Examples of different types of argumentation activities
Much of the content in the science curriculum involves argumentation but in different ways, for example: to evaluate evidence; classification; experiments; socio-scientific issues. A number of examples with links to specific activities are listed below.
The suggested format for these activities is group work. Group work can be managed in a number of ways including: pair talk, pairs to fours, listening triads, envoys, rainbow groups, and role play, so the exact format can be selected to be appropriate to your class setting.
The aim of this activity is to stimulate the exploration for different ideas based on the evaluation of evidence.
Carry out the activity Why do we breathe? (from unit: Disability, Activity 1.8)
This type of argumentation activity can also introduced through concept cartoons, which function as a stimulus for exploring different ideas.
Resources & Files:
Classification is an important topic, especially in biology. It provides opportunities to practice argumentation skills.
The aim of this activity is to practice classification skills.
This activity uses a list of statements available from the AZ Teach Science website as the basis for argumentation. The statements are all true and provide information about physical or behavioural characteristics of axolotls. Review the list of statements and sort them. How do you justify your reason for sorting in this particular way?
This activity is particular useful for group work with students. Ask the students to sort the statements, during which time they justify their reasons. At the end of the activity, allow the students to discuss and defend the decisions they have made.
Resources & Files:
Classification of an axolotl as fish, amphibian or reptile as presented at: http://www.azteachscience.co.uk/ext/cpd/argumentation/unit2.php