Doing Science: The Process of Scientific Inquiry
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Main Getting Started Teacher's Guide Student Activities About NIH and NIGMS
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National Institutes of Health
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Doing Science: The Process of Scientific Inquiry

Main    Getting Started    Teacher's Guide    Student Activities    About NIH and NIGMS

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Teacher's Guide

Using the Student Lessons

The heart of this module is the set of four classroom lessons. These lessons are the vehicles that will carry important concepts related to scientific inquiry to your students. To review the concepts in detail, refer to the table Science Content and Conceptual Flow of the Lessons.

Format of the Lessons

As you review the lessons, you will find that all contain common major features.

At a Glance provides a convenient summary of the lesson.

In Advance provides instructions for collecting and preparing the materials required to complete the activities in the lesson.

Procedure outlines the steps in each activity of the lesson. It includes implementation hints and answers to discussion questions.

Within the Procedure section, annotations, with accompanying icons, provide additional commentary:

National Science Education Standards iconidentifies teaching strategies that address specific science content standards as defined by the National Science Education Standards.


World Wide Web (WWW) iconidentifies when to use the Web site as part of the teaching strategy. Instructions tell you how to access the Web site and the relevant activity. Information about using the Web site can be found in Using the Web Site. A print-based alternative to Web activities is provided for classrooms in which Internet access is not available.

suggestion iconidentifies suggestions from field-test teachers for teaching strategies, class management, and module implementation.


print iconidentifies a print-based alternative to a Web-based activity to be used when computers are not available.


assessment iconidentifies when assessment is embedded in the module’s structure. An annotation suggests strategies for assessment.


The Lesson Organizer provides a brief summary of the lesson. It outlines procedural steps for each activity and includes icons that denote where in each activity masters, transparencies, and the Web site are used. The lesson organizer is a memory aid you can use after you are familiar with the detailed procedures of the activities. It can be a handy resource during lesson preparation as well as during classroom instruction.

Masters required to teach the activities are located after Lesson 4, at the end of the module.

Timeline for the Module

The following timeline outlines the optimal plan for completing the four lessons in this module. This plan assumes that you will teach the activities on consecutive days. If your class requires more time for completing the activities or for discussing issues raised in this module, adjust your timeline accordingly.

Suggested Timeline
Timeline Activity
3 weeks ahead Reserve computers and verify Internet access.
1 week ahead Copy masters, make transparencies, gather materials.
Day 1
Monday
Lesson 1
Activity 1: Mystery Cube Activity
Activity 2: The Biological Box
Activity 3: Thinking about Inquiry
Day 2
Tuesday
Lesson 2
Activity 1: What’s the Question?
Activity 2: Questions … More Questions
Day 3
Wednesday
Lesson 3
Activity 1: Unusual Absences
Day 4
Thursday
Lesson 3
Activity 2: What’s the Cause?
Day 5
Friday
Lesson 3
Activity 3: What’s the Source?
Day 6
Monday
Lesson 3
Activity 4: Reflecting on the Process of Scientific Inquiry
Day 7
Tuesday
Lesson 4
Activity 1: Pulling It All Together

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