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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? When possible, try to respond to those questions with comments that promote further thinking rather than simply providing the "correct" answer. Use this as an opportunity to discuss with students the sorts of investigations that might answer their questions.

  • Are students encouraged to work collaboratively? Kindergartners, first, and second graders work best when placed in small groups, specifically in pairs.

  • Is there opportunity for students to reflect on how they are doing science, what they learned, and what new questions arose from it? Consider ending the lesson with an opportunity for students to share what they have observed and note any questions that arose. This wrap-up session can also be connected to how scientists work.

  • Is there a natural place to incorporate a science story so that students can connect their own investigations with the work of scientists?

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

Identifying your learning goals
Samples of modified lessons

Teacher's lounges

K-16 Resources

Guide to Understanding Science 101

Conceptual framework

Teaching tools

Resource database

Image library

How Understanding Science is being used

Correcting misconceptions

Educational research

Alignment with science standards

How Science Works on iTunes

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