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Education (Lesson Planning Resources): INTD 302: Methods and Materials in Secondary Education (Sciences)

Library Session Materials


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Becky Leathersich
Fraser Hall Library 203A
(585) 245-5542

Sample Phenomena

The following are curated by School of Education teacher-candidates: 


  • Johnson, J. S., Cantrell, R. S., Cosner, C., Hartig, F., Hastings, A., Rogers, H. S., Schupp, E. W., Shea, K., Teller, B. J., Yu, X., Zurell, D., & Pufal, G. (2019, March 28). Rapid changes in seed dispersal traits may modify plant responses to Global Change. AoB PLANTS, 11(3).

    • The phenomenon is that the exploding seeds in the plant is an evolutionary advantage and has allowed itself to increase its chances of getting planted. Since most other plants do not use this tactic, this might give the plant a higher chance of surviving and reproducing. I would use this as an investigative phenomenon because natural selection/evolution is a huge topic and this is simply an example of evolution. It is not the overall focus of the unit, but the focus of a instructional sequence or lesson.

  • The Associated Press. (2007, January 14). Woman dies after being in water-drinking contest. Los Angeles Times. ​​​​​​
    • This is a specific phenomenon related to osmosis. This is a huge theme in cell biology, and a reoccurring theme across Living Environment. This would be a great phenomenon for a lesson introducing or reinforcing the concept of the movement of water across a membrane.

  • The Wonder of Science. (2018, August 4). Hemingway’s polydactyl cats.

    • I would use this as an investigative phenomenon because it looking at a specific sequence within the unit plan. 


  • The Erosive Tooth Wear Foundation. (n.d.). How does acid affect my teeth?
    • The effect of acidic substances on tooth enamel. Includes an explanation as to why it happens (the crystals enamel are made of dissolve at a certain pH) and draws a parallel to a reaction (salt crystals dissolving in water) that they be familiar with from past instruction. This is an example of an everyday phenomenon because students interact with acidic foods and drinks frequently.


Earth Science

  • My NASA Data. (n.d.). Make your own El Niño in the classroom 
    • El Niño is not an overarching theme or idea of factors affecting climate. Components of it may be more anchoring ideas, such as Coriolis effect and trade winds. 

  • The Wonder of Science. (2018, September 11). Protecting the Earth from killer asteroids.

    • Asteroids can cause damage to earth and be catastrophic. But what makes asteroids hit earth? This phenomenon is helping students explore the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system or to gain a better understanding of gravitational forces and fields. This phenomena is based on one portion of the unit, not the overall unit. I would use it to help students understand how gravity works with orbiting objects in our solar system.