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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
For this activity, group students in two different ways. They should be grouped into teams of four to five students. Give each team a name (e.g., “Team 1” or “Blue Team”). Alternately employ the jigsaw grouping strategy as well. This requires you to assign each member of each team a letter. Subsequently, in “Team 1,” you will have Student A, Student B, Student C, and Student D. To form the jigsaw groups, instead of the teams, ask students to group by their assigned letter, instead of team name. So, all “A’s” would become a group, and so on.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Ask questions to guide student discussion about their investigation. For example: “What do you notice about this lima bean? How does it feel on the outside? What does it look like on the inside? What do you see? Do you know what it is? Do you know what it is called? Why do you think it is part of the bean/seed?”
Supply scientific vocabulary as is relevant to the discussion (e.g., seed coat, cotyledons [seed food], embryonic root, embryonic seed, etc.). Students sketch and write about their seed “dissection” in their journals.
Shepardson, D. P. (1999). Learning Science in a First Grade Science Activity: A Vygotskian Perspective. Science Education, 83(5), 621-637.
Classroom vignettes and child interviews illustrate that teachers can mediate students’ learning by enacting these roles within the context of an activity: facilitator, guide and supporter, active participant and evaluator. As the teacher mediates, children construct their own knowledge.
Laplante, B. (1997). Teachers’ Beliefs and Instructional Strategies in Science: Pushing Analysis Further. Science Education, 81(3), 227-293.
“School science,” a version of science taught by many teachers, is remarkably different from science “as it is actually done.” This study of teaching strategies used by teachers illustrates the profound impact that a teacher’s own perception of science learning can have on student learning. Two vignettes punctuate the crucial necessity for inquiry as a process of leading students to the construction of science-related knowledge.
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