The Final Project is an instructional sequence consisting of a minimum of three lessons that requires students to analyze and interpret data.

Final Project Guidelines and Resources
The Final Project is an instructional sequence consisting of a minimum of three lessons that requires students to analyze and interpret data. The activity must be related to this Seminars on Science course and approved by your instructor. We encourage you to plan lessons that are appropriate for your current or anticipated educational setting. In addition to these guidelines, please refer to the Final Project rubric to inform the development of your lessons. For your convenience, you can download these guidelines as a Word document by clicking here.
Choose one data-driven activity from the course (or get instructor approval for an activity that you have found or developed). Provide a detailed sequence of lessons that you would use to teach this activity. There must be three stages to the instructional sequence: 1) preparation and engagement; 2) student data analysis (possibly collection of data as well, but sets of data available from scientists may be used); and 3) meaning making. At least one lesson must be devoted to each stage. Some stages may take more than one class period.
There are three milestones for this assignment.
Milestone One: In the third week of the course you will present your initial ideas and get approval of your topic through the Final Project Discussion. Your instructor will give you feedback through this forum, and we encourage you to discuss project ideas with other members of the class.
Milestone Two: By the end of the fifth week you will submit a draft of your project.
Milestone Three: Your instructor will provide feedback on your project draft. Complete your project using this feedback. Final projects must be submitted by the end of the seventh week of the course.
Only work submitted through the course assignment interface will be graded. Links to other sites (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) will not be graded. A maximum of four files (10 MB total) can be uploaded. Only .doc, .docx, .pdf, .ppt, or .pptx files are accepted.
The following components are required and correspond to items in the Final Project rubric. A list of selected resources is available at the bottom of this document to provide background on pedagogical principles and lesson planning logistics. An example project is also available as a reference.
Introduction and Central Focus
The Introduction will frame your sequence of lessons by briefly describing the topics that will be addressed and their connection to the course content. The Introduction is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of course content that may be referenced but not explained fully in the lessons that follow. This section will also include the central focus of your lessons by detailing the concepts and essential questions that will be explored in the learning sequence.
Define Learners
Grade Level: Elementary, middle school, high school, college, adult learners, high school science teachers, or museum educators.
Population Characteristics: Describe the characteristics of the learners. How will these characteristics influence your planning? Consider (but do not limit your discussion to) reading level and science background, as well as other special needs.
Content Standards
List one Disciplinary Core Idea from the Next Generation Science Standards or applicable state or local content standards. Include connections to Common Core reading, writing, or math standards, if applicable, or use your local literacy and/or math standards. Limiting lessons to one main content standard allows you to develop lessons that promote deep exploration of the content that incorporates the building of data analysis and interpretation skills. If using one standard limits your specific lesson sequence, please work with your instructor to identify a set of appropriate standards.
Curricular Fit
Describe how this lesson sequence will fit into the rest of the curriculum. Include topics that will be taught before and after, and describe knowledge and skills that you expect your students to have acquired prior to these lessons.
Learning Objectives
What are the main concepts, skills, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc. you want students to get from the lessons? Learning objectives must be measurable goals stated in terms of what students will be able to do after completing the lessons. Learning objectives must be aligned with both instruction and assessments.
Materials and Resources Needed
List instructional materials used in the lesson. Include worksheets and PDFs of slide presentations if applicable.
Describe the lesson components in the order in which they will occur. Include: what the teacher will do, what students will do, timing for each component, opportunities to monitor student progress (formative assessments), and how students will be grouped. A sample lesson template is included below, but you are not required to use it. You may use any format you choose as long as all the elements listed above are included.
Part 1 (minimum of one class period, but may be more if needed): Introduces students to the topic and provides both teachers and students with an opportunity to uncover misconceptions. Activates prior knowledge and makes connections between past and present learning experiences. Sets the stage for Part 2 by helping students understand the context for the data activity that will follow and raising their curiosity about the exploration.
Part 2 (minimum of one class period, but may be more if needed): Students engage in a data-based activity that is student centered, not teacher directed. Students may collect their own data from their own experiment or field experience or from computer simulations, or may use data sets collected by others (e.g., scientists). Students then use the data to come up with their own explanations of the phenomena under investigation.
Part 3 (minimum of one class period, but may be more if needed): Students finish making meaning of the data and, with guidance from the teacher, construct scientifically accurate explanations for the phenomena under investigation. Students produce at least one product that demonstrates their acquisition of science content and skills.
Describe how activities will be differentiated for varied learning styles, language abilities, and reading levels. Activities should provide multiple access points and accommodations for students with disabilities and different ability levels.
Describe how you will determine whether students have met the learning objectives. Identify a product of student work that you will use to measure student understanding and skill acquisition. We encourage you to use a product of the lesson such as a project or summative assignment instead of a test. We also encourage you to include a rubric that you will use to assess your students.
Cite all the sources that you used in the development of your project.
What are your final thoughts about the project? What potential challenges will you face in teaching these lessons? How well will this unit fit into what you currently teach (or anticipate teaching in the future)?
This lesson planning template is a suggested format. You may use other formats with which you are familiar as long as you include all of the required elements. If you do use this template, make a new copy for each part of the Scope and Sequence. The Activity and Formative Assessment section can be repeated as many times as necessary for each lesson. You may find it easier to work with this template as a Word document. Remember, you can download these guidelines (which include the template) as a Word document by clicking here.
Lesson Components
What the Student Does
What the Teacher Does
Beginning of Lesson
Activity and Formative Assessment
Activity and Formative Assessment
End of Lesson/Wrap Up
Lesson Planning
Teaching Channel: New Teacher Survival Guide: Lesson Planning
Group Work
Analyzing data in small groups
Tips for making group work manageable
Next Generation Science Standards: This is a page with links to introductory information about the standards.
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
Common Core Literacy and Math Standards
Learning Objectives
Tips for writing clear learning objectives. Written for Marshall University Medical School, but this framework can be applied to all lessons.
Differentiating Instruction
Teaching Channel: New Teacher Survival Guide: Differentiating Instruction
Teaching Channel: Differentiation Strategies
Short summary article by Cathy Weselby of Concordia University
Edutopia Resource Roundup
Chapter on Differentiated Instruction by Carol Tomlinson
In Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives
edited by Carolyn M. Callahan, Holly L. Hertberg-Davis (2013)
Culturally Responsive Teaching
A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching
by Raymond J. Wlodkowski and Margery B. Ginsberg
From the National Association of Geoscience Teachers: The examples are from geoscience, but the basic principles will apply to all science assessments.
Rubistar is a free website that has rubric templates. It requires a user to set up an account.


Approximately 250 words