First Week: Science Identity Lab Coats

Activity Sequence

Note: mix into preexisting agenda; not intended to be its own lesson

Click for folding directions

  • Class 1: Discuss questions, brainstorm keywords, pre-write sentence frames

  • Class 2: Draft 3-5 sentences to each question, proofread a peer’s for feedback.

  • Class 3: Fold lab coat & decorate! Use art supplies, magazine cutouts, & typography/graffiti to illustrate the theme or copy the answer. Each question is labeled with the part of the lab coat.

  • Class 4 (or 5): Present lab coats. (Options: Explain/summarize/1detail (1) own coat, (2) a peer’s lab coat)

Assessment: Depending on what you want to target, you could assess any of these, from the worksheets to the spoken explanations. Also a great opportunity early in the year to see who gets to use scissors without supervision.

Other features: (1) Habituates students to explaining their metacognitive thinking about science in society, (2) encourages different forms of expression & understanding, (3) introduces idea of modeling as a proxy for understanding. Fun way for the class to get to know each other! (I had the students write their names on the collar or lapel.)

Student Work Examples

Lesson (2x): Claim-Evidence-Reasoning

Time: 55 minutes + 70 minutes


  • Identify the claim, evidence, and reasoning in a scientific explanation.

  • Identify relevant evidence to support a scientific explanation, using real NASA photos from Mars.

Additional Prep Required: download external materials from here

Agenda (Pt 1, 55min)

  1. Do Now

  2. Video: Dad is an alien!

  3. Slides: Explaining Science - CER

  4. CER: Penny

  5. Solo: Analyze

  6. Pairs: Peer Review


Formative (CER: Analyze; Mars check-ins); Summative: Mars Spoken Explanation

Agenda (Pt 2, 70min)

  1. Do Now

  2. Video: Are cats liquid or solid?

  3. Slides: Claim - Evidence - Reasoning

  4. Activity: Identifying Relevant Evidence…on Mars!

  5. Pairs: Peer Review


Learning Design Group, Reteaching Loop: Understanding the Role of Relevant Evidence in Supporting a Claim

copyleft notice:

You are free to copy and adapt all the teaching resources on this page. I appreciate feedback on what to keep/toss/expand/scaffold.