Printer Friendly

Activity: Scientific Language–Opinions, Hypotheses, and Theories

Materials

  • Table 1.2
  • A pencil or pen

 

Procedure

Each of the following pairs of statements relate to the same scientific idea (see Table 1.2). 
  1. Read each statement. Classify each statement with one of the following codes and write the code in the space to the left of each statement:
    • O = opinion
    • H = hypothesis
    • T = theory
       
  2. In the space after each statement, explain why you chose the classification.
     
  3. Rewrite the statements you labeled with an O for opinion as testable hypotheses. You may revise your classification of the above statements if you need to.
     
  4. For each statement labeled H for hypothesis, list the controls and variables that would need to be tested to prove or disprove the hypothesis. You may revise your classification of the above statements if you need to.
     
  5. What types of evidence might support each statement you labeled as  T for theory? You may revise your classification of the above statements if you need to.

 

Activity Questions: 
  1. What are the differences between an opinion and a hypothesis?
     
  2. Why do you think a theory is never described as absolutely right or true?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.