Vernier Science Education - June  2024


General Science and Teaching


Author Post
Bailey Wheeler Bailey Wheeler 920 Points

In general, I was wondering what were some of the best ways to start and facilitate a class discussion about science(any topic)?

Flavio Mendez Flavio Mendez 53031 Points

Hi Bailey, I did a quick search on the Learning Center and found a few journal articles that might be of help to you. See the search results URL below. Take care, Flavio.

Joselyn Hermoso Joselyn Hermoso 785 Points

Hello.... Usually, discussion could start from: stimulating question/s or prompt from the topic, short video, demonstration, or activating students' prior knowledge from real- world scenario or question. Hope this helps. Joselyn

Shirin Nayani Shirin Nayani 405 Points

I always start a classroom discussion by having the students turn and talk to one another about what they already know or have learned about a particular topic. Then I have the students raise their hand and tell me one thing they learned from their partner. This way I know what the students prior knowledge and I also now that the students were having an active discussion. I also ask the students about their experiences with a specific topic. For example, if we are talking about season I ask them what they do in the different seasons.

Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

Great question Bailey!
I have used many different ways to get science discussions going. I think the key is to either 'wow' them or provide them with some structure to get the ball rolling.

If you have a really good demonstration or discrepant event (e.g. skewer through a balloon; ammonia fountain) the students will perk up and take notice. Have them group up and answer 'how does that work?' Full class discussion on their answers.

Start a new topic with a K-W-L chart. Have them start the 'Know' column alone and think of at least two questions, then pair up with someone to share. They can challenge each other or accept new facts. Add those to the 'Learned' column. They might even have the answers to their partners questions. Anything they learn goes in the 'Learned' column. Whole class shares questions that have come up. This launches the next phase of learning where they get their answers.

Graphic organizers: There are several organizers that you can find on the web that can lead discussions. Students start off on their own and then start sharing. I found a free one on TpT and an Arctic Science Teacher's Guide that has some in the appendices.

Hope this helps!
Gabe Kraljevic

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