In this final lesson, you have an opportunity to assess what students have learned about scientific inquiry. Students continue in their roles as members of the community health department investigative team. The class is divided into two groups. Teams from each group review different data about the same health problem and prepare an investigative report. Teams trade reports, and each team evaluates one prepared by a team from the other group. The lesson allows students to apply what they have learned in the previous lessons and to use critical-thinking skills in performing and evaluating scientific investigations.
After completing this lesson, students will be able to assess students’ knowledge of scientific inquiry by having them
Consult the following sections in Information about the Process of Scientific Inquiry:
|1||No||Master 4.1, Memo from Director
(Prepare an overhead transparency.)
Master 4.2a and b, Data from Investigation
(Make 1 copy of Master 4.2a for half of the teams and 1 copy of Master 4.2b for the other half.)
Master 4.3, Report Form*
(Make 1 copy per student.)
Master 4.4, Evaluation Form*
(Make 1 copy per student.)
|No materials except photocopies and transparencies|
|*Masters needed for Web version. Print version uses all the masters.|
For classes using the Web-based version: Verify that the computer lab is reserved for your classes or that classroom computers are ready to use. Bookmark the student Web site at http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/inquiry/student. Make photocopies.
For classes using the print version: No preparations are needed except for making photocopies and transparencies.
Note to teachers: The following activity again has students playing the role of investigators for the community health department. This time, the students are given data collected by another investigator and asked to write a brief report about the investigation. In the second part of the activity, the students review reports of investigative work of other students and critique them. This activity allows you to evaluate what students have learned about the process of scientific inquiry.
The outbreak of chicken pox that serves as the basis for the investigations in this activity is based on a real outbreak that occurred in 2003 at a school in Michigan.
Tip from the field test: Some teachers commented that their students experienced a letdown when they used a print-based lesson after working on the Web during Lesson 3. For this investigation, we have placed the initial memo from the director and the data on the Web site. You can either instruct the students to retrieve this information from the Web site or supply it as print material.
As before, throughout this activity, you will act as team supervisor for all the student teams.
Alternatively, you can instruct students to proceed to http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/inquiry/student and click on “Lesson 4—Pulling It All Together.” Students then click on “You Have (1) New Message” and read the memo. Answer any questions students have about the memo.
Alternatively, you can instruct students to proceed to http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/inquiry/student and click on “Lesson 4—Pulling It All Together.” Students should then click on “You Have (1) New Message” and then on either “Case Number 0439-a” or “Case number 0439-b” and review the data.
Master 4.2a (case number 0439-a) contains data that relate to the probable cause of a disease outbreak at a local elementary school. Master 4.2b (case number 0439-b) contains data that relate to the protection offered by vaccination against chicken pox. The amount of data reviewed by each team is restricted so that you can more easily evaluate the students’ abilities to ask appropriate testable questions and use evidence to propose explanations. In a later step, students will evaluate reports prepared by other students. The procedure used during this activity is designed to allow students to use their knowledge about scientific inquiry and to demonstrate critical-thinking skills in preparing and evaluating reports about scientific investigations.
Give teams about 15 minutes to complete their task.
Give teams about 15 minutes to complete their task. Remind the students that yes or no answers are unacceptable. Students should explain the reasoning behind each of their answers.
Note to teachers: Students’ responses on Masters 4.3, Report Form, and 4.4, Evaluation Form, give you opportunities for formal assessment. Answers to the questions posed on these forms should reflect students’ understandings of the basic aspects of scientific inquiry addressed in this supplement. When assessing students’ work, keep in mind the following:
|Activity 1: Pulling It All Together|
|What the Teacher Does||Procedure Reference|
Explain to the students that they will continue in their roles as members of the community health department investigative team.
Display a transparency of Master 4.1, Memo from Director. Read the memo aloud. Alternatively, have students access the Web site and read the memo there.
Divide the class into teams of two.
Alternatively, have students access the Web site and review the data there.
Give each student one copy of Master 4.3, Report Form. Explain that they are to
After teams have completed their task, instruct them to trade their Report Forms and Data from Investigation with a team that worked with the other data set.
Give each student one copy of Master 4.4, Evaluation Form. Instruct teams to
After students have completed their tasks, collect all of the Report Forms and Evaluation Forms.
|= Involves making a transparency.|
|= Involves copying a master.|