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Scientific Observation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to scientific observations and questioning. Students will watch a video lesson, discuss the scientific process, and make their own real-world observations.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define scientific observation.
  • make scientific observations and generate scientific questions.

Length

30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by placing an object at the front of the room and asking students to volunteer an observation they can make of the object. These can range from anything physical (sight, sound, touch) or can be more creative. Spend some time doing this, as it will help students understand that observations come in all sorts of different forms.
  • Begin the video lesson How Scientific Observations Lead to Scientific Questioning. Pause the video at 1:25. Discuss the following questions as a class:
    • What is a scientific observation?
    • What senses can we use to make scientific observations?
    • Were any of the observations we made of the object earlier in the lesson scientific? Why?
  • Resume and finish the video lesson. Discuss the following questions regarding the scientific process:
    • What is the scientific process?
    • Is the scientific process a rigid set of steps? Why or why not?
    • If we observe something in the real world, how might we generate scientific questions?
    • What do we do once we have generated scientific questions?

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