Getting children to design experiments through concept cartoons

Patricia Kruit, Ed van den Berg, Fanny Wu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperProfessional

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Concept cartoons (Naylor & Keogh, 1999; Naylor et al, 2007) are a popular means to stimulate reasoning with science concepts among children from the age of 8 – 18. The concept cartoons also provide a natural context for children to design their own experiments. Show children a concept cartoon, have some discussion, and then ask them to design an experiment to provide evidence for or against one of the statements in the cartoon, and the children rush off to set up an experiment. They get into the activity so quickly that the teacher even has to slow them down and force them to think through their ideas more carefully and that is where the challenge is, to get them to think and to reason and yet maintain the enthusiasm. In our research we tried out concept cartoons experiments in grade 5 (age 11) and we describe some of the typical difficulties children have in making a claim, designing an experiment, and using the results to reconsider their claim. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2012
EventThe Fibonacci Project European Conference: "Inquiry Based Science & Mathematics Education: Bridging the gap between education research and practice" - Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Apr 201227 Apr 2012


ConferenceThe Fibonacci Project European Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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