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imageAmazon fly
This short activity quickly engages the participants in the process of developing testable hypotheses. Students come up with multiple hypotheses to explain a set of observations and figure out how to test these hypotheses.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageClipbirds
In this activity, students simulate bird feeding with "beaks" that differ in size. The proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to available types of food. This is a lesson on evolution, but suggestions on how to incorporate the nature and process of science are included.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageCrime scene: The case of the missing computer chip
In this classroom activity, teams of students use clues to adjust working hypotheses about an unsolved crime. The nature and process of science are recognized through discussion of the crime solution metaphor.

Grade: 6-8

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

imageDino-Data
Students examine data about dinosaurs and hypothesize about what the data can tell them. Students modify their hypotheses as more information is revealed and review what they have learned about how science works.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageDogs and turnips
In this lesson students attempt to assemble a meaningful sentence by successively turning over cards with words on them. The point is made that we change our ideas of what a story may be as we gather more information.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageExploring bouncing balls
Students explore the physical properties of a variety of balls and how they bounce. Students then reflect on the process they used by charting their pathway on the Understanding Science Flowchart.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: lab activity

imageGalaxy classification
This is a modified version of Galactic Inquiry in which students learn about galaxy classification while also experiencing a simple simulation of peer review and community analysis.

Grade: 6-8

Source: Whitfield, Lisé

Resource type: lab activity

imageHeating and cooling of the Earth's surface
Students conduct experiments on the rate that sand and water heat up and cool down. Based on their observations, they make hypotheses about why materials heat up and cool down at different rates and then test their ideas.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: lab activity

imageHow science works
This Science in Action video uses the Understanding Science Flowchart to follow arachnologist Charles Griswold and colleagues as they describe the process involved in an exciting new spider discovery.

Grade: 6-8

Source: California Academy of Sciences

Resource type: video

imageIntroducing the Understanding Science Flowchart to middle school students
Students read a story about Walter Alvarez and then plot his scientific journey on the Understanding Science Flowchart. Students find that science is seldom a linear story.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageInvestigating a Crime Scene
Two suspicious dogs and a shredded book provide a perfect combination for focusing on the process of science and to do so with a bit of a chuckle. This powerpoint has been developed so that you can ask for student responses throughout.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: powerpoint slides

imageMystery tubes
Students are asked to determine what the interior construction of the mystery tube looks like. Working in groups, students pose explanations for what they are observing and test their ideas.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageNumber patterns
Students try to discover the relationship among six numbers. The objective of this activity is to engage students in a problem-solving situation in which they practice aspects of the process of science.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity

imageThe great fossil find
Students are taken on an imaginary fossil hunt and form hypotheses about the identity of the creature they discover. Students revise their hypotheses as new evidence is found.

Grade: 6-8

Source: ENSI

Resource type: classroom activity

imageWeathering and erosion
Students will conduct a series of experiments to explore the processes and effects of weathering and erosion.

Grade: 6-8

Source: Whitfield, Lisé

Resource type: lab activity

What's in a Word?
Word choice in the classroom can (mis)represent science. Use word lists to combat misconceptions about science that stem from vocabulary mix-ups. Find out how in this article distributed with permission from Science Scope.

Grade: 6-8

Source: Schwartz, Renee

Resource type: article

imageXenosmilus
In this lesson, students play the roles of paleontologists on a dig. They “unearth” a few fossils at a time and attempt to reconstruct the animal the fossils represent.

Grade: 6-8

Source: UCMP

Resource type: classroom activity


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