This lesson is designed so students can make observations of their natural environment;
and then, ask questions that are testable or can lead to a the concept of hypothesis development.
Grade Level: 7-10
Any NRS Reserve with Classroom Follow-up
TIME REQUIRED: 2 Hours
Before the trip, spend some class time talking about
observing natural areas. Students may not be accustomed to
recording such details as "the tips of the leaves were rimmed in
red." Practice observing classroom materials to learn to
record details. Make a game out of who can find the most details
in any given object. Good questions are often found in the
- At the Reserve, each student will go outdoors and find a space
that he or she can make individual observations for 20 minutes.
- Explain to the students that they should write down everything
they see: colors of plants, smells, movement of animals.
If they see it, they should write it down.
- After twenty minutes are up, students return to a specified area
and write twenty questions about his/her observations that were of
- Back in the Classroom, students reassemble in assigned
- Have each group choose the best two questions that can be tested.
- All groups then list their best testable questions on the board.
- Students will then select three questions that interest
them. Then all students select a topic that they would like to
- Students will present their observations.
- Students will present their questions about their
- Students will write hypothesis statements about
their chosen topic.