CER in Science: 3 Steps to Master Scientific Writing

CER in science

In high school science, developing strong reasoning and analytical skills is crucial for students. The CER framework, which stands for Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning, provides a structured approach to scientific inquiry and argumentation. This CER in science framework helps students articulate their scientific understanding in a clear, concise, and logical manner. In this blog post, we’ll explore what each part of the CER framework is, explain why it’s important, discuss how to complete it effectively, and provide an example for each part.

If you are looking for ready-to-go CER science activities, here are some of my favorite CER science activities!

What is The CER Framework?

The CER framework is a method for constructing scientific explanations. Here’s a breakdown of each component:

  1. Claim: A statement or conclusion that answers a question or problem.
  2. Evidence: Scientific data that supports the claim. This data can come from experiments, observations, or research.
  3. Reasoning: The explanation that connects the evidence to the claim. It shows why the evidence supports the claim, often incorporating scientific principles or theories.

Why is the CER Framework Important?

The CER framework is essential in science education for several reasons:

  • Clarity and Precision: It helps students structure their thoughts and communicate their ideas clearly.
  • Critical Thinking: It encourages students to think critically about how evidence supports their claims.
  • Scientific Literacy: It promotes a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and processes.
  • Argumentation Skills: It equips students with the skills needed to construct and defend scientific arguments, which is crucial for scientific discourse.

Hang these CER in Science Posters In your classroom for to remind your students about the CER process throughout the year!

Teachers, students, and administrators alike love a visual reminder of argumentative writing in science. These five posters feature tips, examples, and explanations of each part of the CER framework.

How to Complete Each Part Of the CER In Science Framework

1. Claim

  • What it is: A statement that responds directly to the question or problem posed.
  • How to do it: Make sure the claim is concise and directly answers the question. Avoid using vague language.

Question: Does increasing the amount of sunlight affect the growth rate of plants?

  • Example of Claim: Increasing the amount of sunlight increases the growth rate of plants.

2. Evidence

  • What it is: Data or observations that support the claim. Evidence should be relevant and sufficient.
  • How to do it: Collect data through experiments, research, or observations. Ensure the evidence directly relates to the claim and includes quantitative or qualitative data.

Example of Evidence: Based on the claim above:

  • Evidence: In an experiment, plants exposed to 8 hours of sunlight daily grew an average of 5 cm per week, while plants exposed to 4 hours of sunlight grew an average of 2 cm per week.

3. Reasoning

  • What it is: The logical connection between the evidence and the claim. It explains why the evidence supports the claim using scientific principles.
  • How to do it: Use scientific knowledge to explain why the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claim. Make the reasoning clear and logical.

Example of Reasoning: Based on the claim and evidence above:

  • Reasoning: Plants require sunlight for photosynthesis, the process by which they convert light energy into chemical energy to fuel their growth. The data shows that plants with more sunlight exposure grow faster because they can photosynthesize more effectively, producing more energy for growth. Therefore, the increased growth rate in plants with 8 hours of sunlight supports the claim that more sunlight leads to faster growth.
CER in science

Putting it all together

Let’s see how a complete CER in science response looks:

Question: Does increasing the amount of sunlight affect the growth rate of plants?

Claim: Increasing the amount of sunlight increases the growth rate of plants.

Evidence: In an experiment, plants exposed to 8 hours of sunlight daily grew an average of 5 cm per week, while plants exposed to 4 hours of sunlight grew an average of 2 cm per week.

Reasoning: Plants require sunlight for photosynthesis, the process by which they convert light energy into chemical energy to fuel their growth. The data shows that plants with more sunlight exposure grow faster because they can photosynthesize more effectively, producing more energy for growth. Therefore, the increased growth rate in plants with 8 hours of sunlight supports the claim that more sunlight leads to faster growth.

The CER framework is a powerful tool in high school science education. It not only helps students structure their scientific explanations but also enhances their critical thinking and argumentation skills. By clearly stating a claim, supporting it with evidence, and providing logical reasoning, students can communicate their scientific understanding effectively. Whether it’s explaining the results of an experiment or discussing a scientific concept, mastering the CER in science framework is a vital step in becoming a proficient and confident scientific thinker. Learn more about CER in science here!

Ready to Go CER In Science Resources

Are you looking to enhance your students’ scientific reasoning skills and make your classroom a hub of engaging, evidence-based learning? Look no further than these CER in Science Posters and CER Science Labs! Our posters provide clear, visually appealing breakdowns of the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning framework, making it easier for students to grasp and apply these critical components in their scientific explanations.

Meanwhile, these CER Science Labs offer hands-on activities that guide students through real-world experiments, helping them practice and master CER in science in a practical, memorable way. By incorporating these resources into your curriculum, you’ll foster a deeper understanding of scientific concepts and improve your students’ ability to construct well-supported arguments, preparing them for success in both academic and real-world settings.

happy sciencing