Use CER Writing Strategy with Your Science Lessons

Are you a science teacher wondering how you can incorporate the CER – claim, evidence, reasoning writing strategy into your classroom WHILE still using your existing science lessons?  No worries teacher friend, incorporating the CER method is easy and requires minimal work from you.

Brushing up on the CER Method

         If you are unsure of what the CER science writing strategy is or if it is suitable for your classroom, you can learn the basics here.

Using the CER Science Writing Strategy in My Classroom

         While there are several ways to do this, you will choose which one works the best for your science classroom needs. The way that I incorporated it into my classroom was by eliminating the entire scientific method write-up. With the implementation of the NGSS standards, teaching the scientific method will look different from the past. Scientists feel that it is not realistic to complete an experiment linearly.
NGSS and CER science writing strategy in minutes


         This thinking has led me to edit my lab write-ups to look more like a graphic organizer. Students are given the problem and create a hypothesis. Their hypothesis may later become their claim, but I do not allow them to determine this until they have experimented. Observations are collected on the same sheet so that students can compare their hypotheses and observations to then formulate their claim. Students then cite evidence from their observations to support their claim and finally connect this to scientific reasoning.
States of matter and the CER method in the science classroom

 More Ways to Implement Claim Evidence Reasoning Writing Strategy in My Classroom

         Another way to incorporate CER without editing your previous science lessons is to have students use the claim, evidence, reasoning formula for their conclusion. This allows them to explain their scientific thinking concisely and easily implement the strategy without changing how you usually teach this concept.  
grade 4 5 6 7 science writing strategy that aligns with NGSS standards


Part of the NGSS standards is to allow students a chance to argue their thinking. While some students can naturally do this on the fly, others need more structure and formulate their answers first. The CER method will easily allow your students to do this while providing you with an assessment of their understanding. 
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