by how well they identify the strong and weak points of the reports.