How much class time will we need?

Each lesson is called an investigation and a curriculum unit consists of 16 or 17 investigations. Each investigation (a) introduces an Investigation Question, (b) includes an exploration or data gathering activity, and (c) wraps up with a class discussion so students can make meaning of their work and have a chance to clarify their understanding through talking and listening. Throughout the lesson, students write in their science notebooks, for example, recording their ideas, predictions, and measurements, representing their findings, and proposing explanations.

A complete investigation takes about 50–60 minutes and includes both the firsthand science experiences, literacy–related notebook writing. and whole class discussion. When science classes are scheduled for 45 minutes, teachers are encouraged to find an additional 15 minutes for students to complete their notebook writing or have an unhurried discussion where they practice articulating their ideas and explaining their reasoning.