"I Can Explain!"

Developing the scientific literacy of children in KS1 and KS2

OVERVIEW

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A groundbreaking new approach to developing scientific understanding.

The resource, developed by teachers, contains beautifully illustrated, high-quality picture cards and language prompts to facilitate rational discussion. Children work in small groups to explore scientific concepts, developing skills to learn effectively through group talk, and using these they make cognitive gains in science.

  • The resource pack contains:
  • Ten sets of eight ‘sound’ pictures
  • Ten sets of eight ‘hot and cold’ pictures
  • Ten copies of a pirate ship (floating and sinking)
  • Ten copies of a garden habitat picture (plants and animals)
  • 46 page Teachers’ guide

Why use ‘I Can Explain’?
    • Children learn to talk effectively in groups.
    • Children learn to link scientific ideas with evidence.
    • Pupil participation is high, including SEN and EAL children.
    • Assessment for learning opportunities are built in.

    Teaching children to think and explain their scientific ideas provides opportunities for them to explore why they believe something to be true. Children often accept given ideas as truths without having the chance to consider why they might be true, or whether alternative explanations may exist. This makes it very difficult for children to explain their ideas to anybody else.

    Equally, children need opportunities to consider and explain why they think an idea might be wrong. The conflict between children’s every day experiences and the experience in the classroom is often inadequately explored. Without the chance to consider their ‘wrong’ ideas, it is difficult for children to give these ideas up.

    By constructing their own explanations, children have the chance to explore scientific terminology and use it with genuine understanding. Children might learn to use scientific words but not actually know what they mean, or they might find using the scientific vocabulary hinders their understanding of concepts. Learning science through argument will present children with opportunities to establish a shared language of science, where new vocabulary is used with understanding.

    ACTIVITIES

    The resource pack contains a Teacher's Guide and:

    • Ten sets of eight ‘sound’ pictures
    • Ten sets of eight ‘hot and cold' pictures
    • Ten copies of a pirate ship (floating and sinking)
    • Ten copies of a garden habitat picture (plants and animals)

    The activities include:

    1. Generating simple explanations
    2. Challenging the ideas of others
    3. Sequencing, generating more complex explanations
    4. Grouping and classifying
    5. Describing, using scientific vocabulary
    6. Justifying a new idea

    The children work together as a group rather than individually. They talk and listen to each other, while justifying what they think and, where appropriate, they will be challenging what others think. The activities are designed to be done in a given order as they tend to increase in complexity, although it is not essential to stick to the order, or to do them all.

    This resource comes complete in a beautifully designed coloured box.

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