#3051.

 Inquiry  in  Science  and  Social  
Studies  

Science,  level:  Senior    
Posted  Sat  Feb  7  17:04:55  PST  2004  by  Glen  D.  McClary  
(vbdoc@adelphia.net).    
D'Youville  College,  Buffalo,  NY,  USA  
Materials  Required:  As  listed  in  lesson  plans    
Activity  Time:  1  -­  3  periods    
Concepts  Taught:  Critical  Thinking  and  Current  Events    
 
 
Social  Studies  and  Science  Inquiry  for  Secondary  School  Students  
INTRODUCTION  
There  has  been  a  great  deal  written  about  the  interconnections  between  
Science  and  Social  Studies  Inquiry  as  a  learning  tool  for  elementary  
students.  Since  many  elementary  teachers  work  in  the  core  curriculum  and  
are  responsible  for  teaching  all  of  these  subjects,  it  is  not  surprising  that  
they  are  able  to  merge  these  through  inquiry.  
It  would  seem  that  we  can  extend  this  attitude  and  experience  into  our  
middle  and  high  school  classrooms  so  that  the  process  started  in  the  earlier  
grades  continues  to  bring  fruit  in  the  later  years  of  education  before  these  
students  go  on  to  higher  education,  employment  or  other  endeavors.  
It  seems  appropriate  that  the  model  presented  here  is  developed  from  a  
constructivst  paradigm  of  teaching  and  learning.  
In  this  model  science  and  social  studies  teachers  (pre-­service,  first  year,  
and  experienced)  would  develop  learning  experiences  that  help  students  to  
merge  science  and  social  studies,  via  current  events  or  scientific  history,  to  
create  a  more  powerful  learning  environment  that  meets  the  needs  of  
today’s  diversified  classrooms.  During  common  planning  time  the  teachers  
would  create  these  lessons  with  the  following  goals:  
1.  improve  social  studies  literacy  
2.  improve  science  literacy  
3.  improve  reading  and  writing    
4.  improve  the  student’s  ability  to  take  responsibility  
for  their  learning  
5.  Develop  improved  research  techniques  
6.  Develop  improved  critical  thinking  and  communication    

skills  
7.  Help  meet  NY  state  social  studies  and  science  standards  
at  a  higher  level,  with  emphasis  on  the  Mastery  level  
8.  Give  students  and  understanding  of  the  “thematic  units”  
connectivity  in  social  studies  and  science    
9.  Improve  class  participation  by  students  
10.  Improve  classroom  mangement  for  the  teacher  
11.  Improve  the  qualities  of  the  teachers  as  facilitators  
12.  Meet  the  needs  of  an  increasingly  diverse  classroom  
population,  with  continued  emphasis  on  students  of  
special  needs  (inclusion)  
13.  Develop  and  improve  the  assessment  process  within  and    
across  the  science  and  social  studies  curricula.  
14.That  the  study  of  the  social  world  gives  students’  an  awareness  that  
man  tries  to  harness  both  the  natural  and  man-­made  sciences.  
15.  Develop  an  awareness  of  how  science  impacts  the  students’  daily  social  
world  (i.e.,  the  current  power  outage,  the  inventions  of  the  
computer,terrorism  anfd  the  nuclear  age)  
 
WHAT  IS  INQUIRY  AS  IT  RELATES  TO  SCIENCE  AND  SOCIAL  STUDIES?  
It  seems  appropriate  to  look  at  inquiry  at  the  secondary  level  as  a  series  of  
stages  or  stops  on  a  trail.  There  are  many  ways  to  use  inquiry  successfully  
with  students  and  no  single  methodology  is  appropriate  or  applicable  in  
each  case.  It  does  seem  clear  that  there  is  some  type  of  continum  upon  
which  teachers  can  move  students  that  move  the  students  from  the  
teacher’s  responsiblity  to  being  self  responsible.  That  continuum  might  look  
like  the  following:  
Guided  Inquiry  
 
 
Structured  Self  Initiated  
Inquiry  Inquiry  
 
WHERE  DO  SOCIAL  STUDIES  AND  SCIENCE  INQUIRY  MERGE  IN  THE  
CURRICULA?  
1.  Current  events  
2.  History  of  science/Scientific  history  
3.  Moral  and  ethical  considerations  in  science    

4.  Good  citizenship  and  science  
5.  The  politics  of  science  
6.  The  economics  of  science  
7.  Global  issues  and  science:  environment,  war,  famine,  etc.  8.  Society  and  
science  
9.  Anthropology  and  Sociology  as  a  reflection  of  today’s  science  
10.  Career  education  
11.  ??  
 
TRAITS  FOR  INQUIRY  THAT  APPLY  TO  SOCIAL  STUDIES  AND  SCIENCE  
1.  Connectivity  through  exploration  and  investigation:  
Scope  and  sequence  
2.  Design  methods  for  information  and  data  collection  
3.  Research  and  investigation  to  collect,  organize  and  
present  information  and  data  
4.  Search  for  the  construction  of  patterns  and  the  meaning  
of  those  patterns  in  student’s  everyday  lives  and  the    
lives  of  those  they  touch  in  today’s  society  
5.  Relationship  of  cross  curricular  inquiry  to  improved  
learning  and  retention  of  material  
6.  Improvement  of  self  concept,  self  esteem  and  self  aware-­    
ness  
7.  Exceed  the  minimum  NYS  standards  in  social  studies  and  science  for  
each  grade  level  7  -­  12  
1)  Lesson  Plan:  Examining  the  Process  of  Globalization:  The  Haitian  
Experience  with  Disney  
Time:  75  Minutes  
Overview:  This  purpose  of  this  lesson  is  to  make  secondary  students  
cognizant  of  the  perils  of  globalization—‘the  process  of  transnational  
corporations  weaving  ‘global  webs  of  production,  commerce,  culture  and  
finance  virtually  unopposed’  to  Third  World  peoples  across  the  globe  
(Karliner,  1997).  Specifically,  students  will  examine  how  the  Walt  Disney  
Company,  over  the  past  two  decades,  has  developed  manufacturing  plants  
in  Haiti  for  the  sole  purpose  of  maximizing  profits.  Disney’s  thirst  to  feed  its  
corporate  coffers  has  not  only  left  Haitian  workers  in  the  throes  of  poverty  
and  pollution,  but  has  also  left  many  U.S.  workers,  those  who  once  toiled  
for  this  ‘magical’  corporation,  permanently  out  of  work.  
National  Council  for  the  Social  Studies:  Standard  9:  This  lesson  meets  the  

Council’s  standard  on  ‘Global  Connections:  ‘At  the  high  school  level,  
students  are  able  to  think  systematically  about  personal,  national,  and  
global  decisions,  interactions,  and  consequences,  including  addressing  
critical  issues  such  as  peace,  human  rights,  trade,  and  global  ecology.’  
 
Instructional  Objectives:  
·At  the  end  of  this  lesson,  students  will  be  able  to  explain  3  factors  that  
fueled  Disney  to  construct  sweatshops  in  Haiti.  
·At  the  end  of  this  lesson,  students  will  be  able  to  evaluate  how  Disney’s  
experiment  has  economically,  socially,  and  ecologically  affected  the  men,  
women  and  children  of  Haiti  by  writing  a  one-­page  essay.  
·At  the  end  of  the  lesson,  students  will  be  able  to  evaluate  whether  
Disney’s  labor  practices  are  rooted  in  violating  human  rights.  
Procedure:  Motivation  and  Introduction:  
1.  Pass  out  several  Disney  t-­shirts  to  the  students  and  ask  the  question:  
‘where  was  this  clothing  made?’  
2.  Ask  students  ‘Why  were  the  shirts  made  in  Haiti?’  List  students’  
responses  on  the  board.  
3.  Summarize  students’  ideas.  
Steps:  
4.  Lead  a  discussion  about  Globalization,  outlining  several  factors  that  have  
fueled  transactional  corporations  to  set  up  shop  in  Third  World  countries.  
5.  Students  watch  the  National  Labor  Committee’s  Disney  Goes  to  Haiti.  
6.  Students  work  collaboratively  in  small  groups  of  3  or  4  to  evaluate  the  
impact  of  Globalization  in  relation  to  Haitian  workers,  Haitian  children,  and  
Disney’s  CEO  Michael  Eisner  (See  Handout).  
7.  Tell  students  they  should  also  reflect  upon  whether  Disney  has  violated  
the  human  rights  of  the  Haitian  people.  They  should  evaluate  whether  the  
workers  are  paid  a  wage  that  meets  their  families  basic  needs,  work  in  
clean  and  safe  working  environments,  live  in  safe  and  sanitary  conditions,  
and  are  afforded  the  right  to  a  free  public  education.  
8.  Elicit  various  responses  from  the  small  groups  
9.  Ask  students  if  corporations  in  the  US,  in  some  cases,  violate  the  human  
rights  of  workers  and  families.  
Conclusion/Summary:    
·What  factors  facilitated  Disney  setting  up  operations  in  Haiti  nearly  20  
nears  ago?    
·Why  have  some  critics  of  Disney’s  labor  practices  in  Haiti  claim  the  

company  is  creating  a  modern-­slave  system?  
Assessment:  
Formative:    
Teacher  will  check  for  understanding  by  motoring  the  cooperative  
activities.  
Summative:    
Teacher  will  evaluate  students’  essays  for  level  of  understanding  of  key  
concepts.  
 
Follow-­Up:    
·Students  will  write  a  two-­page,  typewritten  essay,  where  they  will  
evaluate  the  economic,  social,  cultural  and  environmental  impact  of  
Globalization  in  Haiti.    
·Students  will  visit  Student  Committee  Against  Labor  Exploitation’s  website  
http://www.nlcnet.org/scale/  for  the  purpose  of  evaluating  the  role  teens  
have  played  in  fighting  unjust  labor  practices  across  the  globe.  Students  
should  determine  whether  the  teens’  efforts  have  been  effective  in  
stemming  the  tide  of  Globalization.  Finally,  they  should  determine  what  
types  of  actions  are  needed  for  people  in  North  America  to  thwart  
Globalization  during  the  21st  century.  
 
Science  Lesson  Plan:  Is  global  warming  an  issue  of  the  cycles  of  the  Ice  
Ages  or  the  industrial  reality  and  evironmental  impact  of  globalization?  
Instructional  Objective:  At  the  end  of  this  lesson  students  will  be  able  to  
compare  and  contrast  the  scientific  data  on  global  warming  and  state  any  
relationship  of  global  warming  to  the  issue  of  globalization.  
Materials:  textbook,  handouts,  www.  
Procedure:  
Students  will  be  allowed  to  go  to  library/media  center  and    
search  for  materials  on  global  warming.  Particular  attention    
will  be  given  to  the  several  recent  international  conferences  
on  the  subject.  
Students  will  be  put  into  small  work  groups  to  compile  their  
individual  materials  and  prioritize  their  materials  into  
significant  vs  insignificant  materials.  
Each  group  will  make  a  list  of  environmental  effects  of    
global  warming,  causes  and  effects.  They  will  list  and  explain  at  least  five.  
If  there  are  more  than  five  they  will  come  to  consensus  on  the  top  five.  

Students  will  come  together  as  a  large  group  and  discuss  and  compare  and  
contrast  the  individual  group’s  results.  A  list  will  be  produced,  with  the  
teacher’s  assistance,  encorporating  all  groups  causes/effects,  eliminating  
overlaps.  
Students  will  be  sent  back  to  their  small  groups  and  each  group  will  
produce  a  banner,  sign  or  slogan  that  will  emphasize  their  key  cause/effect  
on  global  warming.  
Evaluation:  students  will  demonstrate  their  knowledge  of  the  causes  and  
effects  of  global  warming,  to  include  a  definitive  position  as  to  the  effects  
of  globalization  or  natural  phenomena  of  the  cycle  of  warming  and  cooling  
of  the  earth  over  time.  In  addition  they  will  produce  evidence  of  their  
knowledge  from  a  poster,  banner  or  sign.  
 
2)  UNIT  Plan:  The  Religion  of  Islam  
Meets  National  Council  for  Social  Studies  Strand  1  (Culture)  and  Standard  2  
Idea:  Use  a  variety  of  intellectual  skills  to  demonstrate  their  understanding  
of  major  ideas,  eras,  themes,  developments,  and  turning  points  in  world  
history  and  examine  the  broad  sweep  of  history  from  a  variety  of  
perspectives.  
Lesson  one  
Instructional  Objective:  Students  will  demonstrate  their  comprehension  of  
religious  principles  by  stating  five  (5)  tenets  of  Catholicism,  Hinduism  and  
Judaism.  
Materials:  Textbooks,  reference  material  and  notebooks  
Activity;;  This  is  primarily  a  class  to  have  students  re-­state  already  studied  
religious  principles.  
Procedure:  
Students  will  form  coopetrative  groups  of  five  each,  having  
six  groups  (adjust  as  needed).  
Each  group  will  be  given  one  of  three  religions  and  asked  to  identify  at  
least  five  major  tenets  or  principles  of  that  religion.  They  may  use  available  
materials  as  resources.  
Each  group  will  report  back  to  the  class  on  the  tenets  they  
have  developed.  
The  teacher  will  compose  a  chart  on  the  board  and  ask  a  member  of  each  
group  to  write  the  principles  for  comparative  
purposes.  
Evaluation:  Students  ability  to  brainstorm  at  least  5  principles  

of  Catholicism,  Hinduism  or  Judaism.  
 
Lesson  Two  
Instructional  Objective:  After  a  reading  in  their  textbooks  on  the  Moslem  
religion  Islam,  the  students  will  describe  the  principle  of  the  %  Pillars  of  
Islam  in  a  short  paragraph.  
Materials:  Textbook,  reference  materials,  notes  from  class  on  the  
principles  of  the  religions:  Catholicism,  Hinduism,  Judaism.  
Activity:  In  a  cooperative  group  setting  the  students  will  do  silent  reading  
aobut  the  Moslem  faith.  
Procedure:  
After  reading,  the  teacher  will  ask  the  students  to  identify  the  five  major  
principles  of  Islam.  
 
As  a  small  group,  the  students  will  develop  a  list  of  principles  of  Islam.  
The  class  will  convene  as  a  large  group  and  identify  the  five  Principles  of  
Islam  from  the  lists  developed  in  the  small    
groups.  
 
Evaluation:  The  students  will  describe  the  concept  of  the  five  (5)  Pillars  of  
Islam  in  a  written  paragraph.  
 
Lesson  Three  
Instructional  Objective:  Students  will  compare  and  contrast  the  principles  
of  Islam  to  the  religion  they  discussed  in  the  previous  lessons  by  compiling  
a  list  of  three  similarities  and  differences.  
Materials:  Textbooks,  notes,  charts  from  lesson  1,  other  reference  
materials.  
Activity:  The  teacher  will  place  the  students  in  cooperative  groups.  
 
Procedure:  
The  teacher  will  ask  the  students  to  recount  the  previous  class  on  the  five  
(5)  Pillars  of  Islam.  
The  teacher  will  as  them  to  retrieve  their  records  on  the    
development  of  their  own  religion.  
As  a  group  the  students  will  find  and  state  similarities  and  differences  
between  their  religion  and  Islam.  
As  a  group  the  students  will  develop  a  list  and  use  these  for  

large  class  discussion.  
 
As  a  large  group  the  class  will  discuss  the  Islamic  principles  and  the  other  
religion  principles  they  established.  
Students  will  identify  that  their  personal  beliefs  have  more  
similarities  with  the  Moslem  religion  than  differences.  
Evaluation:  Compilation  of  a  list  of  three  similarities  and  differences  to  the  
religion  they  established  in  relation  to  the  religion  of  Islam.  
 
Lesson  Plan:  Is  Science  a  Religion?  
Instructional  Objective:  At  the  end  of  this  lesson  students  will  demonstrate  
their  knowledge  of  the  principles  of  science  by  stating  five  (5)  virtues  that  
are  common  to  science  and  religion,  and  five  (5)  virtues  that  are  unique  to  
science  only.  The  common  and  unique  virtues  are  listed  below:  
common  unique  
explanation,  consolation,  uplift  verification,  evidence,  
cosmology  and  biology,  inspiration  scientific  method,  replication,  modifiable  
 
Materials:  Reference  materials,  textbooks,  www.,  class  notes,    
handout  (Is  Science  a  Religion  by  R.  Dawkins,  1997  published  in  the  
Humanist).  
Procedure:  
Put  students  into  small  groups  of  4/5.  
List  the  common  and  unique  terms  listed  above  
Ask  students  to  define  the  terms  as  they  apply  to  science  in    
there  lives  and  give  one  example  of  each  from  current  events.  
Rank  the  terms  from  most  to  least  important  to  science.  
Ask  students  to  define  the  terms  as  they  apply  to  religions  in  in  their  lives.  
Rank  them  from  most  to  least  important  
to  religion.  
Analyze  roles  in  the  practice  of  scienc  and  the  practice  of  
religion.  Compare  and  contrast  these  roles  in  chart  form.  
Each  group  should  arrive  at  consensus  whether  science  is  a    
religion.  Explain  the  reasons  for  the  position.  
Students  will  answer  the  following  questions:  
1.  If  science  is  a  religion,  what  evidence  supports  that    
position?  
2.  If  science  is  not  a  religion,  what  sets  it  apart  from  

religion  to  make  it  unique?  
3.  Why  is  it  not  applicable  for  science  to  be  about  faith  and  belief?  
4.  What  happens  to  science  when  ethical  or  religious  ques-­  
tions  are  raised  in  the  public  forum?  
5.  Can  science  and  religion  offer  balance  to  each  other’s    
doctrine?  If  so,  how  and  if  not,  why  not?  
Evaluation:  Students  will  compare  and  contrast  the  principles  of  science  
and  religion  and  determine  whether  science  is  a  religion  based  on  common  
and  unique  virtues.  
 
3)  Lesson  Plan:  Riding  Out  the  Shock  Wave,  Whose  Life  is  Worth  More???  
The  primary  focus  of  the  lesson  will  be  the  decision  to  drop  the  bomb  on  
Hiroshima  and  Nagasake  knowing  the  destruction  in  the  aftermath.  
Students  will  examine  four  differnent  components  of  the  opposing  
postions.  
Instructional  Objective:  At  the  end  of  this  lesson  students  will  be  able  to  
write  an  opiniion  paper  of  500  words  using  primary  source  data  from  four  
of  the  five  presented  concerns  to  justify  whether  Truman’s  decision  to  drop  
atomic  weapons  on  Japan.  
 
Procedure:  
Upon  entry  into  the  classroom,  students  will  listen  to  Manhattan  Project  by  
Rush.  After  the  song  a  brief  brainstorming  activity  will  occur  to  evoke  the  
images  presented  in  the  lyrics.  
Students  will  be  asked  to  offer  historic  contemporary  opinions  on  the  
necessity  of  the  dropping  of  atomic  wepons  on  Hiroshima  and  Nagasaki.  
On  a  word  map  or  other  graphic  organizer,  students  will  section  off  the  
following:  
1.  The  United  States  Government  
2.  United  States  popular  public  opinion  
3.  Manhattan  Project  scientists  
4.  Japanese  Society  
5.  Japanese  military  
Students  will  be  placed  into  small  groups  of  equal  size  and  assigned  to  a  
center  (each  unique  in  nature)  which  will  contain  primary  source  
documents  such  a  diaries,  journals,  notes,  memos,  opinions  of  the  Trinity  
Test,  etc.  At  each  center  the  students  will  be  directed  to  read  and  take  
notes  on  their  organizer  which  will  be  shared  with  the  entire  class.  

At  pre-­timed  intervals  students  will  rotate  through  all  the  centers.    
 
Upon  completion  of  the  last  center,  the  groups  will  engage  in  a  whole  class  
conversation  highlighting  similarities  and  differences  between  the  five  
categories  which  can  be  represented  on  the  board  or  overhead.  
Summary  question:  After  reading  the  perspectives  of  all  involved,  has  your  
opinion  of  the  bombings  of  August  6th  and  9th,  1945  changed?  If  not  why  
and  if  so  how?  
Assessment:  In  an  opinion  paper,  designed  in  an  editorial  format,  you  are  
to  present  your  validated  view  as  to  whether  or  not  Truman  was  justified  in  
his  descision  to  drop  atomic  weapons  on  Japan.  
You  should  include  material  from  at  least  four  of  the  five  above  read  
categories  to  substantiate  your  answer.  This  paper  should  not  be  less  than  
500  words  and  folow  proper  grammatical  rules.  
 
Science  Lesson  Plan:  Little  Boy,  the  only  Uranium  based  bomb  ever  
exploded!  
Instructional  Objective:  At  the  end  of  this  lesson  students  will  draw  the  
components  of  the  first  atomic  bomb  dropped  on  Japan,  named  Little  Boy.  
The  students  will  also  diagram  the  nuclear  reaction  to  include  the  
fissionable  reactants  and  products.  These  will  be  used  to  develop  a  
learning  center  for  the  classroom.  
Materials:  Show  selected  portions  of  the  1989  movie,  Little  Boy  and  Fat  
Man,  starring  Paul  Newman,  textbook,  www.,  The  Manhattan  Project  
Heritage  Preservation  Assoc.  handout,  various  other  handouts  
Procedure:  
Allow  students  to  go  to  the  library  or  media  center  and  collect  various  
scientific  information  on  the  construction  of  the  Manhattan  Project.  They  
should  include  in  their  materials  various  diagrams  of  the  bomb  itself  and  
the  chemical  chain  reaction  of  Uranium  238  that  was  used  in  making  the  
bomb.  
Put  students  into  small  groups  of  three  or  four  to  share  their  research  
materials.  Provide  other  materials  where  appropriate.  
After  sharing  their  materials  the  groups  should  make  a  chart  
for  the  design  of  the  bomb  and  the  chemical  equation  of  the  
nuclear  process.  
The  small  groups  will  come  together  to  the  larger  class  and  present  their  
charts,  diagrams  and  chemical  equations.  Within  their  presentation  there  

should  be  evidence  why  Uranium  was  not  used  further  as  an  energy  
source.  
Students  should  discuss  the  ethics  of  the  “dirty  bomb”  and  whether  it  
should  have  been  dropped  on  two  Japanese  cities.  
 
Students  will  write  a  position  paper  on  the  bomb  as  to  its  
efficiency,  environmental  impact  and  ethics.  To  be  graded  
by  the  teacher’s  rubric.  
All  materials  will  be  used  to  build  a  learning  center  on  the  
atomic  bomb  and  its  “physics”.  
Evaluation:  Students  will  demonstate  their  knowledge  of  the  chemistry  of  a  
nuclear  reaction  using  Uranium  238  in  Little  Boy,  write  a  position  paper,  
and  create  materials  to  be  used  in  developing  a  learning  center  on  the  
Manhattan  Project.