Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Language of scientific arguing....

Do you let your students "argue"????  Real scientists argue quite often...but not a drop down fight, more like a sharing of ideas.

One of my favorite books for introducing this concept is Why do Scientist Disagree? This book ties in nicely to my space unit because it is a tale of two stories.  On the left side is a story about Galileo and his argumentation with scientists about light from the moon and the other side is a modern story of scientists diagreeing.   

I try to set up these discussions based on misconceptions I hear in the classroom.  For example, I have heard "the moon causes day and night" quite often in my fourth grade class.  Rather than saying, no - that is not correct, I set up the situation with the kids and say...."What do you think? and Why do you think that?"

I set it up by introducing these question frames to guide the discussions:

  • What do you think?
  • What is your claim?
  • Why do you think that?
  • What is your evidence?
  • Do you agree? Why?
  • Do you disagree? Why?
  • How sure are we?
  • How could we be more sure?
Then it is important to also provide the sentence starter frames.

I think....
I claim....
My evidence is....
I agree with ....because
I disagree with ....because
I am sure....because
I think we could be more sure if we....

Of course, I needed to make them a little cuter too! 

To get your copy of these sentence frames on a sheet, click here.



  1. This is great! Where can I get a copy of the book? I can't find it on Amazon.

  2. Good simple post demonstrating the use of language of disagreement in a classroom.