Method and Strategies: Supporting Ideas With Evidenceby: Susan Gomez-Zwiep and David Harris

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One way to help elementary students see connections more easily and to make their thinking more visible is to teach them to approach scientific investigation and problem solving as scientists do—from the framework of “finding evidence to support claims.” In this article, the authors begin by introducing students to the concept of evidence, then build on that idea by introducing the concepts of cause and effect and the need for accuracy in evidence (i.e., measurement), and finally by introducing the ideas of variables and control in an investigation.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
9/1/2010

Community ActivitySaved in 748 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:15 PM

The authors state that one way to help younger students see connections in science more easily and to make their thinking more visible is to teach them from the framework of “finding evidence to support claims.” In this article they begin by introducing students to the concept of evidence, then build on that idea using the concepts of cause and effect and the need for accuracy in evidence (using measurement), and finally by introducing the ideas of variables and comparison groups/controls in an investigation. In a flow chart, the article shows several possible thought process that students typically go through as they participate in an investigation. Each question in this flow chart is a point of critical reflection for students. This article is very clear in its discussion of what the younger student needs to know when doing a scientific investigation and provides a guide/model to assist the teacher in their instruction. The authors clearly defines the term evidence and provide several excellent examples to support their definition. They also provide examples to help the teacher further develop the cause/effect concept in an investigation. This article is carefully worded and explains clearly the need for a framework to assist students to support their ideas with evidence. I highly recommend this article to teachers wishing to help their students be able to support their ideas using scientific evidence.

Sue Garcia  (Spice wood, TX)
Sue Garcia (Spice wood, TX)

  • on Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:18 AM

This article gives a few different ideas that could be taken right now into the classroom to teach about scientific thinking---specifically supporting ideas with evidence, cause and effect, and quantifying change. These could be made into a series of lessons that provide the basis, or a review of nature of science. "Engaging in argument from evidence" is on the the 8 practices for K-12 science classrooms that can be found in the "Framework for K-12 Science Education" that is the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards.

Wendy R  (Pocatello, ID)
Wendy R (Pocatello, ID)

  • on Sun May 08, 2011 10:39 PM

This article outlines the importance of making students' thinking visible in a science investigation. The steps and explanations in this article will give primary teachers the support they need to get students to understand why they are doing what they are doing in a science investigation and the role the different parts of an investigation have in the entire science investigation process.

Kate  (Louisville, CO)
Kate (Louisville, CO)


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