The introductory activities provide an opportunity to engage students with evidence, models, and arguments in a context that does not require science content knowledge. These activities are used to introduce students to critical scaffolds (in the case of the MEL matrix) or to enable them to help develop the scaffolds themselves (as in the case of public epistemic criteria). We have chosen tasks that don’t require students to master new content at the same time as learning the scaffolds so that they can focus on mastering the scaffolds themselves.
Introduction to Models
This activity has two goals: (1) to introduce the idea of a scientific model and develop a working definition of models and (2) to develop a set of criteria for what makes a good model.
This activity introduces students to the Model-Evidence Link Matrices.
Introduction to Argumentation Structure
In this activity, students develop with their teachers a rubric to use to evaluate their argumentative essays.