Unit Overview

Students are introduced to Claim-Evidence-Reasoning and the Scientific Method through the lens of claims made in television commercials. Students test claims themselves using scientific tests and apply their knowledge to improve an existing product. 

Lesson Overview

Medium solveSolve: Hyper Sugar Mystery + Vocabulary Mind Map
Medium make Make: Experience the Scientific Method
Medium engineerEngineer: Engineer a Custom Experiment to Test a Real-World Phenomenon

In The Solve, students will work as a class to observe and analyze a Gorilla Glue TV commercial to identify the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning presented. They will then be introduced to the Scientific Method as a framework to test a claim. They will then work collaboratively to design a test for the commercial’s specific claim. Finally, students view and solve an animated mystery. (150 minutes)

Building off of the Solve, students will apply their knowledge of Claim-Evidence-Reasoning and The Scientific Method to investigate a claim made in a paper towel commercial. Students will work in small groups to test the claim and present their findings to a Consumer Product Review Panel. (145-150 minutes)

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

Next Generations Science Standards

Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Science & Engineering Practices

    Disciplinary Core Ideas

      Cross Cutting Concepts

        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

        • 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.”
        • 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.


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


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

        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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

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