Argumentation is usually developed, practised or applied during the Elaboration phase of a middle or upper primary science inquiry unit, or a lower secondary unit, contributing to student understanding of Science as a Human Endeavour content descriptions.

Please let me know if you have used any of these ideas – I would love to hear how you go!

Year 3

Nature and development of science / ACSHE050

Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships

  • Is a car/fire/plant/leaf alive? (dialogic argument)
  • How is a spider like a ladybug? (dialogic argument)

Use and influence of science / ACSHE051

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

  • Writing a persuasive text (monologic argument) to the local council to convince them of a new policy, practice or equipment for a local park, such as natural housings for birds or other wildlife, more rubbish bins, etc.
  • Designing a poster or flyer (monologic argument), or running a campaign to inform others of the effects of their actions on wildlife at the local park.

Year 4

Use and influence of science / ACSHE062

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

  • Writing a persuasive text (monologic argument) to the local council to convince them of a new policy, practice or equipment for a local beach, such as fencing off sections of sand dunes, improved facilities for drainage, or management of local pests.
  • Designing a poster or flyer (monologic argument), or running a campaign to inform others of the effects of their actions on the local sand dunes or creek beds.

Year 5

Nature and development of science / ACSHE082

Important contributions to the advancement of science have been made by people from a range of cultures

  • Who made a greater contribution to our understanding of astronomy? (dialogic argument)
    • the ancient Greeks
    • the Renaissance Europeans
    • the Indigenous Australians
    • modern astronomers
  • Should we send a manned mission to Mars? (dialogic argument)

Use and influence of science / ACSHE083

Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives

  • What materials should we build our playground out of? (monologic or dialogic argument)
  • Which of these is the greatest invention to arise from space research and exploration? (monologic or dialogic argument)
    • wifi
    • microwaves

Use and influence of science / ACSHE217

Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions

  • Where should we plant our garden? (monologic or dialogic argument)
  • What should we plant in our garden? (dialogic argument)
  • How should we insulate our homes? (monologic or dialogic argument)
  • How should we manage the temperature of our homes? (monologic or dialogic argument)
    • solid fuels: fireplaces
    • liquid fuels: oil heaters
    • gas fuels: gas ovens or furnaces

Year 6

Nature and development of science / ACSHE099

Important contributions to the advancement of science have been made by people from a range of cultures

  • How can our community source our water/electricity more sustainably? (dialogic argument)
  • Why should we backburn? (monologic argument)

Year 7

Nature and development of science / ACSHE119

Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world

  • Which telescope should the school astronomy club purchase? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from the Mathematics curriculum)

Use and influence of science / ACSHE120

Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations

  • Currently, it is against the law to ride a bike without wearing a helmet. Some argue that the law should be repealed. What should we do? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from Health and social sciences curriculums)
  • Should we ban the use of skins in sporting competitions? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from Health and Physical Education and social sciences curriculums)
  • Should our water be fluoridated? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from Health and Physical Education curriculum)

Year 8

Use and influence of science / ACSHE135

Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations

  • Should all Australian citizens be required to donate any viable organs when they die? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from Health and Physical Education and social sciences curriculums)

Years 7-8 Health and Physical Education

Personal, Social and Community Health / Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing / ACPPS076

Develop skills to evaluate health information and express health concerns

  • How much meat should I eat? (dialogic argument; integrates understandings from Science Education and social sciences curriculums)
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