For the last three weeks, learners have been engaged in the practices of science by reading, writing, speaking, and working like scientists in collaborative teams. The young scientists have become experts in the specific topics they researched and they have designed and completed science investigations of their own. Now, as scientists, they will share the results of their work with the other science teams and the public via a live presentation at a science conference.
The teacher may decide what time of the day the science conference will take place. If teams are not ready to present, some time may be allowed for completion at the teacher’s discretion.
If the pill bug mini-habitats are being used for a presentation, caution children to carefully move the habitats into the designated place and let them know that they will not be opening the habitats—they are simply there for show.
Each team needs:
- all materials related to their presentation (poster, journal, charts, images, etc.)
- pill bug mini-habitats (optional)
Before the class:
- Ideally, the tables or desks should be set up in a semicircle so that all teams can see each other. This configuration will help engage all children in the discussion.
- The presenting team will stand in front of the class and be prepared to answer any questions.
- The teacher should sit within the semicircle as well.
- Decide on the order in which the teams will present and write this on the whiteboard for reference.
- Welcome learners and visitors to the science conference. Remind them that scientists often share their work across the scientific community through posters or through oral presentations before a live audience.
- Announce that today is the day to share their projects with each other! Point to the whiteboard and read the order of the presentations.
- Ask the Equipment Directors to collect all of the materials that will be presented.
- Ask, Does everyone understand their part in the presentation? Remind learners that they will have only 5 minutes to present!
- Add that, as an audience, all learners must practice good manners and respect. It is important that everyone has a chance to be heard, so members of the audience will need to sit quietly, with their eyes on those presenting (This includes staying quiet and looking at their teammates as they present during their own team presentation).
- Allow the class 5–10 minutes to prepare as you check in with each team to make sure that they have what they need.
- When all of the teams are ready, ask everyone to have a seat, with teams sitting together.
- Here is suggested wording the teacher can begin with: Welcome to (teacher’s name) Science Conference. Today, science teams that have been researching and investigating pill bugs and other outdoor decomposers will share what they have learned with their fellow scientists. I’d like to welcome the first team that will be presenting.
- At the end of each presentation, allow 1–2 short questions from the class, any observers, or you, the teacher, about the team’s investigation. For example, you may ask, What did you see that made you think ___? What was it like working as a scientist? Allow the team members time to answer.
- When all investigations have been presented, congratulate the science teams for the work they have done. Remind them that as they worked on their research and science investigations, they were doing the work of scientists! Add how they have shown that they can work together as a team, with team members helping each other to get things done.
- Allow time for learners to share or reflect on their investigative experience and on their presentations.
Note: At the end of the unit, plan a safe manner and place in which to release the pill bugs (e.g., a garden or yard). Remind the class that the pill bugs have an important job to do as decomposers and that it is necessary to return the pill bugs to their natural habitat.
ELA.1.13E: use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.
ESS3-3: communicate solutions with others in oral and/or written forms using models and/or drawings that provide detail about scientific ideas.
1-LS2-2: Science: uses drawings, sketches, and models as a way to communicate ideas.
SL.1.4: describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly. SL.1.5: add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings. SL.1.6: produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
2018–19: 1.2E: communicate observations and provide reasons for explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations.
2024–25: 1.3B: communicate explanations and solutions individually and collaboratively in a variety of settings and formats. 1.3C: listen actively to others’ explanations to identify important evidence and engage respectfully in scientific discussion.