As a pre-service teacher, I am faced with many tasks; sometimes they are intentionally given and at other times, simply encountered. Although both tend to be equally challenging at one point or another, I am finding it more and more difficult to meet those presented by my professors, but more specifically the standards that are set by the state. On one ocassion in particular, I was faced with the task of designing a student-investigation but there was a catch--I had to relate it to a current event. I had no idea what I was going to do, until I came upon a news article that I thought was quite engaging and could easily be re-enacted. This way, I did not have to stretch myself too far--at least in regard to gathering enough materials and designing an investigation from virtually nothing! To save myself time and money, I used the article 'Amphibian Ark' Planned to Save Frogs to recreate an investigation similar to the one that might have been performed by the scientists in the article.
From this article, students may be exposed to the process in which a scientific claim is made. Foremost, the scientists had to conduct some form of observation, and, from there, gather evidence—there was obviously a noticeable change in frog population. Then, scientists had to perform an investigation to get to the root of the problem; and once they were almost certain that they had isolated the cause(s), they had to create a solution that they predict, based on evidence collected, will aid in preventing further depopulation of the frogs. Hence, from this article, students will learn that science demands evidence, explains and predicts, and helps us to understand the world.
This is just how I thought I might use this article--In my classroom, I would use this article to demonstrate how a scientific investigation should be performed, but because this is in fact second grade, I would not be too concerned with details. As a class, we would re-enact the investigation, placing ourselves in the shoes of the scientists who made this discovery. Wearing make-shift lab coats equipped with clipboards and a worksheet, the class would act out a simplified version of the investigation step-by-step. Arranged around the classroom would be stations, each focused on one aspect of a typical investigation. For example, at the first station, we would observe a drop in frog population—I would demonstrate this by providing them with a bar graph that is missing data and have them fill it in after ‘observing’ me take out a definite number of frogs out of a make-shift pond (a few per minute). Moreover, this article kills two birds with one stone by allowing me to apply both SOL 2.5 and an altered version SOL 2.8 a (this article exposes the important animal products).