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Provide opportunities for learning science that students find personally meaningful, interesting, and/or culturally relevant

Relevance Planning Tool

Planning Tool

These are metacognitive/self-reflective questions that teachers can pose to themselves to help them consider specific strategies for enacting the MDP in an upcoming lesson. These questions are meant to guide teachers to think as concretely and specifically as possible about what they will say/do to support this MDP.

  1. To what extent can all of my students relate to this lesson? What materials or references can I use that are familiar to students? What can I draw on from popular culture right now to help students connect to what we are learning?
  2. How am I recognizing and leveraging student knowledge and assets to pique student interest and value in this lesson? How can I ensure that the relevance connections in the lesson are inclusive and culturally responsive, including acknowledging historic and/or structural injustices when appropriate?
  3. How am I helping students to connect the lesson activities to each other, to prior lessons, to the unit overall, and/or to future learning? How can I frame activities and/or what rationales can I provide during activity transitions that will help students recognize the relevance of each activity for our ongoing learning?
  4. What do I find exciting/interesting/fun/enjoyable about this topic? How can I demonstrate or communicate my enthusiasm to students?
  5. How can I encourage students to recognize and discuss the implications of this lesson for their communities or everyday lives? What materials, displays, or other resources can I bring into the classroom for this lesson that support cultural relevance and help students identify real-world applications and significance of the lesson?
  6. What is taking place in the world or local communities right now that I can draw on in relation to the phenomenon or design problem of interest? Are there opportunities to connect students’ in-class learning to these current events or issues and/or give assignments an authentic context?