Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Solving Science Mysteries

Cynthia Youngblood
Santa Rosa District Schools


Using resource materials, small groups investigate a science-related mystery, then write and deliver a persuasive speech that supports the theory of the mystery.


The student locates, organizes, and interprets written information for a variety of purposes, including classroom research, collaborative decision making, and performing a school or real-world task.

The student uses a variety of reference materials, including indexes, magazines, newspapers, and journals, and tools, including card catalogs and computer catalogs, to gather information for research topics.

The student speaks for various occasions, audiences, and purposes, including conversations, discussions, projects, and informational, persuasive, or technical presentations.

The student distinguishes between emotional and logical argument.

The student incorporates audiovisual aids in presentations.


-Library reference materials
-Visual aids (illustrated posters, pictures, videos, audiotape, transparencies, etc.)


1. Arrange a time to take the class to the media center for research.
2. Make copies of evaluation form to distribute to groups.
3. Pre-select books from library shelves about science mysteries.


1. Explain group research and persuasive talk assignment.

2. Students, working in small groups, choose a science-related mystery to investigate, such as the Bermuda Triangle, the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Using library resource materials (reference books, electronic media, the Internet, science books, etc.) each group formulates scientific theories to explain the mystery. Each group uses persuasion to write a speech supporting these theories. Each group then makes a presentation that consists of the persuasive speech being read and the sharing of other information gleaned through illustrations and/or visual aids.

3. Explain how this activity will be evaluated by going over -Solving Science Mysteries- Research Evaluation Form. (See attachment.)

4. Assign students to cooperative groups. Groups choose science-related mystery to investigate.

5. Take class to the media center for groups to do research.

6. Groups discuss findings.

7. Each group writes a persuasive speech.

8. Each group creates an audiovisual and/or illustration to use during the presentation.

9. Groups give presentations explaining the scientific theories of science mysteries.

10. Evaluate groupís presentations. (See attachment.)


The students present their arguments to the class and are assessed on the following standards:
(Locates and interprets information during research)
(Uses a variety of reference materials to gather information)
(Speaks in persuasive presentations)
(Makes a logical argument)
(Uses audiovisual aids and/or illustrations)

(See associated file for rubric.)


As an interdisciplinary study, science classes could be involved in this project.
This could also be an independent study instead of a group project.

Attached Files

Solving Science Mysteries Research Evaluation Form†††††File Extension: pdf

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