Bouncing Raisin Activity for Questioning Strategies

Overview

An activity to practice questioning strategies to facilitate students construction of an explanation for what happens in this activity. Science process skills that are very helpful for this activity are using observations to make inferences and using observations and inferences to create explanations. Observation - the raisins are on the bottom. The raisins are floating to the top. The raisins have bubbles on them. Inference - The bubbles are making the raisins float.

Materials

  • 60-100 ml of 7 UP
  • Small glass
  • 10 raisins
  • Recorder Device

Procedure

  • Read this entire activity.
  • Get a recorder, video or audio tape to record the experiment and discussion.
  • Get a group of people (age 9 and up).
  • Have them do the "Bouncing Raisins" experiment.
  • After 5-10 minutes ask questions about their observations.
  • The purpose of the questioning is to help them construct possible causes of the interactions. YOU ARE ONLY TO ASK QUESTIONS. Do not tell anything.
  • Guide their observations with questions so they construct their own reasons for themselves.

Set up for the - Bouncing Raisin Activity

  • Put 10 raisins into a glass.
  • Pour 60-100 milliliters (ml) of 7 UP into the glass.
  • Observe the system of 7 UP and raisins.
  • Tell them that you are not going to tell them anything.
  • All you are going to do is ask them questions.
  • How do you explain what is happening to the raisin - 7 UP system?
  • Ask questions to distinguish between observation and inference.

Procedure for instruction

Let students observe the "Bouncing Raisins".

Possible questions:

  • What happened?
  • What did you observe?
  • When students provide and explanation or inference, ask - What observation(s) gave you that inference (idea)?
  • When students give an idea try to get others to discuss it. Do you agree with ______ (person or idea)? Why or why not?
  • Why?
  • Did you observe what ___(that person___) said?

Desperate questions:

  • What happens to the raisins on the bottom?
  • What happens to the raisins on the top?
  • What is the difference?

Have students summarize what they believe happened.

  • Could draw a picture or write a summary for the experiment.

Moving from summary of observations to an explanation.

  • What is a variable?
  • What are the variables in the system?
  • What happens as these variables were changed?
  • Get students to use their observations to support their answers.
  • Help them to distinguish between observations and inferences if needed.

After an explanation move to expansion.

  • Ask, what would happen if you cut a raisin in half?
  • Ask, what would happen if another object was substituted for the raisins?
  • What about peanuts, paper wads, BB's, cotton balls, buttons, styrofoam packing, or wood chips.
  • Ask, what would happen if you decreased or increased the amount of 7 UP.
  • Again get students to use their observations and explanation to support how their answers would change.
  • Help them to distinguish between observations and inferences if needed.

Processing your questioning strategies

Listen to your recording and collect the data needed to complete the following.

1. Write two of the most open ended (divergent) questions you asked.

 

 

 

2. Time the total number of seconds for your number one wait-times (after you asked a question). Record the information below.

Number one wait times for each question

                   
                   
                   

Average number one wait-times

 

3. Time the total number of seconds for your number two wait-times (after a student responded and before you responded or asked a question). Record the information below.

Number two wait times for each question

                   
                   
                   

Average number two wait-time.

4. If you slipped and told the students some information what did you tell?

 

 

5. How many times did you repeat student’s answers?

 

 

6. If you used a student’s idea, write it.

 

 

7. Summarize what you learned.

 

 

8. What goals do you have for your questioning strategies and why?

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©