Teacher Preparation > Workshops and Activities > Workshop 2007 > Workshop Program > Earth Science for Elementary Teachers - Including Lesson Design

Lesson Plan Experiences in Science Content Courses

Earth Science for Elementary Teachers - Including Lesson Design

Group Members

Heather Petcovic, Earth Science for Elementary Educators II
Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, Concepts in Earth and Space Sciences
Elizabeth Nagy-Shadman, Liberal Studies Science Experience Capstone Course
Barry Bickmore, Earth Science for Elementary Education Majors
Jennifer Anderson, Earth - The Water Planet

What does this mean?

Content courses for pre-service teachers do not just have to cover content. They can also incorporate opportunities for the students to create their own science lessons, and implement them.

Why should I do this?

One of the outcomes of a science course specifically for pre-service teachers should be that they are able to design and implement science lessons that incorporate inquiry-based pedagogy. If that is what we want for our students, we cannot simply model effective teaching practices or just talk about them. We have to give the students practice using them.

But wait! Don't they usually take a "Science Teaching Methods" course that covers all that stuff? Yes, but there are a number of reasons to incorporate lesson design experiences into science content courses, as well. Here is a partial list.

When and Where might this be useful?

This kind of learning experience can be incorporated in a variety of settings. The courses highlighted here include large lecture/lab classes, as well as small inquiry-based lab classes. The experiences can be implemented in labs or as out-of-class assignments. The lessons designed can be full-scale, or small 5-minute mini-lessons.

Structuring the Experience

Presentation Options

Pre-Service Teachers in K-12 Classrooms

Pre-service teachers can perform their lessons in front of elementary school students.

K-12 Students on Campus

Elementary school students can be brought to the campus where the pre-service teachers can perform their lessons.

Peer Teaching by Pre-Service Teachers

Lessons can be presented by pre-service teachers to their classmates instead of to K-12 school children.

Informal Teaching Experiences

Most pre-service teachers have some interaction with elementary children, either as part of their early teacher preparation or in their personal lives (own children or extended family, community volunteering, neighbors). These children can serve as informal resources for finding out prior knowledge and testing lesson ideas.

Challenges and Suggestions

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