This commercial is fun for the students to watch, and students can easily justify their claim within their reasoning using evidence seen within the commercial. When students first write their claim-evidence-reasoning response, it is useful to provide a template for students to organize their thoughts. You can use the CER Graphic Organizer resource with your students to help them organize their thoughts during the early phases of CER writing.
Another useful technique when introducing CER to your students is collaboration. I first show the video to the class and students work in pairs to write a claim that answers the question, “what happened to the cat?”
- Student Claim Example: The dog killed the cat.
- Student Evidence Example: There is a cat missing poster. The dog is seen burying pet tags. The dog hands the man a bag of Doritos that says “You didn’t see nuthin.”
Last, I define the reasoning section, and students write their reasoning for “why” and “how” the evidence supports the claim. We then have a class discussion over the commercial and their written CER while crafting a whole group CER response to answer the question, “what happened to the cat?”
STUDENT REASONING EXAMPLE:
There was a missing poster posted of the cat which means the cat was missing. The cat was missing because the dog killed the cat and is covering up the murder. The dog is seen digging in dirt and covering up pet tags to hide the body of the cat. When someone is murdered, the body is usually hidden to hide the murder. If there are witnesses to the crime, they are often bribed to keep quiet about the crime. The man saw the dog burying the cat so he bribed the man with Doritos to keep him quiet about witnessing seeing the dog disposing of the cat’s body. This approach to introduce CER into your classroom provides the framework students will need to start writing CER responses in the lab setting.
Argumentative reasoning is a skill that takes practice. This means that students will not write a perfect CER response their first attempt. They will need guidance and support from you, the teacher, as they write CER answers over labs conducted in class. It is useful for the teacher to model a sample CER response with the students in the beginning. However, students should first attempt to write their own CER response from the lab prior to the modeling. As you discuss with the class your sample CER response make sure you are emphasizing the concepts for a successful claim, evidence, and reasoning answer. Use the provided CER checklist to assist you with this discussion.
Students should use the CER Graphic Organizer resource as they continue to develop their writing skills and analyze their lab results. However, with continued use of CER their writing should become more refined and polished. Instead of the teacher modeling a sample response, students can now peer review answers and provide feedback to each other. At this point in your class, you have taught your students what it is truly like to think and write like a scientist!
This blog is intended to provide an overview for using the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning framework within your class. Use the provided resources for more information, implementation, and specific ideas for CER into your classroom.