Scientific Inquiry

6th grade (could be adapted for other grades)

Findlay City Schools (Glenwood MS), Findlay, OH

Tammy O’Brien, 6th Grade Science Teacher

conducting qualitative and quantitative observations,
gathering and recording data

Students use yardsick to measure Hayden's forearm.


Students will make accurate observations, using 5 senses to gather information.

Students will identify and conduct qualitative (descriptive) observations.

Students will identify and conduct quantitative (using numbers) observations.


Science journal and pencil

Specific areas or tables for 7 stations with various items on or around them

Ruler/meter stick

School Therapy Dog (be aware of any students who may be afraid of or allergic to dogs)

Other items for stations: plant, squid, frog, seashell, beaker, geode (a total of 7, including Hayden)


Set up 7 stations with various objects.

Make stations as as follows: #1 Plant, #2 Squid, #3 Frog, #4 Seashell, #5 Beaker, #6 Geode, #7 Hayden (teacher supervises this station).

Students record their observations at each station.

Discuss what things they found for each station, both qualitative and quantitative. (For example, Hayden’s qualitative observations might be soft fur, black fur, black/white fur on face, dark eyes. His quantitative observations might be his length from snout to tail, his height standing on all four paws, his front leg length, his back leg length, the length of one of his teeth.)

Discuss the differences found from one station to another.


Observe what students do at each station. Discuss what other observations they might have made at each station. Carry this lesson over to other science lessons.

For a Printable PDF of this Lesson Plan, download this file: AP-LessonPlan-ScientificInquiry

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