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Observing Patterns and Making Predictions

Observing Patterns and Making Predictions

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that information and critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions.

Science Background

The Science Process Skills: NARST (website) - Predicting outcomes based on patterns is a basic science skill. This article discusses the role of predicting within the context of all science process skills.

The Science Process Skills

Signature Lesson

Sink or Float? Science NetLinks (website) - Students make and test predications about whether certain objects will sink or float, observe patterns and properties associated with sinking and floating, and make predictions about new objects, based on their findings and observations.

Sink or Float?
Science NetLinks,

Supporting Lessons

A Matter of Pattern: Science NetLinks (website) - Not every snowflake is identical, but they share similar characteristics. Students create and predict patterns by making paper snowflakes. They learn that patterns may be predicted based on observation.

A Matter of Pattern
Science NetLinks,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

3…2…1…PUFF! NASA (PDF) - Students test several variables during this investigation, in which they construct small paper rockets, predict how far the rockets will travel, and “launch” the rockets by blowing air through a drinking straw.

3...2...1... Puff!

Assessment Ideas

Assess students’ abilities to predict which objects will float or sink by challenging them to construct boats from recycled materials. Before conducting this assessment, be sure that students have an opportunity to test, observe and make notes about the buoyancy of different materials. With this information, students should be able to select appropriate materials to build a boat that floats.

Literature Connections

Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather. Koscielniak, Bruce (ISBN-13: 978-0395883983)

Estimating with People Who Predict. Noonan, D. (ISBN-13: 978-1429652438)

Related Science TEKS

(2.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

(2.1B) Importance of Safe Practices
The student is expected to describe the importance of safe practices.

(2.1C) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate how to use, conserve, and dispose of natural resources and materials such as conserving water and reuse or recycling of paper, plastic, and metal.

(2.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events during observations and investigations.

(2.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and conduct descriptive investigations such as how organisms grow.

(2.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data from observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, thermometers, and non-standard measurement tools.

(2.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.

(2.2E) Communicate and Justify Explanations
The student is expected to communicate observations and justify explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations.

(2.2F) Comparing Results of Investigations
The student is expected to compare results of investigations with what students and scientists know about the world.

(2.3B) Make Predictions
The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns.

Related Math TEKS

2.12D    The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

2.13A    The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

Science Activities in Early Childhood Prepare for a Lifetime of Learning: National Science Teachers Association (website) - Children benefit from exposure to science situations in which they experience the world, describe what they see, collect and record data, ask questions, and make predictions based upon available information. Read more about how to help students become life long questioners.

Science Activities in Early Childhood Prepare for a Lifetime of Learning
National Science Teachers Association,

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