Science Explanations K-5

State Standard
Explanations­Explanations provide interpretation, meaning, or sense to objects, organisms, or events. Explanations incorporate existing scientific knowledge and new evidence from observations, experiments, or models into internally consistent, logical statements, such as hypotheses, laws, principles, and theories. The goal is to help students create explanations which incorporate a scientific knowledge base, logic, and higher levels of analysis.
State Indicator Fact, Concept, Generalization Winnebago Indicator Activity Evaluation Levels
  • Objects can change and stay the same.
  • Objects are located relative to other objects.
  • Objects can be compared to other objects.
  • Scientists raise questions about the world around them and seek answers to some of them by combining observation and trying things out.
  • Explanations tell how something does what it does.
  • Inquiry starts with observation.
  • People are more likely to believe your ideas if you give good reasons for them.
  • One way to understand something is to think how it is like something else.
  • Strong feelings can affect a person's reasoning.
  • How do I know is a good question to ask to try and understand what is or has happened.
  • Sometimes people aren’t sure what will happen because they don’t know everything that might be having an effect on the event.
  • Some events are more likely to happen than others.
  • Some events can be predicted more accurately than others.
  • One way to describe something is to say how it is like something else.
  • Explain procedures or ideas in more than one way (e.g., sketches, charts, and graphs).
  • Reasonable conclusions can be made when a rule that always holds is related to good information about a particular situation. If then logic. (If plants are green and this is green, then it is a plant. If John is not a plant and he paints himself green he will not be a plant.)
  • Reasoning by similarities can suggest ideas but can't prove them.
  • Practical reasoning may require several steps.
  • Often a person can find out about a group of things by studying just a few of them.
  • When people disagree on explanations for an observation they usually make more observations to refine their explanations.
  • Observation, creativity, and logical argument are used to explain how things work.
  • The more experience or data a person has the better prediction they are likely to make
  • The way a system works can be used to describe and explain what it is (operational definition).
  • Sketches can be useful in explaining procedures or ideas.
  • Evidence is something that is observed and can be used to understand what is happening and make predictions about future changes.
  • Finding out what the biggest and smallest possible value of something is often as revealing as knowing the average value.
  • Numerical data can be useful in describing and comparing objects and events.

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©