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Integrating the nature and process of science: Modifying your current lessons

Many of the lessons and activities that you currently use can be modified to better incorporate, reinforce, and make explicit the nature and process of science. Read through your lesson, making note of the areas in which the process of science is already included. Consider the following questions:

  • Can existing connections to the process of science be made more explicit?

  • Are there any changes that can be made to the lesson to incorporate items from the Science Flowchart? Use the flowchart as a guide, but remember that you do not need to include all of the components in every lesson.

  • Are students encouraged to ask questions? Do they have opportunities to explain how they might design an investigation to help answer their questions?

  • Does the lesson provide an opportunity for students to reflect on how they are doing science? Consider using prompts such as: How is what you just did similar to what scientists do? How is what you just did different from what scientists do?

  • Are students encouraged to work collaboratively? Are there ample opportunities for students to ask, investigate, and answer questions in a group setting?

  • Is there opportunity for students to reflect on how they did their investigations, what they learned, and what new questions arose from it?

  • Are there natural places to incorporate a story from the history of science?

Read on to see how these suggestions can be useful. And don't forget to refer to our Additional tips and strategies as you plan your lessons for the school year.

Identifying your learning goals
Sample of a modified lesson

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K-16 Resources

Guide to Understanding Science 101

Conceptual framework

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Resource database

Image library

How Understanding Science is being used

Correcting misconceptions

Educational research

Alignment with science standards

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