ERIC Number: EJ1145406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
If the Shoe Fits, Sort It!
Bergman, Daniel J.
Science and Children, v54 n8 p45-51 Apr 2017
Classroom implementation of the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013) does not necessarily require complete curricular overhaul. In many cases, teachers can review previously used lessons with respect to the "NGSS," evaluate alignment, and make subsequent modifications. One science activity the author has used in numerous settings is the familiar "shoe sorting" challenge. An early example of this lesson appears in the "Treasure Boxes" GEMS teacher's guide (Activity 3, Session 1), published by the Lawrence Hall of Science (Kopp and Hosoume 1997). A common "big idea" of this experience is classification, whether the content focus is living things, rocks and minerals, or something else. This lesson often takes place at the start of a unit to introduce students to the idea of classification, including the degree of complexity and specificity needed for accurate and clear categorization. When considering the "NGSS," however, teachers can expand this initial experience into a more robust exploration and examination of concepts, practices, and core ideas. The author recently revamped this activity to fit an upper level elementary unit about matter. This article provides specific components added to the standard sorting lesson, along with general strategies and resources the author used to increase "NGSS" alignment and elevate content for older elementary students (i.e., grades 3-5), including extensions. Although this article describes this introductory lesson in context of an upper level physical science unit, teachers are encouraged to apply these strategies where and when they best fit in their own classrooms.
Descriptors: Science Activities, Science Education, Classification, Accuracy, Scientific Concepts, Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Physical Sciences, Alignment (Education)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A