Unit Overview

In Mosa Mack’s Scientific Method unit, students are led through a progression of three inquiry lessons that focus on the scientific method in context as well as the criteria that ensures a scientifically sound experiment.


Lesson Overview

Medium 1s 640Solve: Hyper Sugar Mystery + Vocabulary Mind Map

Learners will contextualize scientific method vocabulary before helping Mosa Mack solve the mystery of whether eating sugar really makes kids hyperactive. (75 minutes)

Medium 2m 640 Make: Experience the Scientific Method

Experience the Scientific Method and Apply Your Knowledge

Medium 3e 640Engineer: Engineer a Custom Experiment to Test a Real-World Phenomenon

Engineer a Custom Experiment to Test a Real-World Phenomenon. (150 minutes)

Inquiry Scale

  • Each lesson in the unit has an Inquiry Scale that provides directions on how to implement the lesson at the level that works best for you and your students.
  • “Level 1” is the most teacher-driven, and recommended for students in 4th-5th grades. “Level 4” is the most student-driven, and recommended for students in 7th-8th grades.
  • For differentiation within the same grade or class, use different inquiry levels for different groups of students who may require additional support or an extra challenge.

Common Misconceptions

  • When first asked to make observations about objects, students often skip straight to assumptions, or inferences. Emphasize that observations are things you can observe with your five senses.
  • Students often think that the scientific method can only be applied to the topic of science in a lab setting. Encourage students to think about how they constantly use the scientific method in their daily lives unrelated to science.
  • Learners struggle to differentiate between independent and dependent variables, so use memory tricks, such as “Independent starts with an I, which means I change it. Dependent depends on that change.”

Vocabulary

    • Independent Variable
    • Dependent Variable
    • Controlled Variable
    • Observation
    • Question
    • Inference
    • Hypothesis
    • Procedure
    • Results
    • Analysis

Resources

  • Powerpoints for Make and Design
  • Vocabulary Cards
  • Vocabulary Mind Map
  • Solve Student Handout
  • Make Student Handout
  • Design Student Handout

New: RocketLit Leveled Reading

* To give our users the most comprehensive science resource, Mosa Mack is piloting a partnership with RocketLit, a provider of leveled science articles.

  • Empirical Evidence and Repetition in Science

    This article explains the importance of repetition and replication in science. Science is based in observation, but it takes more than one observation to say something it correct. In order for a discover to be thought of as valid, it must be possible for other scientists to replicate it. Good experiments are repeated multiple times and involve multiple trials within the experiment to ensure there weren't any errors or conclusions being drawn from small data sets. In cases where we can't observe or collect all data, we rely on inferences to fill in the gaps.

  • Scientific Method

    Both real and pseudoscience can have a dramatic effect on our world. In this article, we look at examples of pseudoscience, such as phrenology and astrology, to identify science-like traits that aren't actually scientific. We also introduce students to the ways that science can and will impact society, whether it's based on empirical evidence or not.

  • Peer-Review and Collaboration in Science

    In this article, we introduce students to the concept of a "peer" and the process of peer-review as a way for scientists to check each other's work and to collaborate. When they work together, they can all lift each other up and help to strike down studies that are false or poorly constructed.

  • Science is a Debate

    This article introduces students to the evolution of scientific knowledge and the importance of peer review. Scientists are always subject to criticism and once it becomes clear that ideas are wrong or right through repeated validation, paradigms can shift and the way we view the world may completely change.

  • What is Science: Inductive vs Deductive

    This article outlines the differences between a hypothesis, scientific theory and a scientific law. We also give students examples and explanations of the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning.