Is There a Water Cycle on Mars?
A Draft Sample Instructional Case
Introduction: The instructional case is at the heart of the Lift-Off Project. It provides the blueprint that supports teachers in engaging students in missions where students and teachers use NASA resources to explore interesting real world questions that are of interest not only to NASA scientists but to teachers and students as well. The instructional case will provide the opportunity for teachers to engage in the collaborative exploration of their own instructional practices that enhance student learning as well.
Each instructional case will build upon a format that was designed and used in the East Bay Science Project at the California State University, East Bay. The case will use the following key components:
- Initial Generative Question or Idea
- Enduring Understandings in Science, Mathematics, and English Language Arts
- Instructional targets aligned to the California Standards
- Learning Characteristics of Students
- Instructional Plan that includes the 5 E's: Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation
- Formative Assessment
- Student products and performances
- Potential student misconceptions
- Implementation and Monitoring
The instructional case will model the scientific process by initiating the investigation with an initial broad question or observation. In the development of an instructional case, NASA resources will be will be researched for data (imagery, mission data, etc.) related to the initial question. Examination of NASA mission data will guide the development of a more focused (informed) question. In addition, the document will demonstrate how the case uses technology, aligns with key NASA Educational goals, and also aligns with the key questions of the Evaluation.