I've been working all week on scientific argumentation...trying to distill the parts of what makes a scientific argument and then how to teach those parts to my 6th graders. It is a daunting task.
One thing I know for sure is that I need constructs or models for how they should think when approaching a task. I know that it will mean that they must also know when to apply the strategy, but I think it won't leave them so flat footed if they have a bag 'o tricks from which to pull.
My Google Reader brought me a very interesting post by Dave Gray on something he called Q-Tools. Dave Gray » Q-tools: An approach for discovery and knowledge work. He has a set of very insightful pictures that capture the thinking strategy that will be applied to a particular setting.
THIS is what I am hoping to create for scientific arugmentation. I wonder if it's better to first think up the final product (something like making a claim) or if it's better to think up pictures to define the filters that you must apply to your thinking (evaluating the claim for evidence--stuff like data, facts, opinions or theories). Probably doesn't matter.
I'm going to hang out a bit more with Mr Gray's piece and see what I can come up with about my own thinking structures/filters. But thank you for the great seed of an idea!!!!