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Planning for Lab Investigations in the Science Classroom

Course Number:


PD Hours:

18 Hours

Credit Type:

Clock Hours, CPEs, CTLEs, Act48 Credits, Others

Content Areas:

Science, Gifted & Talented, Lesson & Curriculum Planning, Teaching Strategies, 21st Century Learning

Course Description:

(18 Hours) Scientific Investigation in the classroom is a process where students are at the center of learning scientific principles through a discovery-based learning approach. This highly detailed course will teach you that a full scientific investigation consists of Pre- and Post-Lab activities in addition to the in-class laboratory lesson. Proper investigation is more than completing a hands-on activity that aligns with content; it is a process that sets students up for independent discovery or a problem to solve. As a result, students can master content goals alongside necessary scientific investigation skills and at an appropriate level of rigor.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn how to choose a Big Question that students will answer in their scientific investigation

  • Learn how to choose appropriately rigorous lab activities

  • Learn how to plan for components of the pre-lab

  • Learn how to consider a lab activity that follows the steps of the scientific method

  • Learn how to plan for components of the post-lab

Resources Included

Course includes 25 high-quality tools, templates, & student resources.

Science Lab Course

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Includes One year of Course Access, Fully Self-Paced & Online.

Course Sections What You Will Learn

The use of lab investigations in the science classroom is an opportunity for students to learn content through a problem-based approach utilizing higher-order thinking. In order for students to engage in a thorough scientific investigation, the teacher must thoughtfully and purposefully plan for how and when formal and informal investigations must occur within the long-term lesson cycle. In addition to the investigation itself, proper pre and post-lab considerations should be made in order to get the most out of labs. Within each step of the investigation process (the pre-lab, lab, and post-lab), different skills can be taught beyond just the content itself. This course will guide you in designing a scientific investigation for an upcoming unit.

You Will Learn:

  • What the scientific framework is, and its 3 components.
  • How to create big questions aligned to your content goals.
  • How to choose a laboratory investigation that is aligned with your Big Question.
  • How to plan and prepare pre-lab activities that will help prepare students for independent investigations.
  • How to manage your students during their lab investigations.
  • How to plan and prepare post-lab activities that will allow students to solidify and apply what they have learned.

Course Guiding Questions Course Guiding Question:

Are students independently discovering the established content goals by using scientific investigation skills in their in-class laboratory lessons?  If not, what can you do to improve your lesson design to help your students achieve true discovery-based scientific learning?

Credits Professional Development Credits

At the conclusion of the course, you will receive a certificate for 18 Professional Development Hours (Clock Hours, CPEs).

Model Teaching Professional Development Courses are pre-approved in many states and we provide easy approval forms to submit to your license granting authority if required.

If you are a teacher seeking license renewal and wish to verify acceptance of our Professional Development Courses, please view our PD STATE REQUIREMENTS PAGE to learn more about your state’s requirements.

Also, consider taking our UNIVERSITY-PARTNERED, ACADEMIC CREDIT COURSES to earn regionally accredited units or credits, accepted by most states for teacher re-licensing and salary advancement.

Approval Information About This Course for Teaching License Renewal & Continuing Education

Model Teaching has helped thousands of teachers across the country meet their relicensing requirements.

This course is Pre-Approved in the following states for License Renewal and Continuing education:

  • Texas – CPE’s, TEA-Approved
  • New York CTLE’s – NYSED-Approved
  • Pennsylvania DOE – ACT 48-Approved
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) – Approved
  • Nevada DOE
  • Tennessee
  • Other States As Well

If you do not see your state listed here, this course may be pre-approved in your state as well. Chat with us or leave a ticket for our recommendations.

For More Information About Your Specific State Requirements, Please View Your State Requirements

View State Requirements

Please confirm your specific district or state requirements for license renewal prior to registering, and feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have about our courses.


Course Sections Topics Covered and General Course Outline

Section 1 – Introduction to Scientific Investigations

  • The Scientific Investigation Framework
  • The 3 components of the Scientific Investigation Framework

Section 2 – Creating a Big Question Aligned with Your Content Goals

  • Plan the content goals for a new science investigation
  • Design an appropriate Big Question, structured as a problem the students can later seek to solve

Section 3 – Choosing the Right Scientific Investigation

  • How to choose your scientific investigation aligned with the Big Question
  • How and when to modify lab activities to accommodate more advanced levels of investigation

Section 4 – The Pre-Lab

  • The purpose of pre-lab activities in a Scientific Investigation
  • How to choose pre-lab activities that will prepare students to complete their Scientific Investigation independently
  • How to plan for both student actions and teacher actions throughout the Scientific Investigation

Section 5 – The Lab

  • How to evaluate the components of the scientific method to help your students engage in the lab
  • About considering the teacher and student’s actions to ensure scientific investigation throughout the lab activity

Section 6 – The Post-Lab

  • The purpose of post-lab activities in a scientific investigation
  • About post-lab activity ideas that will allow students to solidify and apply what they’ve discovered in the lab

How to Put it All Together

How to Implement What You Have Learned


Resources Included Helpful Resources & Templates Included With the Course

The course comes with 25 templates, tools, and graphic organizers ready to be used in your classroom!

These Include:

  • Scientific Investigation Framework Summary Table
  • Big Question Planning Guide with Sample
  • Webb’s DOK Reference Guide
  • Lab Selection Alignment Checklist with Sample
  • Pre-Lab Activity Reference Guide
    Pre-Lab Activity Planner with Sample
    Conclusion Graphic Organizer
    Lab Planning Guide with Sample
    Lab Report Template
    Frayer Model Template
    Poster Presentation Template
    Bubble Map
    Group Discussion Notes Template
    Flipped Learning Guide for Out-of-Class-Activities
    Post-Lab Activity Planner with Sample
    Scientific Investigation Lesson Plan with Sample
    Effectiveness Rubric
    Implementation Observation Checklist with Sample

Register for the course: Planning for Lab Investigations in the Science Classroom here.

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