Day 30: NGSS-Aligned Balloon Activity to Practice Observing, Investigating, and Explaining

Today I was at a professional learning day for our district’s Digital Learning Initiative. I wanted to continue to have students practice constructing strong explanations based on evidence. So, since I was inspired by an activity modeled for us last week by Brett Moulding, I left the following assignment for students to complete while I was gone:

Target: make observations, ask questions, design investigations, and construct explanations for phenomena.

Observation (5 minutes)

Watch the following video.

Capture your observations in your notes. Apply existing models to help you gather data.

Investigation (15 minutes)

Ask questions. Design additional investigations and perform them to answer these questions. Make additional observations. Apply existing models to predict and develop evidence. Analyze data.

Explanation (10 minutes)

Construct an explanation of the phenomenon. Discuss proposed explanations with your group. Develop arguments from evidence. Apply existing models to develop evidence. Construct explanations at both a macroscopic scale and an atomic scale. Use appropriate terminology.

Communication (5 minutes)

Individually, write your own explanation (addressing both a macroscopic scale and an atomic scale) and submit it for this assignment.

Discussion (5 minutes)

Share your explanation with your group. Provide feedback to each other on the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations. We will discuss as a whole class tomorrow.

  ##thermo ##ngss  

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