The Student Science Project Teaching Packet is available here.Click here
to see the Table of Contents.
The Packet contains everything you need to help guide students through
a Science Project based on Julia Cothron's book Science and Research,
including scans of the actual project of one of my students.Includes
PowerPoints on Personal Concept Map and Science Concept Map. Can be
purchased as a Download or a CD. Several items from this Packet are
also available below at NO CHARGE!
are welcome to use these ideas in your classroom, within your science
department, within your school district, or to distribute to any
teacher who may find these lessons useful. I only ask that:
1. You cannot sell these lessons or make a profit on them in any way.
2. You cite the lessons original source, and do not white-out the
copyright footer on the pdf files
3. Do not copy and paste lessons onto your website. A link to the
original is to be used.
4. Do not claim these lessons as your own work. NOTE: This disclaimer is
modeled after a couple of my favorite websites: The Science
Spot and Middle School Science. Thanks, teachers!
requires a rigorous
teaching of the experimental design method, including independent and
dependent variables, research before experimenting, simple report
formats, etc. We use Julia Cothron's books,
a beautiful job of
entire program. We've developed many extra worksheets and materials to
teach each element within the program. Many are included in this
Click on either book image for more details on Cothron's
packet for grades
9-12. A good reference for all aspects of experimental design. Our
students use this when writing a short-form report up to writing their
final science project report. Click here.
and Hypotheses Worksheet
Works well to
separately. Click here
for a good titles/hypotheses practice.
Checklists contained in the above Experimental Design Reference. Teach
find the errors in an experimental design. Helps students write better
Gives four brief
an experimental design for each. Students have to invent their own
levels, trials, and constants. Click here.
and LINE GRAPH signs. Read an experimental title. Teams huddle to
figure out if the graph would be a line or bar graph. Team leader holds
up the answer.
A cut and paste
assignment. Cut out the definitions and past with the correct word.
Much more fun than the "standard" vocab sheet. The action of cutting
and pasting helps most students remember better! Click here.
Design Team Relay Games
with a long line down the middle. Put the same question, puzzle, or
problem on each side. Teams line up on each side of the overhead. Give
each team one transparency pen of a different color. The pen is passed
down the line like a relay race baton. First person in each line starts
at the signal and gets to write down one thing only. If you have
experimental designs that need correcting, for example, each student
can only make one correction. Then the pass the pen to the next person
in the line and go to the end of the line. It's totally "legal" for
team members to look at the other team's work. This often gets a team's
weakest member past their turn with some dignity. Good game for
requiring team members in line to pay attention to what is happening so
they know what to do next.
Design Tables & Graphs Practice
I recommend teaching each
part of the
Experimental Design separately. Click
for an example of a page that covers using checklists to evaluate and
properly construct tables and graphs.
A worksheet that
gives the graph
and results sentences from some "pretend" experiments. The students are
asked to write the first three conclusion sentences in paragraph form.
A checklist is included. I usually do the first two in pairs. Students
write the Conclusion on their own, then trade papers and use the
checklist to determine how well their partner did. The other two are
homework. Click here.
Conclusion Paragraphs Game
sentence to the
teams. (I have four long-term teams set up to go at a moment's notice!)
Each team writes the conclusion sentences on a white board and waits to
raise their answer on teacher's request.
review of the order of a Write Up. Have students cut out and paste the
two Labs on separate pieces of paper. They have to carefully read each
part of the puzzle to separate into the two labs.
Design Short Report Form
The short form
is often used for
quick labs that are teaching something other than experimental design,
or for a beginning-of-the-year review of the basics of experimental
design. This form is used almost exclusively in our middle schools as
preparation for the longer reports at the high school level. Click here.
Design Normal Report Form
normal-length report form
used for most labs. It requires a written procedure, which the short
form doesn't. It also gives prompts for the Conclusion. You can assign
only a few of these prompts for a particular lab. Click here.
Design Long Report Form
This is the
longest form, not
necessarily used for the largest labs or projects. Often this form is
given to a special education student who needs more prompts. We've been
known to shorten the requirements for these students but use this
complete long form to start. I've also used this for students for a big
project, if I know they have trouble writing an extensive report. Click here.
A good lab
to review experimental design concepts. How many
water drops does each of four different-sized coins hold? Good way to
review independent variable (coin size) and dependent variable (# of
water drops) at the beginning of the year. I put our short form report
on the back and assign as homework early in the year. Then we learn to
evaluate using Cothron's checklists in the Reference
CUPS AND COINS LAB
similar to the Coin Lab on
the Science Teaching Ideas
Page. We've used
this to review the basic principles of experimental design either in
the beginning of the year or halfway through the year. Also we've used
this lab to teach the principles of Newton's Second Law. Click here.
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