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Arguing From Evidence in Middle School Science

Arguing From Evidence in Middle School Science
24 Activities for Productive Talk and Deeper Learning

Science Methods

September 2016 | 280 pages | Corwin

Teaching your students to think like scientists starts here!

If you’ve ever struggled to help students make scientific arguments from evidence, this practical, easy-to-use activity book is for you! Give your students the critical scientific practice today's science standards require. You’ll discover strategies and activities to effectively engage students in arguments about competing data sets, opposing scientific ideas, applying evidence to support specific claims, and more.

24 ready-to-implement activities drawn from the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences help teachers to:

  • Align lessons to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 
  • Engage students in the 8 NGSS science and engineering practices
  • Establish rich, productive classroom discourse 
  • Facilitate reading and writing strategies that align to the Common Core State Standards
  • Extend and employ argumentation and modeling strategies 
  • Clarify the difference between argumentation and explanation

Includes assessment guidance and extension activities. Learn to teach the rational side of science the fun way with this simple and straightforward guide!

Chapter 1- What Is Argumentation and Why Does It Matter in the Teaching of Science?
Chapter 2- How Can I Support Scientific Argumentation in My Classroom?
Chapter 3- How Can I Make Argumentation in the Classroom Productive and Support Deeper Learning?
Chapter 4- Earth and Space Sciences
1. What’s the Difference Between One Rock and Another?

2. Were the Continents Once One?

3. What Has Caused Global Warming?

4. Why Does the Moon Appear to Change Shape?

5. Can the Sun or Moon Disappear?

6. Why Is It Warmer in Summer and Cooler in Winter?

7. How Big and Far Away Are the Planets?

8. Why Do Planets Orbit the Sun?

Chapter 5- Life Sciences
9. Why Are Do Leaves Have Different Shapes?

10. What Is Happening to Pteropods?

11. What Factors Affect the Number of Moose on Isle Royale?

12. Should We Reintroduce the Wolf to Isle Royale?

13. Is Rotifer Reproduction Sexual or Asexual?

14. Why Don’t Lions Have Stripes?

15. How Do You Design a Test of Evolutionary Theory?

16. What Is Killing the Cats in Warner County?

Chapter 6- Physical Sciences
17. How Do Forces Affect the Way an Object Moves?

18. Is There Gravity Beyond the Earth?

19. What Has Energy Got to Do With Movement?

20. If You Fall From a Plane, Will You Go Faster and Faster?

21. Two Models to Explain the Behavior of Matter—Which Is the Best?

22. What Particle Model for Boiling Water Fits Best With the Evidence?

23. Is Matter Always Conserved?

24. Where Oh Where Have the Atoms Gone?

References and Further Resources
About the Authors

Arguing from Evidence in Middle School Science is filled with easy, fun ideas for incorporating many of the Next Generation Science Standards into any science class. Every step—from establishing class norms to evaluating completed student work—is covered in detail and will help teachers set their room up as a place of thoughtful and constructive questioning and argumentation.”

Phil Keck, Middle School Science Teacher
Live Oak School, San Francisco, CA

“This research-based resource includes activities that make it easy for teachers to incorporate argumentation into their science classrooms. It will get your students actively engaged in meaningful discussions—and help them develop the skills they need to truly engage in the practice of argumentation in science.”

Melissa Miller, Science Educator
Randall G Lynch Middle School, Farmington, AR

“This book provides both the background and ‘baby steps’ needed to integrate argumentation into the science classroom, and it provides clear lessons to engage students in critical thinking.  Each lesson is presented with consistency, scaffolding the student experience from beginning suggestions, to getting students to make claims, to having them provide evidence to support their claims.”

Susan Leeds, Gifted Specialist
Winter Park High School, Winter Park, FL

As the book was published in the USA, the curriculum links in the book are to the Next Generation Science Standards,and several activities from the life sciences section are based on US case studies.However, UK teachers should find it simple to ‘translate’appropriately for their context.I recommend this book to any secondary science teacher who is interested in developing pupils’ scientific thinking and understanding of science concepts.

Katherine Richardson
School Science Review

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