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Spring package of resources for Year 5 and Year 6 teachers
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Sc1 Scientific enquiry

Literacy resources

bulletSc1 Scientific enquiry
bulletSc2 Life processes and living things
bulletSc3 Materials and their properties
bulletSc4 Physical processes

Notebook iconCooling [zipped]

To be able to interpret data in the form of a line graph and make predictions accordingly.

Suggestions for use
Discuss the three ‘Set up’ pages and deduce what it is that is being investigated. Show the ‘Investigation plan’ page and identify the factor being investigated and those being kept the same.

Show the ‘Interpret’ page and discuss which line might relate to which mug of water. Reveal answers by moving grey rectangles.

Show the ‘Predict’ page and ask pupils to extrapolate lines.

Show ‘Reveal’ page to see what really happened. Discuss any discrepancies. There is a tendency for some pupils to predict that the temperatures will fall to zero rather than to the ambient room temperature. Use the ‘Conclusion’ page to summarise the findings in terms of the factor being investigated.

Consider further related questions, which might be investigated.

Point to note
Strictly speaking this investigation is flawed because there are two factors, type of fabric and shape of insulator, being investigated here. As an extension activity, ask pupils to consider how to investigate either one of these.

Notebook iconDissolving salt [zipped]

To be able to interpret data in tabular form. To be able to describe the effect that one factor has on another.

Suggestions for use
Show the ‘Investigation 1’ page and carefully interpret the title so that the factor being investigated, and hence those being kept the same, can be identified. Get pupils to interpret the table and identify the trend in the data.

Show the ‘Conclusion 1’ page. Using the word-bank, construct a sentence that clearly describes the trend identified above. Encourage pupils to construct ‘2 er sentences’, i.e. those with two comparative adjectives, such as

“The greater the quantity of salt, the longer it takes to dissolve.”

Also acceptable is the form
“As the quantity of salt increases, so does the time it takes to dissolve.”

Show the ‘Investigation 2’ page and repeat the above process.
Discuss how a third factor might fairly be investigated.

Point to note
The amount of salt which can be dissolved in a given volume of water at a particular temperature is finite. Beyond this amount, when more salt will dissolve, the solution is said to be saturated. This phenomenon provides scope for investigation.

Notebook iconFactors [zipped]

To understand what is meant by factors and that in order to investigate the effect of changing a factor we need to keep all other factors the same.

Suggestions for use
Show the ‘Question’ page and solicit suggestions for factors, which may affect how a plant grows.

Show the ‘Investigation plan’ page. Move factors from the bottom to either the top left or top right. Show that in order to investigate any one factor all others should be kept the same. Add other factors as suggested by pupils.

Taking factors to be investigated in turn, ask the pupils to describe an investigation in terms of how they would make it fair. For each factor considered, ask the pupils to phrase a question for investigation, e.g. “Which is the most effective plant food?”

Points to note
The terms factors and variables may be used interchangeably. It is suggested that pupils are familiar with both.
This ‘three box’ approach to isolating a factor for investigation is revisited in other resources in this package.

Notebook iconOutdoor data [zipped]

To be able to interpret data in the form of a line graph.

Suggestions for use
Show the ‘Title’ page and discuss the use of dataloggers to record data over time.

Show the ‘Set up’ page and discuss the nature of the data being collected. Are there any clues to the time of year?

The next slide shows a line graph with all three lines. For the sake of clarity, the next three slides show graphs with lines hidden. Moving between the graphs, ask pupils to ‘get the data to tell its story’.

Record observations and possible explanations, as suggested by the pupils, on the final page, e.g. Observation – “The ground temperature does not change as dramatically as the air temperature”. Explanation – “The ground takes time to heat up and tends to retain its heat because it is denser than the air”.

Possible questions

  • How long is the night?
  • What time of year is it?
  • Why might the light vary?
  • What is the relationship between light and air/ground temperature?
  • What is the relationship between air and ground temperature?
  • What are the implications for hibernating mammals?
  • Are there any observed phenomena which warrant further investigation and, if so, how?

Point to note
The original data file, which may be opened in Log IT Lab, is attached.

blue line