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Science Engagement Strategies

Page history last edited by Heather Johnston 1 year, 2 months ago

The following strategies could be used in classrooms to increase engagement in science and engineering investigations. Strategy names underlined in blue link to further explanations. Teachers should use their wisdom in knowing when and how often to employ these various strategies.




5E Model of Instruction

The 5E Model of Instruction promotes active learning and can be used to integrate the science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Resource includes a sample template for developing 5E learning sequences.


Anchoring Phenomena 

By exploring and using phenomena, students have opportunities to apply science and engineering practices and to build their own science understandings. Resource includes an overview video and links to phenomena databases.


Argumentation Toolkit

Argumentation is a social process in which students build questions and critique claims using evidence about the natural world. Resource includes videos and more to support teachers and students in argumentation.


BSCS STeLLA Strategies for Effective Science Teaching 

This resource for Grades K-3 supports educators in learning to analyze science teaching through two lenses, student thinking and science content storylines (a coherent sequence of learning). Strategies to support these lenses are provided. 


Using the Science and Engineering Practices to Support Student Investigations 

The science and engineering practices should be sequenced and intertwined in different ways to support students in making sense of the natural and designed worlds.


Classroom Norms 

Science is a social endeavor - students are to ask questions, communicate information, construct explanations and engage in argumentation. This OK Excel brief introduces a sequence for developing community norms for science classroom discussions.


Driving Question Board

A Driving Question Board (DBQ) is a strategy that encourages students to share their wonderings throughout the learning experience. This OK Excel brief introduces steps and considerations for using DBQs.


Formative Assessment Task Examples

These science resources use phenomena to facilitate engaging and meaningful learning, instruction, and formative assessment. Each resource set contains a guiding document and three other types of documents: an Instructional Task (IT), a formative Assessment Task (AT), and a corresponding Pattern Analysis of Student Thinking (PAST). These resources are not intended to be a complete lesson plan. 

Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines

Project Zero is based on Harvard research that explores the development of thinking and connects thinking dispositions to routines that can be used to support student learning. This toolbox can be filtered by subject and includes resources for K-12.


I Notice , I Wonder

Students observe an image, video, graph, or other stimulus and share their natural noticings and wonderings. This can be a short routine to activate student thinking at the launch of a lesson and/or to encourage curiosity throughout learning. This 5-min video provides a quick overview of how to use I Notice, I Wonder, along with a classroom example. 


Instructional Strategies for Writing and Drawing in Science

These 12 strategies support students in writing and drawing for sensemaking. Writing and drawing in science can be more than lab reports or copying already developed models from books; this writing and drawing for sensemaking chart illustrates some of these shifts. 


Oklahoma K20 Center 

The K20 Center has over 100 strategies for use in the classroom including Tweet It Up, Why-Lighting, and Sentence-Phrase-Word. Find more information about all 100+ tools on their website. 


Modeling in Science 

This OK Excel tool introduces a routine for modeling phenomena that is designed to ensure all students are given the chance to visually reason about what they are learning. 


Productive Discussions Strategy Brief 

This OK Excel strategy brief introduces the key essential features for productive classroom discussions and highlights important considerations for implementation. 


Seven Steps to Using NGSS with English Language Learners 

This seven-step framework presents an interactional approach to language learning and shows how to use it with a science lesson. It focuses on leveraging academic discourse and the science and engineering practices for engaging and supporting multilingual learners in both science and language development.


Student Talk Flowchart and Protocols

These resources are designed to help educators foster student talk in the science classroom, along with the STEM Teaching Tool, "How can I foster curiosity and learning in my classroom? Through talk!" and the Talk Moves Checklist.


Supporting Emergent Multilingual Learners Using Universal Design for Learning 

This one-page resource lists different strategies educators can use to support emerging multilingual learners engagement in the science and engineering practices.  


The Wonder of Science Graphic Organizers 

The Wonder of Science website provides a large assortment of graphic organizers as strategies for engaging students in the science and engineering practices, and the crosscutting concepts. 





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