Investigation Packs Tips
Group Science Activities for Kids
Investigation Packs are group science activities for kids that help them dig deeper into Science A-Z content, apply scientific practices, and develop the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Reading resources called Investigation Files, or I.Files, feature high-interest, in-depth science content in an engaging design that includes features of informational text, such as graphs, maps, and photographs. Students do a close reading of the I.Files and then cite evidence that helps them solve the Mystery File in each pack through group discussion.
Why Use Investigation Packs
In each Investigation Pack students will practice key science and literacy skills:
- Answer text-dependent questions based on evidence and discussion
- Perform close reading and then write in response to reading
- Participate in scientific argumentation with peers and seek common answers
- Practice 21st Century Skills including critical thinking, communication, and collaboration
- Have fun learning in a group science activity
How to Use Investigation Packs
Use the Investigation Packs as interactive group activities to complement the science units or use them as stand-alone resources for independent reading practice.
Start with the Investigation Pack Teacher's Guide to get an overview, resource descriptions, instructional support, and extension ideas to use with any Investigation Pack.
Use the I.Files Teaching Tips from each pack to find answers to the Key Question and Mystery File Question. The Teaching Tips also offer background information to help you address possible misconceptions as well as science vocabulary for pre-teaching.
The Investigation Pack Process:
- Each student within a group reads a different I.File related to a central topic and Key Question and then completes the I.File Response Sheet.
- Students work as a team to analyze which details all the files they read had in common in order to answer the Key Question.
- The whole class comes to a consensus on the answer to the Key Question.
- Student groups apply what they learned by reading a Mystery File. By using evidence from the text, students determine whether the new topic belongs grouped with the I.Files, and explain why or why not.
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