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January 22, 2014

Research methods and statistics through kickball – Lesson Plan

By Katie Gould, PBS NewsHour Extra Teacher Resource Producer

Introduction

In this active learning lesson plan students will learn basic statistics and research methods by playing kickball.

Subjects

Science, Mathematics, Statistics

Estimated Time

One 90 minute class period

Grade Level

Middle School and High School

Materials

Warm Up Activity

Exercise and Learning

Ask students “do you think you would learn better or worse if you were being active during or before you were being taught?” and record their answers (better or worse).

Play the video “Exercise” from the Brain Rules, a book and media resource from John Medina.

brainstuff

 

After the video, first pass out the “Vocabulary for statistics and research methods” to help students with the vocabulary in the articles and then hand out either the “ADDitude Magazine” informational text (for middle school) or “Trends in Neuroscience and Education” informational text (for high school.) Explain to students that the video was one way to learn about exercise and attention, but there are other articles from academic journals that we can use to verify the claims from the video.

Give middle school students time to read their informational text.

For high school students pass out “How to read a scientific journal article” informational text and go over the different parts of a journal article with students.  Then give students time to read the abstract and the first sentence from each section in the journal article.

In pairs ask students to summarize the article and then have them share out answers to the class.  On the board, try to come up with a summary from the students’ answers.

Explain to students that they are going to run their own research experiment and try to replicate the results of the studies by proving that exercise helps increase attention and focus.

Main Activity

The Experiment

*Throughout the process you should use the “How to read a scientific journal article” informational text as a guide of what to write for your journal article.

Hand out “Journal article” template and as a class create answers for the following:

  • Title – You can start it, but won’t be able to complete it until after the experiment
  • Abstract – You can start the abstract and write the introduction and methods, but not the results or discussion
  • Introduction – Use the information you learned from the articles and the video to explain your hypothesis and the reason why the research is important.
  • Methods – As a class decide how you are going to measure whether exercise helps to increase attention and focus.  Suggestions- take a short math test or reading passage before and after Kickball and measure how successful students were.  If you don’t have time for kickball you can also use dance or other activities from the Ever Active Schools’ teacher resources.

You’ll have to wait to do the results and the discussion (and complete the title and abstract until after you have conducted the experiment.)

After you have filled in the template and decided on your methodology conduct your experiment. You’ll want to set it up so the progress between before and after scores can be recorded.  For example, have students write their first score down on a sheet of paper, turn it over, do the experiment, have them write down their new score and calculate the difference.  The difference (positive or negative) will be the number you are looking for. Use the “Student scores” page to help you record your scores.

When you have completed the experiment have the class read out the difference between their two scores and record the information on their “Student scores” page. Look at the results and then as a class figure out how to explain the math scores in words- this is what you need to do for the results section.

*If you have time you can draw a graph on the board and put students’ difference scores up so they can visually see the scores.  If you choose to do this, use the “Normal distribution” informational text and diagram to help them understand what they are looking for.

Finally, as a class complete the discussion section and go back to the title and abstract to fill in the gaps from before you ran the experiment.

Differentiation

If you choose, you can use the middle school article for the high school students if they have difficulty reading the college level text.

For students that are more visual learners and into technology have them create a Meograph for their journal article

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  • Common Core Standards

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    Relevant National Standards:
      Argument
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • Informative
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • Narrative
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Speaking and Listening
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

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