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TPS Quarterly

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Exploring the Scientific Method: “Mr. Watson - Come Here – I want to see you.”


Working in pairs or groups, students analyze key pages from the laboratory notebook of Alexander Graham Bell to discover the elements of the scientific method. Successful scientific investigation requires methodical, careful testing of hypotheses and recording the results.


After completing this learning activity, students will be able to:

  • identify the elements of the scientific method;
  • analyze a manuscript; and,
  • describe the scientific method using evidence from this manuscript.

Time Required

One 45-minute class period; activity extension idea requires additional class period

Recommended Grade Range







Standards & Benchmarks


Standard 12. Understands the nature of scientific inquiry

Level II (Grades 3-5)

1. Knows that scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer to what scientists already know about the world
5. Knows that scientists’ explanation about what happens in the world comes partly from what they observe (evidence), and partly from how they interpret (inference) their observations

Historical Understanding

Standard 2. Understands the historical perspective


Adapted from a lesson plan created by Lynn Dille, TC Williams High School, Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia.

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