Sample Lesson—Bring Science Alive! Exploring Science Practices - Grade 3

Step into Unit 1: Environments and Living Things to see how
a lesson would unfold in Bring Science Alive!

Unit Anchoring Phenomenon

Each unit begins with a storyline that allows students to dive deep into a real-world phenomenon. The Anchoring Phenomenon encourages students to make connections with the world around them. Students then further explore the phenomenon during the Performance Assessment.

Storyline: A Natural History Museum has hired you as a junior paleontologist! Discover why Columbian Mammoths lived in groups and what their fossils tell you about their environment.   

Anchoring Phenomenon: Paleontologists have found groups of Columbian Mammoth fossils all across North and Central America. These Columbian Mammoths died off thousands of years ago. 

After student watches the anchoring phenomenon video, students begin a KWL chart in their Science Journal. They generate questions for inquiry and return to fill out their charts throughout the unit.

View in Science Journal (p.3) How it works online


Lesson Phenomenon

Each lesson begins with an investigative phenomenon that is used to pique students’ interest and drive instruction throughout the investigation.

Lesson 5’s Phenomenon: This model shows an organism that has not existed on Earth for thousands of years. 

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to explain the phenomenon.

View in Science Journal (p. 105) How it works online


Three-Dimensional Lesson Investigations

Hands-on investigations allow students to take on the role of scientists and explore real-world problems.

In Lesson 5: How Do People Learn About Extinct Organisms? students act as paleontologists, uncover fossils of plants and animals that lived on Earth millions of years ago. Then, they categorize the fossils according to their findings. 

Check for Understanding

At the end of the lesson, students demonstrate what they’ve learned with Show What You Know and Making Sense of Phenomenon.

In unit 1, lesson 5, students fill in missing information for a conversation between a student and a scientist about species that no longer live on Earth. Then, they use the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning model to answer the question: What can we learn about an extinct organism through model?   

  View in Science Journal (p. 52-53)    How it works online



Each unit contains at least one engineering lesson. In an engineering lesson, students engage in the engineering process to think like an engineer as they solve real-world problems related to the Anchoring Phenomenon. Engineering Challenges engage students to design solutions directly related to Disciplinary Core Ideas.

In lesson 4 of unit 1, students analyze data so that they are able to recommend a design for a new animal crossing in a state park. 

NGSS-Designed Assessments

Each lesson includes a TCI assessment that addresses all three dimensions, uses diverse stimuli, and allows students to express understanding in multiple formats. You can use it as a formative or summative assessment to evaluate students’ ability to explain real-world data and phenomena. Want more flexibility with assessments? You can also create your own, or use shared questions from other TCI teachers.

View in Print How it works online


Super Simple Science

Super Simple Science investigations are bite-sized lessons that can be done in 30-mins or less. Each Super Simple Science lesson comes with an engaging lesson video for students to follow along as they conduct them in-class or at home. These lessons are perfect “Fun Friday” lessons and do not require special materials.

In lesson 2’s Super Simple Science, students learn about Tyrannosaurus Rex and how scientists are able to know what it looked like through study of T.rex fossils. Then, students find another dinosaur that interests them and draw ways that their dinosaur is similar to and different from T.Rex. They observe the patterns they see and share their findings with the class. 

How it works online


Performance Assessment

Students apply what they have learned in a hands-on Performance Assessment where they are evaluated across the three dimensions.

Unit 1 Performance Assessment: Researching How Columbian Mammoths Went Extinct  

Take part in a paleontology dig. Use the evidence you uncover to find out why Columbian Mammoths died off.

View in Science Journal (p. 146-149) How it works online


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