Developing a Scientific Argumentby: Lori Fulton and Emily Poeltler

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Modeling and practice help students build skills in oral and written discourse.

  • Elementary
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 826 Libraries

Reviews (5)
  • on Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:46 PM

Great article! There are some very practical strategies to help move student discourse from mere reflection of what was learned to critically thinking about what the observations mean. Students take their observations and add them to the body of scientific evidence supporting scientific ideas. Making claims and providing reason and evidence helps other scientists think through their ideas and draw better conclusions. Thanks for the frames!

Frieda Lamprecht  (Austin, TX)
Frieda Lamprecht (Austin, TX)

  • on Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:02 PM

This article has great examples of in-classroom lessons with pictures of student products.It has got great ideas for literacy incorporated science, including my favorite: opened-ended science questions. It allows openness instead of steps for the development of an argument.

Neena Paul
Neena Paul

  • on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:14 PM

I was very excited to read this article as it demonstrates that young children are clearly able to engage in argumentation , one of the science and engineering practices found in the Next Generation Science Standards. Second graders did not do this on their own. They had explicit instructions on how to write and speak in terms of argumentation. They learned to talk about claims and evidence. One way they learned was from the "modeling" done by their teachers similar to modeling they do in literacy such as "think alouds". The article provides strategies and sentence starters for students to use in both writing and speaking. definitely worth reading!

Kathy R  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy R (Barnet, VT)

  • on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:36 PM

This article really helped me understand the purpose of scientific arguments and how to provide a way to implement it in my classroom.

Stephanie Dempsey  (Buda, TX)
Stephanie Dempsey (Buda, TX)

  • on Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:31 AM

This article has the following statements which sum up the article nicely...."A beginning step is to help students understand that a scientific argument is a discussion of ideas—one in which people may not always agree. When that happens, they challenge the idea by putting forth evidence to dispute it or asking questions for clarification. It is important for students to understand that this is not a personal attack, but rather a discussion based on the evidence to build understanding." The author's of this article propose that primary grade students can defend their ideas by argumentation, even though most people did not think this could be done. The author's defend their idea with excellent examples of how they guided their students to learn how to argue their points.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

Free Offering

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.