Ambitious Instruction

As science teachers, when designing your lessons, you are being asked to engage your students in the thinking and practices of science as a way to learn science. One way many people describe this kind of teaching is “AMBITIOUS” and it is! Ambitious science teaching requires teachers to question “What kinds of talk, tasks, and tools do students need in order to fully engage in meaningful forms of science learning?” (Ambitious Science Teaching). Talk, tasks, AND tools! That’s a lot to consider, but you already manage more than that on any typical  day in your classroom, so you have what it takes to consider these elements even further. These ambitious teaching practices can seem foreign and challenging to implement, but these practices can be learned and refined. Or you may already feel comfortable with some aspects of supporting talk, developing tasks, or adapting tools, but maybe you would like to learn more and grow in your skills with any or all of them. No matter what your comfort level with these ambitious elements of science teaching is, the LCD-PD team would like to help you hone your teaching practices!

Lesson Plans

Below are example lesson plans that were planned and enacted by teachers who participated in our PD! Upon joining our PD you will have access to all of the following materials. 

Fruit Fly Genetics

Lesson Focus: Students will examine data on fruit flies in order to make sense of Mendelian genetics and patterns of inheritance. 

Guiding Question: Which modes of inheritance, if any, do the yellow body trait and curly wing trait follow?

Decline in Saltwater Fish Populations

Lesson Focus: Help students understand the factors influencing the survival of organisms in an environment. 

Guiding Question: Is our saltwater fish population declining? If so, what policies would be the most effective slowing decline.

Characteristics of Life

Lesson Focus: Students will learn how biologists distinguish between living and nonliving objects.

Guiding Question: Should viruses be classified as a living things.

Guppy Coloration

Lesson Focus: Students will examine data on water quality, predation and guppy coloration. 

Guiding Question: What causes the trends in guppy coloration?