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

Talk Moves

These are sentence/question stems or discourse moves that teachers might say to students when enacting this MDP. Additional ideas and strategies for developing talk moves and classroom discourse skills for both teachers and students can be found in the Accountable Talk Sourcebook, Open SciEd Teacher Handbook, Talk Science Primer, and Discourse Primer for Science Teachers.

Because the five MDPs are synergistic, some talk moves found in this MDP overlap or align strongly with talk moves or talk move categories found in other MDP sections. These talk moves, or the overarching category, are tagged with color-coded dots showing the alignment with the other MDP(s).

Relevance Talk Moves

Make connections to students' previous experiences, interests, goals, and real lives

Getting students to connect current learning to personal interests, curiosity, and experiences
"Have you ever wondered about…?"
"I know you're interested in [X], how might this apply to that?"
"Where have you seen this in your life?"
"How do you think your life would be different without [X]?"
"What else does this make you wonder about?"
"Everyone has such valuable input, who wants to tell me..." [what you think will happen if/when...; your thoughts about how this can be used in the real world?]
"I love to see how each of you thinks about [X]."
"How many of you are familiar with/know about [person, place or thing]?"
"Why is it important (to your community)?"
"Why might we want to know/do this?"
"How can your community or society in general benefit from knowing this?"
"How might this affect you or your family?"
"How could you use these skills in your everyday life?"
"What can people do with this knowledge?"
"You may use this in your life when…"
"Scientists describe things in the natural world, which you are doing"
"What kind of jobs is this knowledge helpful for?"
"Scientists (or other career field) use this when…"
"These are tools (or skills) that scientists and engineers use to answer questions and solve problems."

Use exciting and/or enjoyable activities to draw students into further inquiry and ongoing science learning

"This is really cool; you can check out other parts of it at home."
"Are you ready to have your minds blown?"
"These are some cool ways that scientists communicate their findings."
"What you are doing right now is what scientists do!"
"I think this is great because it helps prepare us for the careful observations we are about to make."
"How does this connect to [previous topic/skill]?"
"Who wants to share how your prior knowledge informed your original prediction, and what this investigation has taught you now?"
"This will prepare you for a more sophisticated exploration of [X] in [context]."

Incorporate current events and issues related to science into students' learning

"I saw/read [X] recently and I thought it was really cool because [Y]"
"Did you notice [particular phenomenon] happening this weekend/this season?"
“There’s an exhibit about [X] at [local institution] - I encourage you to check it out!”
"I heard about [local issue/news story] and I thought about [science concept from class] because…"
"Are any of you or your families involved in [local event]? I bet you never thought about how science plays a role in that! [Give explanation]"