Unit T1

Flour or Rat Poison?

Going from Observations to Inferences

Qualitative vs. Quantitative

Identify Powders

by Observing

Lesson: Qualitative vs. Quantitative

Duration: Approximately 30 minutes

This short activity helps students understand the between qualitative and quantitative observations.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students begin to learn the scientific language used when making observations and inferences.

Students demonstrate careful reading by identifying accurate details qualitatively and quantitatively.

Teacher Tune-ups

Teaching Notes

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

- Defining two types of observation (10 minutes)
- Practicing qualitative and quantitative 10 minutes)
- Comparing responses (10 minutes)

Defining two types of observations (10 minutes)

Read and discuss descriptions of qualitative and quantitative observations.

Qualitative observations are those that describe the situation using anything that does not use a number or measure. For example, the sun is bright today.

Quantitative observations are those that use a number in the description (weight, time, number of items, height, volume, and so on). For example, the temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit right now.

Practicing qualitative and quantitative (10 minutes)

Students practice making observations using the picture of the dog and the ruler. Check qualitative or quantitative next to the observations.

:

- 83 cm tall (quantitative)
- black covering edges of both ears (qualitative)

Extension:

Ask students to make both quantitative and qualitative observations using items in the classroom.

Discussion: What do we need to make "good" observations and inferences? (10 minutes)

Reflect:

- Compare responses to the previous task making qualitative and quantitative observation of the dog.
- Try the same task with an object in the classroom.

Discuss:

- What are various situations in which qualitative observations are more common? Quantitative?

Lead a class reflection and discussion.

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