Standard #: SC.8.N.1.4


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Explain how hypotheses are valuable if they lead to further investigations, even if they turn out not to be supported by the data.


General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 8
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science
Big Idea: The Practice of Science -

A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of "the scientific method."

C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

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Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.8.N.1.In.2 Identify a possible explanation (hypothesis) for a science problem.
SC.8.N.1.Su.2 Recognize a possible explanation (hypothesis) for a science problem.
SC.8.N.1.Pa.2 Recognize science as a way to solve problems about the natural world.


Related Resources

Instructional Technique

Name Description
How Science Works:Flowchart

Have you been searching for interactive way to teach scientific inquiry? Are you unhappy with the 2-D model of the scientific method represented in your science textbook? The University of Berkeley has a wonderful resource for you. This is an interactive concept map of scientific inquiry. You can deliver this content as a whole group using a smart broad or small learning communities. This resource is free and offers the concept map in PDF form with blanks for your students and in PDF poster for your class. In addition to this website, the University of Berkeley offers so much more. Happy browsing.

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Moon Formation Theories

Students will evaluate what types of evidence provide relevant and logical support for moon formation theories.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Dissolving Gobstoppers Using Controls and Variables Students will conduct a simple laboratory experience that practices the proper use of controls and variables. Students will conduct a controlled experiment in their laboratory groups.
Making Observations and Inferences This lesson allows the students to discover that science is everywhere. It encourages students to apply their scientific skills and to think creatively in their everyday lives.
A Penny is a Penny! The goal is that students understand that hypotheses are subject to revision when new information becomes available. It is also extremely important that students understand that while most hypotheses are not correct, testing them adds to science knowledge.
Bridge the hypothesis... Students should be able to gain an understanding that developing a hypothesis often leads to further hypotheses whether data is correct or not. Students will engage in an activity to develop a bridge structure from given materials and hypothesize which structure is strongest.

Original Student Tutorial

Name Description
Science Research: Developing a Hypothesis

Learn how to write an effective hypothesis with sharks as a focus in this interactive tutorial. A hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable. 

Professional Development

Name Description
Generating and Testing Hypotheses

This brief article summarizes the research-based rationale for using inquiry-based activities in their classrooms. It also provides specific suggestions to help teachers plan lessons that encourage students to generate predictions based on hypotheses, design investigations to test the validity of their ideas, and utilize questioning techniques to promote critical thinking.

Teaching Ideas

Name Description
CRIME SCENE: The Case of the Missing Computer Chip A simulated crime scene is presented for teams of students to solve, using clues received piecemeal, adjusting hypotheses as more clues are found and discussed. The elements of science are recognized through discussion of the crime solution metaphor. Also clearly shows how science is used effectively to reveal unwitnessed events of the past (by weighing the evidence), much as we do in paleontology, geology, evolution and astronomy.
The Origin of the Moon Most planetary scientists expected that lunar samples brought to Earth at the end of each of the six Apollo missions would confirm one of three leading hypotheses of the Moon's origin. Instead, samples left all three explanations unconfirmed, requiring the development of a new hypothesis for how the Moon formed. This video segment adapted from NOVA shows Apollo 15 astronauts collecting a type of rock that would help change our understanding of the Moon's - and Earth's - earliest history.

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorial

Name Description
Science Research: Developing a Hypothesis:

Learn how to write an effective hypothesis with sharks as a focus in this interactive tutorial. A hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable. 



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