9.  What Questions Can Teachers Ask Students to Promote the Skills Used in Scientific Inquiry Within the Four Broad Areas Identified in the Ontario Science Curriculum?

 

 

Skill

 

Sub-Skill

 

Teacher Questions

 

Initiating and Planning

Formulate questions and hypotheses or make predictions about issues, problems, or the relationship between observable variables, and plan investigations to answer the questions or test the hypotheses/predictions

 

 

Think and brainstorm

  • What prior knowledge do you have about your question?

 

Identify problems/issues to explore

  • What is the nature of the problem or phenomenon being observed?

 

Formulate questions

  • What is your question?
  • Why is your question important to you?
  • Clarify what you mean by the question.
  • Can you rephrase the question another way?
  • What are several similar questions you could investigate from the observed phenomenon?

 

Identify variables

  • What variables will you consider in designing the investigation?
  • What is the manipulating variable in the investigation?
  • What is the responding variable?
  • Do you need a control for this investigation? Why or why not?

 

Make predictions, develop hypotheses

  • What hypothesis can you make from the question?
  • Propose a possible answer to your question. What other answers are also possible?
  • Predict what you think the answer to the question will be.

 

Define and clarify the inquiry or research problem

  • Is your question investigable?
  • Why did you select this particular question?
  • Why is the problem important to you?
  • What data do you need to collect?

 

Identify and locate research sources

  • What information will you need to investigate your question?

 

Select instruments and materials

  • What supplies and materials will you need to investigate the question?

 

Plan for safe practices in investigations

  • How would you design an investigation to answer the question?
  • What safety procedures should be included in your investigation?

SOURCE:  Douglas Llewellyn, STAO 2015 Conference handout, Toronto, Ontario, November, 12, 2015

 

 

 

Skill

 

 

Sub-Skill

 

Teacher’s Questions

 

Performing and Recording

Conduct research by gathering, organizing, and recording information  from appropriate sources: and conduct inquiries, making observations and collecting , organizing, and recording qualitative and quantitative data

 

 

Conduct inquiries safely

  • What safety rules do you need to follow?

 

Observe and record observations

  • What did you observe during the investigation?
  • What can you infer from the observations?

 

Use equipment, materials, and technology accurately and safely

  • What supplies or equipment do you need to carry out your investigation?

 

Control variables, as appropriate

  • How many trials will you conduct?
  • What is the manipulating variable in the investigation?
  • What is the responding variable?
  • Do you need a control for this investigation? Why or why not?

 

Adapt or extend procedures

  • What additional observations can you make from your question?
  • What other variable can be tested?

 

Gather, organize, and record relevant information from research, and data from inquiries

  • What data did you collect?
  • How will you organize your data?
  • What will your data table look like?
  • How did you organize your data on a table or chart?

 

Acknowledge sources, using an accepted form of documentation

  • What articles, books, or sources did you cite?
  • What have others said about your question and findings?

 

 

 

SOURCE:  Douglas Llewellyn, STAO 2015 Conference handout, Toronto, Ontario, November, 12, 2015

 

Skill

 

 

Sub-Skill

 

Teacher’s Questions

 

Analyzing and Interpreting

Evaluate the reliability of data from inquiries, and of information from research sources, and analyze the data of information to identify patterns and relationships, and draw and justify conclusions

 

 

Think critically and logically

  • What have you learned from the investigation?
  • What new information do you need now?
  • How would you investigate another variable from the results?
  • What other questions do you have?
  • How does the new knowledge apply to other situations you are learning about?
  • Was your investigation well designed?
  • If you were to redesign your investigation, what would you change or do differently?

 

Evaluate reliability of data and information

  • Is the data biased?
  • Is the data reliable?
  • Were your original assumptions about the question correct?

 

Process and synthesize data

  • What answer did you get?
  • Can you develop an explanation from the evidence collected?

 

Evaluate whether data supports or refutes hypotheses/predictions

  • How does the data support your previous convictions about the question? About the hypothesis?
  • How do the results support what you expected?
  • How do the results support what you already knew about the phenomenon?

 

Interpret data/information to identify patterns and relationships

  • How would you interpret the data and evidence?
  • Do you see a pattern coming from the data?
  • What patterns are emerging from the data?
  • What is the relationship between the independent and dependent variables?
  • What does the data say or imply?
  • How is one variable dependent upon another?

 

Draw conclusions

  • What conclusions can you draw from the evidence?
  • What explanation can you propose from the evidence collected?
  • How would you summarize your results?

 

Justify  conclusions

  • How does the evidence support or refute your claim?

 

Identify sources of error or bias

  • Consider what would happen if you changed the variable.
  • What could make the data biased or unreliable?

SOURCE:  Douglas Llewellyn, STAO 2015 Conference handout, Toronto, Ontario, November, 12, 2015

 

 

 

Skill

 

 

Sub-Skill

 

Teacher’s Questions

 

Communicating

 

Use appropriate linguistic, numerical, symbolic, and graphic modes to  communicate ideas, procedures, results, and conclusions in a variety of ways

 

 

Communicate ideas, procedures, and results in a variety of forms (e.g., orally, in writing, using electronic presentations)

  • Tell me what you learned from doing the investigation.
  • What is the main idea for your discovery?
  • How will you summarize your findings?

 

Use appropriate formats to communicate results (e.g., reports, data tables, scientific models)

  • How can you construct a model to support your explanation?
  • How will you communicate your results?
  • How will you defend your findings?
  • Create a model to explain your new knowledge.

 

Use numeric, symbolic, and graphic modes of representation

  • How can you represent your findings in graphic forms?

 

Express results accurately and precisely

  • Explain how you know your data is reliable or valid.

 

Use correct terminology and appropriate units of measurement

  • What is the standard unit of measurement for your data?

SOURCE:  Douglas Llewellyn, STAO 2015 Conference handout, Toronto, Ontario, November, 12, 2015