Below are links to some science skills teaching resources that I have written. They are all free to download and share.
Hypothesis, scientific method, theories, KS2,KS3
This resource introduces the mystery (see the post for the story) and asks students to work in pairs to come up with as many hypotheses as they can as to what might have been the cause of the birds’ demise. They should also come up with a way of testing each one they think up. For example, one hypothesis is that the birds all ate a poisonous substance. A way of testing this is to run tests on the dead birds and see of any toxic substances are detected in their body tissues. You could then ask the pairs to share with the rest of the class their top 2 most likely hypotheses and see if the class can agree on the most likely cause.
This Powerpoint starter activity uses the mystery over the authenticity of the Turin shroud to look at reliability of evidence.
Analysing data, validity, bias, KS4
The first slide shows some examples of the headlines that were reported on a study that looked at the link between mobile phones and cancer. The headlines all give different outcomes and the students are asked to think about how this could have come about. The second slide is a student worksheet, which contains some made-up results, notes on the study and some questions. Students analyse the data to see how it could have been interpreted in so many ways. They are then asked to design their own study which would yield more valid results.
Hypothesising, KS3, KS4
A starter activity that asks students to hypothesise about why big birds have larger beaks and then to design an experiment that could be used to prove it.
Hypothesising, analysing, evaluating, KS2, KS3
This resource is based on a news story about an investigation that showed that birds and bats may be killed by wind turbines because their prey, insects, are attracted to the white colour of the turbines. Students plan and carry out an experiment to find out if a hypothesis is correct – do white turbines attract more insects? The last slide contains some questions for them to analysis and evaluate their results and asks: because the study showed that purple wind turbines attract fewer insects, does this mean that fewer birds and bats would be killed by them if they were painted this colour, or could there be other reasons?
If you use a resource, please leave a comment to let me know how it went