Category Archives: B. SKI

WISE: Graphing Stories

I selected “Graphing Stories (with motion probes)” (ID: 741) from the selection of WISE projects. This specific project reviews the important concepts of graphing data and accomplishes this by incorporating aspects of kinematics and motion. Further, the lessons utilize Vernier motion detectors to help facilitate learning. I modified the lessons by including additional examples for students to graph (without providing a template graph and with instructions to manually graph on paper). I also included further use of the motion detectors for replicating several of the graphs provided in the lessons.

I use very a similar approach in the Physics units of Science 10 and would likely utilize the WISE lessons to compliment my own lessons. As the WISE lessons are quite comprehensive in general graphing concepts, they would effectively either introduce or even review those requirements. In terms of the kinematics and motion aspects, I would likely cover those Physics terms and concepts prior to using the WISE lessons. The WISE lessons would then be used to reinforce those concepts. In total, the lessons would take approximately four days.

According to Linn, Clark and Slotta (2002), the WISE projects are based on the following four tenets: making thinking visible, making Science accessible, helping students learn from each other, and promoting lifelong learning.  The first tenet involves making things visible for purposes of assessment, to make teachers’ thinking visible to students, and to represent scientific ideas through models or simulations. The Graphing Stories lesson addresses many of these principles. Throughout the lessons, students are able to submit responses, compare answers with other students, and receive teacher feedback (though this is not explicitly available through the lesson). Some of these aspects also address the third principle in which students learn from each other. Students also perform several of the tasks using the motion detectors, which makes the science actively visible. The second tenet involves making science ideas accessible by providing the ability to “restructure, rethink, compare, critique, and analyze” both established and novel ideas. The examples provided in the WISE lessons are ones that students can relate to (e.g. going to camp, the weather, and getting to class on time), increasing the accessibility of the content. Finally, the WISE lesson helps promote lifelong learning by asking students to tell, write and graph their own story based on what they have learned through the lessons.

This specific lesson seems to address many of the requirements of a WISE lesson and also can be completed by students without much teacher instruction. I am curious as to how this (and other WISE lessons) would be ideally implemented in the classroom – whether they are used to solely teach or introduce a concept or in conjunction with some teacher instruction. The FAQ seems to suggest it is up to the teacher to decide where they best fit student learning.



Kirkpatrick, D. (2015, Nov 15). Graphing Stories (with motion probes). Retrieved from

Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003. Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 516-538



Global Climate Detectives

The project I explored was “What Impacts Global Climate Change?”. I customized parts of it to include section that assesses prior knowledge and initial questions before introducing the question of “What impacts global climate change?”. I also added several videos to show the visual effect of what climate change looks like from satellites. I teach Grade 7s in British Columbia and one of the curricular content areas involves the studying the evidence and human impacts of climate change so this projects was spot on for it. For my lesson, I would have students work in pairs and include parts of collaborative discussions in the project so students can scaffold each other’s learning. Pairs of students would explore the “module” sections together but then after each main part (7 parts total), there would be a whole class discussion that includes an individual reflection. Also, I would also have students create a poster to promote awareness of global climate change that includes learned knowledge and making presentations to other students in the school and possibly the community. Furthermore, students would also work in groups to design a service learning project where they can actively be a part of protecting the climate. The WISE research incorporates many of the 21st century learning skills such as questioning, comparing, rethinking and reflecting. Also, since science knowledge requires teachers to have strong content and pedagogical knowledge (i.e. TPACK), that is, knowledge on the content but then also how to deliver it to students in the best way, the Scaffolding Knowledge Integration Framework of WISE allows teachers to not transfer their misconceptions to students and allows educators to be a part of the learning process along with their students.