Decomposers Activity 5.4 Differentiation

  • You may want students to first complete the front side of the Explanations Tool with the graphic organizer and check it together as a class to confirm that the arrows and responses to the prompts are correct. Then, students can use the corrected graphic organizer as a tool to construct their written explanation.
  • After students complete the Decomposers Matter Tracing Tool, post in the classroom so students can refer back to it
  • Encourage students to explain verbally as well as writing on the Matter Tracing Tool
  • Refer to the word wall for questions on Biosynthesis related vocabulary
  • Provide sentence stems to help students answer questions on Big Idea Probe: Leaf Pack Experiment?

The Three Questions Explanation Checklist on the back of the Three Questions Handoutcan be used to scaffold students’ explanations in many ways.

  • Students refer to the checklist as they are constructing their explanations.
  • Students use the checklist as they are sharing and revising their explanations with a partner.
  • Students use the checklist to critique and revise their final explanations.
  • Students use the checklist to critique the example explanations for each unit.
  • Students use the checklist to create and/or evaluate a whole-class consensus explanation.

We recommend using this checklist with a gradual release. As students improve in their ability to write their own explanations, they may rely on the checklist less.

Extending the Learning