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How the ByDesign Science Curriculum Aligns with a 5-Step Instructional Model

March 30, 2022

By: Kendall Hunt RPD with contributions from the writing team of ByDesign Science grades 1-8

A well-structured lesson plan is essential to the success for any classroom. This takes preparation, planning, and are key elements in ensuring the lesson is systematic and effective. Learning activities guide and engage students towards achieving agreed learning outcomes. So what if the programs you are using already had a well-structured lesson plan embedded for you throughout each unit, chapter, and lesson?

Many of our teachers and classrooms using ByDesign Science are experiencing this as they focus on inquiry-based learning in their classrooms. Each lesson is developed around a customized 5-step instructional model. This model divides the learning process into five steps: engage, discoverexplain, extend, and assess/reflect.

The customized instructional model provides a clear structure and layout for inquiry-based learning, helping students track what is expected of them at every step of the process. Teachers can assess their progress and offer feedback more accurately, both to the students and to their coworkers during professional development.

The instructional model helps teachers and students organize material while making learning fun.  Because of this, we feel there are more students getting involved and excited about learning. The teaching model is used to promote inquiry-based learning and stimulate a natural desire for knowledge and better understanding of God's Creation.

Inquiry-based 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 lesson helps students achieve mastery of the material. So, 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!


    1.  Engage

The first stage of the process, engage, captures students’ attention with a question related to the main concept 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.


    2.  Discover

In the discover stage, students participate in one or more inquiry-based activities to explore the lesson concept, deepening the students’ understanding. Students learn by performing investigations using hands-on activities and scientific methods. Their discoveries provide students with a common set of experiences.


    3.  Explain

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 using their Student Science Journals. Each Structured Inquiry ends with a “Create Explanations” section, where students analyze their results.


    4.  Extend

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. As well as Lifestyle Challenges encouraging them to apply what they learn to take care of their mind and body. 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.


    5.  Assess/Reflect

The ByDesign Science lesson model concludes with the assess/reflect stage. Students demonstrate and build on their understanding by completing activities where the teacher and students reflect on their knowledge of the concepts presented in the chapters. 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.

ByDesign Science, a customized inquiry-based curriculum solution, offers you greater control over your students’ success and provides teachers a well-structured lesson plan that is essential to the success for any classroom. With content tailored to your specifications, you can guarantee the material you’re providing your students upholds the mission and values of your school and provides the necessary science content aligning your goals and standards.

How can you emphasize at least one of the steps of the 5-step instructional model with your students in the next week?