In order to develop a robust explanation for a phenomenon, we must be able to support our claims with evidence and reasoning. In this exercise, your students will use evidence and reasoning to support a claim they make about whether or not the climate is changing.
1. Warm-up: To introduce your students to the claim-evidence-reasoning approach, start with this warm-up. Ask your students a question for which you know they have prior knowledge, such as: If I let go of this pencil, what will happen to it?
Students should first write out their claim, or answer to this question, in their science notebooks. For example, if you let go of the pencil, it will fall to the floor.
Students should then provide evidence for their claim. For example, they could conduct a test where they let go of a pencil ten times to see what happens to it.
Finally, students should interpret their evidence, or provide reasoning that uses their evidence to support or justify their claim. For example, they could summarize the results of their pencil drop investigation, and/or call upon their knowledge of the laws of gravity.
2. Climate Change CER: Once students have grasped the concept of claim, evidence, and reasoning, repeat the exercise with a new question: Is the Earth's climate changing?