UNIT TEMPLATE: Text-Based STEM Inquiry
This template provides an approach for creating a science investigation that includes reading-focused inquiry to build student science literacy skills. The template was created to support library media specialists and STEM teacher cohorts in year two of the School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning project, led by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in partnership with Granite State University, New Hampshire, and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Part I: Unit Title:
Kinder Morgan Energy Project
Part II: Background on LMS and Science Teacher relationship:
This lesson was created by Library Media Specialist (Marlene Damery) and Science teacher (Robin Maloney). Dawn Elliott, 8th grade Science teacher also made contributions to this lesson. Robin’s strengths are research and science content knowledge. Robin’s understanding of her student’s levels of need has been a strength as well. Marlene’s strengths are providing literacy resources from databases, online sources as well as physical sources. Marlene also is able to provide technology support and tools for integrating technology into the lesson.
Part III: Unit Description:
This unit includes four lessons that culminate in students crafting a letter, video or article expressing their viewpoint on a business’s responsibilities towards the citizens and the environment.
Using inquiry-focused reading, students will explore an anchor text, additional resources, then develop their own essential and supporting questions to guide their research.
Over the course of the unit, students will explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of governmental and small business economic practices, the legal rights of citizens, the inter-dependencies within an ecosystem and the uses of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
Part IV: Standards Addressed
- NGSS/State STEM Standards:
ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human
impact on the environment.
ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using systematic process to determine how well they
meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
- CCSS Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.8: Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9: Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Part V: Unit Essential Question
What are the environmental responsibilities of a company proposing a regional energy project?
Part VI: Goals for Using Inquiry:
The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students develop their own supporting research questions around the environmental impacts of an energy project. They will examine provided text, select their own additional resources to use, and justify their stance on a business’s responsibility toward the citizens and the environment.The science teacher and the library media specialist have selected an anchor text about a proposed natural gas pipeline and provided support for students as they select additional texts that guide their research around the environmental impacts of an energy project.
Part VII: Summative Assessment Description and Rubric:
Produce a video on the subject, a presentation to be presented before a town or state-level committee or write a Letter to the Editor to be sent to local newspapers.
Apply scientific principles to analyze humans’ impact on environment.
Student applies scientific principles in their analysis of humans’ impact on the environment in a clear and appropriate manner
Student applies scientific principles in their analysis of humans’ impact on the environment with a few mistakes.
Student applies scientific principles in their analysis of humans’ impact on the environment with numerous mistakes.
Student does not apply scientific principles in their analysis of humans’ impact on the environment.
Evaluate competing solutions to environmental issues.
Student evaluates competing solutions to environmental issues with clear and appropriate supporting documentation.
Student evaluates competing solutions to environmental issues with a few mistakes, and /or unclear reasoning.
Student evaluates competing solutions to environmental issues with numerous mistakes and unclear/inappropriate reasoning.
Student does not evaluate competing solutions to environmental issues.
Properly cites appropriate scientific information to support analysis.
Student properly cites scientific information in the APA writing style that supports their analysis with no mistakes.
Student cites scientific information in the APA writing style that supports their analysis with few mistakes.
Student cites scientific information in the APA writing style that supports their analysis with numerous mistakes.
Student does not properly cite scientific information in the APA writing style that supports their analysis.
Distinguish among researched facts and other information
Student uses five (5) or more credible references, sources and information in their analysis of an environmental issue and/or support of a solution.
Student uses three to four (3-4) credible references, sources and information in their analysis of an environmental issue and/or support of a solution.
Student uses one to two (1-2) credible references, sources and information in their analysis of an environmental issue and/or support of a solution.
Student does not use credible references, sources and information in their analysis of an environmental issue and/or support of a solution.
utilize information gained from various and different sources.
Student uses more than 3 different media types (photos, video, articles, interviews…) in their analysis of an environmental issues and/or various researched solutions.
Student uses two to three (2-3) different media types (photos, video, articles, interviews…) in their analysis of an environmental issues and/or various researched solutions.
Student used only one (1) type of resources in their analysis of an environmental issues and/or various researched solutions.
Student does not use a variety of resources (video, photos, interviews…) in their analysis of an environmental issues and/or various researched solutions.
Uses grammatical practices and spelling appropriately.
Student uses proper grammatical practices (capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure…) and spelling with no mistakes.
Student uses proper grammatical practices (capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure…) and spelling with few (<6) mistakes.
Student uses proper grammatical practices (capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure…) and spelling with numerous (6-10) mistakes.
Student fails to use proper grammatical practices (capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure…) and has numerous (>10) spelling mistakes which render the document unreadable.
Part VIII: Prior Knowledge Needed:
- The student should have a background understanding of the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project.
- The student will need to be able to accurately cite sources.
- The student will need to understand the difference between non-renewable and renewable resources.
- The student will need to recognize the inter-dependencies within an ecosystem.
Part IX: Student Learning Objectives :
- The student will be able to distinguish among facts, reasoned judgement based on research findings, and biases of an article or other resource.
- The student will be able to compare and contrast the information gained from videos, multimedia sources and text.
- The student will be able to create a presentation, video, or letter to the editor or company by using textual evidence, data and precise details from the anchor text and other resources.
- The student will analyze human impact on the environment and be able suggest ways to successfully minimize or eliminate negative impact.
Part X: Text Set Description:
Text Title & Hyperlink
Text-Dependent Questions (created by the teacher/librarian to help students analyze the text in a specific sequence)
Accommodations for Diverse Learners
ABC Anchor Text
This Anchor Text is designed to provide information about the seasonal energy demands in New England and different possible solutions thereby provoking student engagement around the essential question.
This ATOS level of the text is an 11.1, which is appropriate for the middle of a 10th grade year. Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of the Complexity.
1. What questions and issue did the author seek to answer or address?
2. How did he go about his investigation/inquiry?
3. Was this an informational text or did it favor one side versus another? How did you decide?
4. What evidence was presented to support or refute the primary question/issue?
5. In your opinion, what is the strongest evidence for or against the primary question/issue?
1. Tier Two words will be chosen ahead of time and a definition will be added to a document to support the online article.
2. Read anchor text in sections as a class and discuss sections to support and clarify students understanding of the text.
Supporting Text #1
|Qualitative Text Analysis of the Complexity|
1. Does this reading provide evidence that supports or contradicts information in the anchor text? How?
2. How can the information presented in this supporting text be used to better understand our local issue?
1. Offer text to speech option for any students with reading comprehension issues using Read and Write Gold chrome addon.
Part XI: Suggested Lesson Breakdown/Pacing:
Student Learning Objectives
Aligned Student Learning Task and Suggested Timing
SWBAT distinguish among facts, reasoned judgement based on research findings, and biases of an article or other resource.
Teacher will introduce the project explaining that the basics. Students will have access to all important information in the Google Classroom created for this project.
Librarian will lead a lesson on understanding bias.
Students will be given character cards, a factual statement will be displayed on the board. Students will write a first p.o.v. paragraph based on the character.
Compare character responses in groups by reading aloud each Paragraph. Discuss why the person may have responded in that way.
Written paragraphs and group discussions.
SWBAT recognize the wide reaching impact of an energy pipeline.
The teacher will lead a discussion about the Kinder Morgan project, other areas of the country which are facing a pipeline or disaster from such pipeline.
The class will complete a handout on “Developing a Good Hypothesis” and investigate the case of a polluted stream using the scientific method.
Students will complete the handouts.
1. Students will watch and take notes on Profit Pollution and Deception a BBC documentary. Teacher will show students how to use the Cornell method of taking notes.
Students will take notes as they watch the video.
Provide closed captions as needed.
TSWBAT compare and contrast the information gained from videos, multimedia sources and text.
1. Students read the anchor text article on their own using annotation strategies given by the (teacher/LMS).
Provide overview of strategies such as markup of text, highlight, noting vocabulary, etc.
2. The teacher will provide a handout with the guided text-based questions. Have students work with a partner on the handout to answer the questions.
1. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.
As a class go over the article and ask for annotations that students made. Maybe markup the article displayed on the whiteboard as examples are given by students.
2. As a whole class, the teacher will lead a discussion about the students’ findings on the handout questions. Teacher will ask groups to show in the text where they found supporting evidence. Again, this can be highlighted or marked up on the whiteboard.
1. The (teacher/LMS) will provide the article ahead of time to Special Ed Teacher of students with high needs.
2. The teacher will provide Sped Teacher with notes on the the information we are looking for. Break up the text for these students by question to help them identify where they will find evidence in the text.
1. Outline project requirements: creation of a video, commercial of impacts, write letter to the editor or presentation to a governing board such as Selectmen.
2. Look at map of pipeline
State websites, Fish and game websites and letters to the editor.
3. Librarian will provide a suggested
list of resources and discuss briefly valid resources, reliable websites and remind about bias. Share citation doc with students.
Several blocks or two weeks
TSWBAT analyze human impact on the environment and be able suggest ways to successfully minimize or eliminate negative impact.
Research the environmental impacts in the library as a class on days the library is not open and in split groups when the library is open. Form own opinion on the Kinder Morgan project based on their research. Students will keep a citation document and notes from their research.
Monitor online via Google docs and Classroom
Written letter to the editor looking for respectful language, persuasive backing up with facts.
Part XII: Attachment of Student Work Examples:
Part XIII: Teacher and Librarian Reflection on the Implementation of the Lesson:
Marlene Damery, Library Media Specialist:
I loved this project! I loved it because it allowed me to learn how to use a template to develop a lesson or unit of study with another teacher. It was great to work with Robin because she had a vision for the project and what she wanted students to learn and brought a lot of science and teaching experience to the project. Where I felt I lacked skills or experience, she was able to help provide. I feel a greater connection to what the teachers are doing in the classroom after going through this process.
I also learned more about authoring a lesson through the OER Commons platform. It is truly an easy process to upload! I can envision a group from our school also creating lessons to share.
The timeline of the project worked well in terms of learning how to use the ISKME resources and attending webinars. I liked having deadlines spread out. Even with the due dates I found myself falling behind because of other work. However, this wouldn’t affect another project now that I know how to implement this.
Going back, in this particular assignment, I would create a Google classroom for all the 7th grade science classes. Initially, I created a citation document and gave a copy to each student. The problem I had with this is that many students didn’t know where to look for the document even after I explained it was in their Google Drive. A Google Classroom would eliminate all of those problems. The teacher and co-teacher would also be able to monitor more closely student work as they are working on it. Outside of the Google Classroom, I would have to rely on walking around to each student and checking their work and possibly not seeing any final projects until the day they present.
Student feedback revealed that the beginning of the project was more confusing. I think this is because I started the project with a lesson on bias. The next day Robin began working on introducing the topic by showing a video of a man made disaster. The bias lesson probably should come after the “hook” or the video and an introduction to what they will be working on. I work in two buildings and that was the reason for doing the bias lesson first.
Robin and I presented our project and the student samples to our building administrator. The response was highly positive and we may soon be invited to present to the school board. I will take all I have learned and move forward with outreach in the building. Hopefully, another project will happen soon!
School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning, Granite State University, Concord, NH, February 2016. Funding provided by IMLS.