Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Magnetic Magic

Lindsey Link | Published: December 20th, 2021 by K20 Center


What is in a phenomenon-driven three-dimensional (3D) instructional set? These science resources use phenomena to facilitate engaging and meaningful learning, instruction, and formative assessment. Each resource set contains a guiding document and three other types of documents: an Instructional Task (IT), a corresponding formative Assessment Task (AT), and a corresponding Pattern Analysis of Student Thinking (PAST). These resources are not intended to be a complete lesson plan. Three-dimensional learning is not limited to one specific type of lesson format and is compatible with most lesson plan models. The IT proposes two or more possible phenomena that could be used to drive an instructional sequence addressing a specific OAS-S standard. It also provides suggestions for engaging students with the phenomena through meaningful learning experiences in three dimensions. The AT focuses on a phenomenon-associated scenario. It contains one or more tasks designed to give students opportunities to show their thinking and provide evidence-based explanations about the disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) using crosscutting concepts and scientific practices for that standard. The PAST document is directly associated with the AT. It describes the intended purpose of each part of the AT and includes relevant student response themes to help teachers identify patterns of student thinking. It also provides guidance and insight into how to interpret student responses and possible instructional moves for facilitating student understanding of a specific DCI concept. Individual teachers can use the PAST as a tool to construct a rubric for the AT.

Performance Expectation (PE)

Ask questions to determine cause-and-effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI)

Electric and magnetic forces between a pair of objects do not require that the objects be in contact. The sizes of the forces in each situation depend on the properties of the objects and their distances apart and, for forces between two magnets, on their orientation relative to each other.