Scientific explanation
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Scientific explanation

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This is a brief explanation of scientific explanation using the novel, Monster, by Walter Dean Myers as an example.

This is a brief explanation of scientific explanation using the novel, Monster, by Walter Dean Myers as an example.

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Scientific explanation Scientific explanation Presentation Transcript

  • Developing a Scientific Explanation: Using Monster by Walter Dean Myers as an example By Julie Getz (Firstsecondbooks, 2009)
  • Introduction
    • One of the novels that I teach is Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
    • Some of the main topics of the novel are the death penalty for juveniles, racism, and discrimination.
    • In class, we discuss these issues and weigh the pros and cons.
    • Ultimately, students make up their own minds on these issues.
    • Toward the end of the novel, the students need to determine if the main character, Steve, is guilty or not guilty. The reader never finds out the real answer, but it is left open to interpretation.
  • Creating a Question
    • In order to help students develop a scientific explanation of their work, they first need to be able to create a question.
    • After our class discussion, students can create questions such as the following: Should juveniles be able to get the death penalty as punishment? How can racism be addressed in our society? Why and how do people discriminate against others? Is Steve guilty of the crime of murder or not guilty?
    • If they struggle creating a question, we could go over an example question as a class.
    (Moyer, Don, 2009)
  • Formulating a Hypothesis
    • Once students create a question, they then need to formulate a hypothesis, or a claim.
    • In other words, they would need to answer the question the way they feel it should be answered. For our example, we used the question: I s Steve guilty or not guilty of the crime of murder?
    • They would then need to determine if they thought Steve was guilty or not guilty.
  • Supportive Evidence
    • Next, students would determine supportive evidence and provide reasoning that links the evidence to the claim (Wilkes University, 2010).
    • In this case, they would go back to the novel and choose evidence to support their thoughts on whether Steve is guilty or not guilty.
    • Evidence exists in the novel that could lead you to either conclusion.
    (andreindy3, 2008)
  • Form a Conclusion
    • Lastly, students would form a conclusion based on their thoughts and the evidence that they sited.
    • In this example, there is no definite right or wrong answer.
    • However, the students would need to make sure that they sited evidence from the novel to back up their opinion.
  • Conclusion
    • To conclude, students would write their explanation so others would be able to understand it by using precise and appropriate language.
    • They would need to explain their logic, especially because there may be someone in the class that did not react the same conclusion that they did.
    • This process of develop a scientific explanation can be applied to any subject matter.
    • Once students are guided through the process, they will find it easier and more rewarding each time.
  • References
    • andreindy3. (2008). $3 fancy magnifying glass. Retrieved from http://www. flickr .com/photos/andreindy3/2284282566/
    • Firstsecondbooks. (2009). Walter Dean Myers's MONSTER. Retrieved from http://www. flickr .com/photos/firstsecondbooks/4036427482/
    • Moyer, Don. (2009). Question Marks. Retrieved from http://www. flickr .com/photos/36106576@N05/3895590793/
    • Wilkes University. (February 4, 2010). Topic B: Communicating for Inquiry Based Learning Retrieved from http://moodle1. wilkes . edu/mod/resource/view . php ?id=124381