By: Elizabeth Kelsey, Kendall Hunt RPD Intern, with contributions from the writing team of By Design Science grades 1-8
At many Adventist schools science teachers focus on inquiry-based learning, lessons are developed around a customized 5-step instructional model. This model divides the learning process into five steps: engage, discover, explain, extend, and assess/reflect.
The customized instructional model provides a clear structure and layout for inquiry-based learning and helps students track what is expected of them at each step of the process. Teachers are better able to assess their progress and offer feedback (both to the students and to their coworkers during professional development).
The instructional model helps to makes things more organized for teachers and students across the board and the process is fun to teach. We feel there are more students getting involved and excited about learning. The teaching model is used to promote inquiry-based learning and to stimulate a natural desire for knowledge and a better understanding of God's Creation.
Inquiry science is at the core of Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing’s ByDesign Science curriculum. In fact, when we look at the ByDesign curriculum, we can see that every one of the lesson help students achieve mastery of the material. If you like the idea of using the 5-step instructional model in your science classroom, let us show you how ByDesign Science is a perfect match!
The first stage of the process, engage, captures students’ attention with a question that relates to the concept being introduced in the lesson. In the ByDesign program, each unit opens with a series of questions, such as “What makes things work?” and “What things did God create that produce energy?” These open-ended questions draw students into the topic and set them up for what they will investigate.
In the discover stage, students participate in one or more inquiry-based activities to explore the lesson concept to deepen students’ understanding. The discovery provides students with a common set of experiences. Students learn by performing investigations using hands-on activities and scientific methods.
The third step is explain, which asks students to describe ideas in their own words. In the ByDesign curriculum, Structured Inquiries require learners to make predictions, record observations, and develop theories, all of which they must write in their own words in their Student Science Journals. Each Structured Inquiry ends with a “Create Explanations” section, where students analyze their results.
The extend stage moves students beyond the textbook, guiding them to apply ideas to a broader context. ByDesign is rich with activities that help students extend, such as Math in Science exercises, where students apply mathematical concepts to chapter topics. Scripture Spotlights help students draw connections between their faith and their education, and Lifestyle Challenges encourage them to apply what they learn to take better care of their bodies and minds. Finally, sections on Careers in Science and People in Science allow students to see how textbook information is used in the “real world,” guiding them to think about their futures.
The lesson model concludes with the assess/reflect stage, where students demonstrate and build on their understanding by completing an activity that will help them and the teacher evaluate their understanding of the concepts presented in the lesson and chapter. Chapters also include frequent Think About It questions, which can be used to informally evaluate students’ knowledge. Checking for comprehension and understanding is ongoing throughout the learning experience.
ByDesign Science offers a robust, faith-based, and standards-based curriculum for grades 1–8 that engages students, helps them discover and explain their knowledge, encourages them to extend, and provides frequent opportunities for assess and reflect. Check out our customized faith-based science curriculum today!
How can you emphasize at least one of the steps of the 5-step instructional model with your students in the next week?