by: Jesse Wilcox and Jerrid Kruse
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Type Journal ArticlePub Date 2/1/2012Stock # ss12_035_06_26Volume 035Issue 06
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Students Provide the Seasoning- Reasoning Follows
Lest we science teachers forget, this article reminds us that inquiry is more than just hands-on activities. The authors masterfully use a series of questions to engage students’ minds. Stu... See More
Lest we science teachers forget, this article reminds us that inquiry is more than just hands-on activities. The authors masterfully use a series of questions to engage students’ minds. Students can then confront their old misunderstandings about why Earth has seasons and replace their old models with correct ones of how this phenomenon really works. One of the most common misconceptions about the reason for the seasons is called the ‘distance model’. It postulates that in the summer we are closer to the Sun than we are in the winter months. The article provides a variety of teaching strategies that not only allow students to confront their faulty thinking, but to replace it with correct models of why the Earth has seasons. The authors use students’ ideas and questions to drive the instruction. Then they incorporate models, graphing activities, think-pair-share groupings, manipulative tools, and demonstrations as they employ good questions to guide students to their own correct understandings. The HRASE questioning hierarchy is used and explained in this lesson. HRASE stands for History, Relationships, Application, Speculation, and Explanation. It is a strategy (like Bloom’s Taxonomy) teachers can employ to elicit higher level thinking from their students. A HRASE chart (Fig. 6) is included on p. 31 of the article. Although the article is not written using the 5 E inquiry lesson model, an engage, explore, explain, extend and evaluate phase can be found embedded in the lesson. I highly recommend this lesson to teachers who have students still wrestling with the reason for the seasons.
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.