This month we will look at ways to use DE Science Techbook resources to “Explain”. The “Explain” portion of a 5E lesson has two goals. First, it is the piece where teachers firm up understanding that the students gain as they “Explore” the concepts. Resources such as video segments, reading passages and interactive glossary terms all help the teacher define and confirm understanding for the student. The second goal of this portion of your lesson is where the students “Explain” what they understand of the concept by putting it in their own words. One resource that is especially valuable for this is the “Scientific Explanation”
There are two versions of the “Scientific Explanation”. The elementary version guides students through the process of developing a question, recording facts, observations and data, making a claim and giving evidence for that claim. The “Scientific Explanation” template is designed for the student to work through as they explore concepts with the teacher reviewing the document afterward to firm up understanding.
The middle school version is similar in scope, but requires more detail. It incorporates the concept of reasoning. Older students are asked to connect their claim and evidence with scientific reasoning that explains what they understand and how the evidence collected supports their claim.
The “Scientific Explanation” is an excellent tool to improve scientific literacy as well. Students record and write using scientific terms and phrases. The practice of recording observations and citing evidence is also a great way to develop scientific process skills. All in all, it is a resource that teachers will want to use often.