Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Question, Claim, Evidence, and Explanation (QC2E)

Lindsay Hawkins, Lindsay Williams | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center

Essential Question

How does QC2E support higher-order thinking?

Learning Goals

  • Participants will connect authentic teaching and learning principles with the QC2E instructional strategy.

  • Participants will identify how the QC2E strategy can be a useful tool to support argumentation and the use of text-based evidence.

Snapshot

Engage

Explore

Explain

Extend

Evaluate

Materials List

  • QC2E Presentation Slides (attached)

  • Chain Notes handout (attached)

  • Instructional Strategy Note Sheet (attached)

  • QC2E Template (attached)

  • QC2E Science Strategy (attached)

  • QC2E ELA Strategy (attached)

  • QC2E Math Strategy (attached)

  • QC2E Social Studies Strategy (attached)

  • QC2E Verbal Prompts (attached)

  • Authentic Learning and Teaching handout (attached)

  • Pens or pencils

  • Highlighters

  • Sticky notes

  • Plastic spoons

  • Scratch paper

Engage

Introduce yourself and welcome participants to the session using the attached Presentation Slides.

Display slides 1–4, briefly discussing the essential question. Inform participants that the Chain Notes strategy can be a form of engagement, formative assessment, or an exit ticket. Ask participants to get in groups of four to begin. Make sure each participant has a copy of the attached Chain Notes handout and ask: Why is argumentation important to college and career readiness?

Give participants a few minutes to write their answers to that question individually on the handout.

After participants have completed their responses, ask them to pass their papers to the right. Participants will read the statement on the paper, and then they must write an additional statement.

The new statement cannot be a repeat of what was previously written. The new statement should build on or extend the previous thoughts or ideas; participants can agree or disagree with one another's comments, but only after reading the statement(s) already on the paper.

Participants will continue to rotate the papers around the table until everyone receives their original paper.

Once the activity is finished, go to slide 5. Allow participants a brief moment to share out any comments or statements they agreed or disagreed with from their groups.

Inform participants that several new instructional strategies will be introduced to them throughout the session. These strategies are tools used to support and guide higher-order thinking in an authentic way. Make sure each participant has a copy of the attached Instructional Strategy Note Sheet, and encourage participants to use it to jot down their ideas for personalizing a strategy they plan to use as an instructional tool in their classrooms. Once all the new strategies are modeled, the session will allow time for participants to reflect on how to use the strategies.

Go to slide 6 to briefly highlight the session objectives. This will provide a roadmap of where you will go together during the session and will let participants know what to expect.

Explore

Display slide 7 and divide your participants into small groups. In the interest of time, you may have each group represent one content area for the following activity.

Introduce the chart on the slide and inform participants they will be adapting it for each content area. Make sure they understand that, no matter the content area, each group will make a claim about the question or problem, provide evidence for the claim, and provide reasoning (explanation) that links the evidence to the claim.

Briefly walk through the four provided activities from which participants must choose.

Social Studies: Participants will read FDR's "Four Freedoms" speech using Why-Lighting as a reading strategy to identify key parts of the speech. They will use the question, "Which of the four freedoms are most important to support in other countries?" to make a claim. They will use evidence from the text and prior knowledge to support their claim. Lastly, they will write an explanation linking the claim and evidence together.

ELA: Participants will read an excerpt from "Four Skinny Trees" by Sandra Cisneros using Why-Lighting as a reading strategy to identify key components of the excerpt. They will use the question, "What do the trees represent?" to make a claim. They will use evidence from the text and prior knowledge to support their claim. Lastly, they will write an explanation linking the claim and evidence together.

Science: Participants will analyze the chart displaying four liquids. They will use the question, "Are any of the liquids in the data set the same substance?" to make a claim. They will use evidence from the data set and knowledge about mass, density, melting point, and color to support their claim. Lastly, they will write a scientific explanation linking the claim and evidence together.

Mathematics: Participants will analyze the chart and graph provided to make a claim for the question, "Can you model the height of a projectile flung from a catapult over time with a function in the form y = mx + b?" They will use evidence from the chart, graph, and activity to support their claim. Lastly, they will write an explanation linking the claim and evidence together.

Explain

Once groups have had time to write their claims, find supporting evidence, and write an explanation linking the claim and evidence, provide a few minutes for a group representative to share out explanations.

Extend

After the group has shared a few of their explanations, display slide 15. Make sure each participant has a copy of the attached Authentic Learning and Teaching rubric.

As a group, examine the QC2E strategy using the rubric. Questions to stimulate conversation include the following:

  • How does QC2E support higher-order thinking?

  • How does this strategy connect to authenticity?

  • Did you notice any components of authenticity?

  • Where in the lesson did you see the connections?

  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of authenticity in this session?

Bring the discussion to a close after a few minutes.

Go to slide 16. Make sure each participant has a blank copy of the attached QC2E Template, and have them discuss how they would use QC2E in the classroom with other participants in their same content area.

Evaluate

Display slide 17. Have participants individually use the 3-2-1 strategy to wrap up the session. Participants will write three things they learned from this session, two questions they still have about the QC2E strategy, and one way they can use it in their classroom.

Remind participants to fill out the Instructional Strategies Note Sheet. This will be a great reference tool for planning lessons once they are back in the classroom.

At the end of the session (and if time allows), participants may share out one of their two questions. This provides an opportunity for you, as the presenter, to clear up any misunderstandings or misconceptions about QC2E. It also provides an opportunity for participants to reflect on their learning.

Research Rationale

The Question, Claim, Evidence, and Explanation strategy provides the support needed to reach the higher-order thinking processes that students often struggle with. Students are allowed to make their claim using new and prior knowledge. They then find actual text-based evidence that supports their claim and, therefore, creates a solid argument in the explanation and reasoning.

“In a study of scaffolding scientific explanations conducted by Katherine L. McNeill, David J. Lizotte, and Joseph Krajcik (University of Michigan) and Ronald W. Marx (University of Arizona), the following trends were synthesized: 1) Explanations are rarely a part of classroom practice (Kuhn, 1993; Newton, Driver & Osborne, 1999); 2) Students have difficulty using appropriate evidence (Sandoval & Reiser, 1997) and including the backing for why they chose the evidence (Bell, 2000; Linn, 2000) in their written explanations; 3) Students typically discount data if it contradicts their current theory (Chinn & Brewer, 2001); and 4) During classroom discourse, discussions tend to be dominated by claims with little backing to support their claims (Jimenez-Aleixandre, Rodriguez & Duschl, 2000, as cited in BSCS Center for Professional Development, 2008, p. 16).

Resources

  • Bell, P. (2000). Scientific arguments as learning artifacts: Designing for learning from the web with KIE. International Journal of Science Education, 22(8), 797–817.

  • BSCS Center for Professional Development. (2008). Developing scientific explanations. Urban Advantage Leadership Institute 2008 (p. 16). https://files.nwesd.org/depts/tnl/Science/2014-15/Arguing%20from%20Evidence%20Series/Session%202%20January%202015/Handouts%20and%20Resources/S12a%20Developing-Scientific-Explanations.pdf

  • Chinn, C. A., & Brewer, W. F. (2001). Models of data: A theory of how people evaluate data. Cognition and Instruction, 19(3), 323–393.

  • Cisneros, S. (1984). Four skinny trees. In The House on Mango Street (pp. 74-75). Vintage Books.

  • Jimenez-Aleixandre, M. P., Rodriguez, A. B., & Duschl, R. A. (2000). "Doing the lesson" or "doing science": Argument in high school genetics. Science Education, 84(6), 757–792.

  • K20 Center. (n.d.). 3-2-1. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/117

  • K20 Center. (n.d.). Chain notes. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/52

  • K20 Center. (n.d.). Why-lighting. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/128

  • Kuhn, D. (1993). Science as argument: Implications for teaching and learning scientific thinking. Science Education, 77(3), 319–337.

  • Linn, M. C. (2000). Designing the knowledge integration environment. International Journal of Science Education, 22(8), 781–796.

  • Llewellyn, D., & Rajesh, H. (2011). Fostering argumentation skills: Doing what real scientists really do. Science Scope, 35(1), 22–28. https://my.nsta.org/resource/5138/fostering-argumentation-skills-doing-what-real-scientists-really-do

  • McNeill, K. L., Lizotte, D. J., Krajcik, J., & Marx, R. W. (2006). Supporting students' construction of scientific explanations by fading scaffolds in instructional materials. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(2), 153–191. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327809jls1502_1

  • Newton, P., Driver, R., & Osborne, J. (1999). The place of argumentation in the pedagogy of school science. International Journal of Science Education, 21(5), 553–576.

  • Roosevelt, F. D. (1941, January 6). Annual message to Congress. Records of the United States Senate, SEN 77A-H1, Record Group 46, National Archives.

  • Sandoval, W. A., & Reiser, B. J. (1997). Evolving explanations in high school biology.