Scientific Method 5th Grade


When you have to write an assignment, do you use a pen or a pencil? How do you determine what clothes to wear each day? How do you know how to drive a car?

 These and almost any question you can ask yourself are answered with the use of science. More specifically, the use of the scientific method. You are not aware of going through the steps of observation, making a hypothesis, doing an experiment, gathering results and coming to a conclusion but your mind is busy doing these things.

Take for example what clothes you are wearing. You observed what the weather was today, you made an educated guess- a hypothesis- about what to wear today based on your observations, during the day (with those clothes on) you are carrying out the experiment, you are continually gathering data (are you hot, cold, or just right?), and at the end of the day, you will make a conclusion about whether you made a good clothing choice based on what you learned.

Doing science is as simple as following the scientific method!



    INDIVIDUAL WORK:  This WebQuest will lead you through a review of the scientific method.  Individually, the learner will refamiliarize his/herself with the steps to the scientific method and be electronically quizzed on the material.  The learner will also be asked to identify variables, constant conditions, and sources of error, as well as construct data tables from example laboratory investigations.  The science department's writing rubric (based on the scientific method) will be integrated into this activity so that the learner becomes acquainted with how to use the rubric during laboratory investigations. 

    TEAM TIME:  Finally, the learner will individually assess (score) example investigations using the science department's scientific method writing rubric and then share their scores with their team.  Students will work in groups of five to compare their assessments of the five example investigations and arrive at a consensus for each score.  After a consensus has been reached, the group will modify the examples to try to improve them for full credit using the rubric.  The modified examples will be turned in for a group grade.




1.  Exploration #1:To test your prior knowledge of the scientific method, each one of you will take this quiz on your own and record the number you got right and got wrong on a piece of paper.

                    *Go to:  Quiz 1 


 2. Exploration #2:  To learn about variables, watch the following short video/slide show.  On your own paper, list the definition of a variable, an independent variable, a dependent variable, a controlled variable and a control.     

                    *Go to:   Definitions


3. Exploration #3:  On your own piece of paper, write down the answers to the 9 question quiz.    Go to:   Quiz 2 hppt://www/iq/   For each question, click on the box with the correct answer for each question. Record the number you got right and the number you got wrong on your piece of paper.



4. Team time:  You will meet with your team for the following group discussion.

As a group, compare your quiz scores. Discuss any questions/answers that you missed. Compare what you listed as your definitions for exploration #2.


5.  As a team, use the pictures below and arrange them in the correct order.  Write down the correct order on your piece of paper.  Make sure all group members are comfortable with the steps of the scientific method before you proceed to the next step. 




** You will need your scientific method rubric for these steps!**  Scientific Method Rubric

Paper Towel Experiment:

1.  You will be practicing the skills of creating a data table and writing a conclusion.  Visit the following website: paper towel experiment  Watch the short demonstration videos for Brand A and Brand B paper towels and organize the data into a data table using your rubric.  After you have collected the data, write a short conclusion using the rubric.


Scientific Method at Bikini Bottom:

2.   You will be reading 5 scientific experiments conducted at Bikini Bottom.  Read the scenario and answer the questions on your own paper for each experiment.  Go to:  Sponge Bob

3.   You will be using the scientific method rubric to practice writing sections for each of the 5 scenarios on the Sponge Bob page.  You will need your own paper.

    a)  Write a problem statement for the Flower Power experiment.  Go to:  Sponge Bob

    b)  Write a hypothesis for the Super Snails experiment.  Go to:  Sponge Bob

    c)  Construct a data table for the Patty Power experiment. Go to:  Sponge Bob

    d)  Write a problem statement for the Slimotosis experiment.  Go to:  Sponge Bob

    e)  Write a conclusion for the Marshmallow Muscles experiment.  Go to:  Sponge Bob





1.  In your team of five, compare your Paper Towel experiment data table and conclusion.  Trade papers with someone and score their data table and conclusion using the rubric.  Discuss with them why you scored them high/low for each category.

2.  In your team of five, compare your answers to the questions under each experiment of the Sponge Bob site.  Discuss your answers and correct anything you find you misidentified. 

3.  Trade papers within your team and assess 4 of your teammates rubric creations from the Sponge Bob site.  Using your rubric, you will be scoring their problem statement, hypothesis, data table, problem statement, and conclusion.   

3.  After all members have had their rubric practice scored, discuss why people scored sections higher/lower than each other.   

4.  As a team, you will rewrite the 5 sections from Sponge Bob to include the modifications necessary to score a perfect "3" for each part.  Split this duty up.  Each team member will be in charge of one section. Turn in your modifications to the teacher.  Write the names of your team members in the heading.


1.  Quizzes  (individually completed, NOT group work)

a)  For the first quiz, click on the column block on the right and drag it next to the correct column block on the left. To check your answers click on, "Am I Right?".  Good luck!

go to:

 b)  For the second quiz, go to:

 c)  Print your quiz with answers when you are done to turn into your teacher. Good luck!



2.  Turn in Sponge Bob Team Assessment.  See Process 3 for details. 

 You should now be an expert on the scientific method- Congratulations!


What did you learn? Can you list the steps of the scientific method? Are there any problems or questions you consider that do not involve the scientific method?

Use the rubric that you now have and apply it to all of the scientific method experiments you do and congratulations-  you are now a true scientist! 

■ Formulate questions about natural phenomena. (S1.1a) ■ Identify appropriate references to investigate a question. (S1.1b) ■ Refine and clarify questions so that they are subject to scientific investigation. (S1.1c) ■ Independently formulate a hypothesis. (S1.2a) ■ Represent, present, and defend their proposed explanations of everyday observations so that they can be understood and assessed by other. (1.3) ■ Conduct an experiment designed by others. (S2.1b) ■ Design and conduct an experiment to test a hypothesis. (S2.1c) ■ Use appropriate tools and conventional techniques to solve problems about the natural world, including: measuring, observing, describing, classifying and sequencing. (S2.1d) ■ Design scientific investigations (e.g., observing, describing, and comparing; collecting samples, seeking more information, conducting a controlled experiment, discovering new objects or phenomena; making models). (S2.2b) ■ Design a simple controlled experiment. (S2.2c) ■ Identify independent variables (manipulated), dependent variables (responding), and constant in a simple controlled experiment. (S2.2d) ■ Choose appropriate sample size and number of trials. (S2.2e) ■ Conduct a scientific investigation. (S2.3b) ■ Collect quantitative and qualitative data. (S2.3c) ■ Organize results, using appropriate graphs, diagrams, data tables, and other models to show relationships. (3.1a) ■ Generate and use scales, create legends, and appropriately label axes. (3.1b) ■ Accurately describe the procedures used and the data gathered. (S3.2a) ■ Identify sources of error and the limitations of data collected. (S3.2b)