Hard-to-Teach Science Concepts: A Framework to Support Learners, Grades 3–5

by: Susan B. Koba with Carol T. Mitchell

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Authors Susan Koba and Carol Mitchell introduce teachers of grades 3–5 to their conceptual framework for successful instruction of hard-to-teach science concepts. Their methodology comprises four steps: (1) engage students about their preconceptions and address their thinking; (2) target lessons to be learned; (3) determine appropriate strategies; and (4) use Standards-based teaching that builds on student understandings. The authors not only explain how to use their framework but also provide a variety of tools and examples of its application on four hard-to-teach foundational concepts: the flow of energy and matter in ecosystems, force and motion, matter and its transformation, and Earth’s shape. Both preservice and inservice elementary school teachers will find this approach appealing, and the authors’ engaging writing style and user-friendly tables help educators adapt the method with ease.

Grade Levels



Earth & Space Science Informal Education Lesson Plans Physical Science Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies Three-Dimensional Learning


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 5/31/2011ISBN 978-1-936137-15-2Stock # PB238X2

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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