Grade: Senior
Subject: Science

#3028. The Scientific Method

Science, level: Senior
Posted Mon Jan 19 08:26:03 PST 2004 by John Yogus (
UPJ, Johnstown, PA USA
Materials Required: See below
Activity Time: 50 Minute Class Period
Concepts Taught: Scientific Method

Goal of this lesson:
To understand the scientific method

"Scientific Method Question and Answer Sheet"
Scientific Method student worksheet
"Partial notetaker"
PowerPoint Presentation, screen and computer
"If time permits activity"

Clerical/Administrative Tasks
Take roll
Make copies of Scientific Method student worksheet
Load PowerPoint presentation on to computer
Prepare Scientific Method student worksheet answer key
Prepare and print out a copy of the Scientific Method Question and Answer sheet
Prepare partial notetaker for special needs students
Print copies of "If time permits activity"

Instructional Objectives (Student-centered, observable, and precise statements of what students will be able to do)
TSWBAT recall from memory the steps in the scientific method.
TSWBAT describe in detail the various steps of the scientific method.
TSWBAT analyze a problem or situation and apply the steps of the scientific method to it.
TSWBAT cooperate with partners during the in class assignment.

Introduction (attention getter, anticipatory set, discrepant event, open-ended problem scenario, engagement)
Engage: "How do scientists solve problems?" Pause and wait for answers. "How many people in here have ever needed to use a flashlight?" Pause and wait for show of hands. "How many people have ever had this happen to them?" I will point flashlight at the class and click the switch (batteries will either be dead or not in the flashlight). (1-2 minutes)
Transition: I will ask the rhetorical question, "How can a flashlight that does not work be related to science?"

Developmental Activities (Instructional components that provide opportunities for students to make progress toward intended instructional objectives)

Explore: I will conduct direct instruction during this phase of the lesson. Students will be asked a multitude of questions from the "Scientific Method Question and Answer Sheet" to determine the order of events in the scientific method (13-15 minutes) (Campbell, Neil A. and Jane B. Reece. 2002. Biology Sixth Edition. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA.)

Explain: Transition: "We went through the steps of the scientific method pretty thoroughly. However, I'd like you have some information in you notebooks that you can refer to if need be."

Students will attend to and take notes on the short lecture/review on the scientific method. The lecture will be a PowerPoint presentation. (5-8 minutes)

Elaborate: Transition: "So far in class today, we have determined the steps that are involved in the scientific method and you have been given some background information on the scientific method. Now it's time for you to take that knowledge that you now have on the scientific method and apply it to a scientific "problem." I have a handout that I will pass out in a minute. Before I do, are there any questions about the material that we have covered in class today?" Pause and wait for questions. "I will be walking around the room. If you need assistance, pleas raise you hand and ask for help. You will complete the worksheet with you lab partners." I will pass out the worksheets. (1-2 minutes) ) (Campbell, Neil A. and Jane B. Reece. 2002. Biology Sixth Edition. Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA.)
Students will complete the worksheet with the sample biological scenario on it. (9-11 minutes)

Transition: "Do any groups need more time to finish their worksheets?" Pause and wait for response. "If not, I would like you to compare you answers with the other group's answers at your lab table (There are 2 sets of lab partners at each lab table which seats 4 students). Please compare and contrast your answers with theirs and analyze the similarities and differences. Do you have any questions?" Pause and wait for response.
Students will discuss their answers with the other group at the lab table. (8-10 minutes)

Assessment/Evaluation (How you and the students will know that they learned. May be formative or summative)

Evaluate: Diagnostic assessment will occur when students answer the question, "How do scientists solve

Formative assessment will occur during the question and answer session during the first half of
class. It will also occur when students complete the in class assignment.

Summative assessment will occur the next day when students are given a quiz on the scientific

Student involvement and progress will be informally evaluated during the group exercise in class.

Conclusion (Closure; a planned wrap-up for the lesson)

Transition: "Today, we have examined the scientific method. It consists of a number of steps. Who can tell me the first step in the scientific method?" Pause and wait for student response. "Who can tell me what the second (third, fourth and final) step of the scientific method is? Please review this material tonight. There will be a short quiz on the scientific method tomorrow in class." (3-5 minutes)

If time permits: If my time estimates are off and I come up short, I will do the following:
"We have thoroughly discussed the scientific method and you have had a chance to apply the steps of the scientific method to a biological situation. For the remainder of class, I want you to think of a problem. It can be any problem. It does not have to be scientific. For example, you could say that your car is broken down along the side of the road. Steam is visible coming from underneath the hood. Then, apply the steps of the scientific method to the problem. Do you have any questions?" Pause. "I will pass out the worksheet for you and you may begin working. If you do not complete this assignment in class, please finish it for tomorrow. Do you have any questions?" (7-10 minutes)

Accommodations/Adaptations for Students with Special Needs
Student will be given a partial notetaker to be filled out during the question and answer session.
I will make very frequent (at least once every 30 seconds) eye contact with the student to keep the student focused.
I will monitor the student during direct instruction by walking around the room.

Reflective Notes

*If you would like to use this, please email me @ and I will send you the list of questions, note taker, PPT presentation and if time permits activity.