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In this chapter, students work to answer two testable questions: Who can become a scientist? and What do scientists do? Students learn about the lives and work of eight scientists: John James Audubon, Charles William Beebe (known as William Beebe), Rachel Carson, Benjamin Banneker, Barnum Brown, Julie Codispoti, Gregor Mendel, and Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault (known as Léon Foucault) by reading and discussing picture book biographies. They also practice the science process skills of observing, communicating, classifying, and experimenting (Padilla 1990). Explicit instruction and firsthand experience with process skills is woven into the inquiry at appropriate times so that students experience these behaviors in an authentic way. This pairing breathes life into the behaviors described in the texts and helps students link what they do in the classroom to the work of actual scientists.
This book chapter is a great resource for educators who want to teach their students about scientists and the various scientific practices they engage in to make discoveries. The authors provide a detailed description of the lesson that teachers can implement, which includes information, such as the materials needed and the bibliographic information of the books that are used during the lesson. The authors also provide detailed step-by-step procedures of how students are to complete the activities. Throughout the lesson, students not only read about different scientists, which will foster their reading comprehension skills, but they have opportunities to actually engage in the different scientific processes, some of which include observing and experimenting. In addition, this lesson allows students to work both independently and collaboratively, which will help them develop both their autonomy and their social skills. Lastly, the authors conveniently provide the worksheets that students complete during the lesson so that teachers can print them out and use it for their own use. Overall, it is a great lesson that I feel can be adapted for any grade.
This lesson would be a great intro to a science unit. It is always awesome to make the students feel like scientists. I loved the layout of this, but I also wondered how it would be to give small groups each of the books listed, and have them present to the class. Just a thought! Great intro to scientists
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