One of my favorite ways to engage students in argument from evidence is with a discrepant event.  There are some fantastic You Tube channels that support this kind of thinking and conversation.  One of my favorites is Veritasium.

Derek of Veritasium, posted this video last spring – The Beaker Ball Balance problem:


Derek sets up the situation and asks what will happen when the balance is released.  Students can watch the video, which is only about 2 minutes long and develop their argument.  Students should be able to use a “because” clause to explain the thinking behind their prediction.  You could even ask students to move to one side of the room or the other, and use their personal predictions to generate a group prediction.  Students may revise their own thinking and change groups after listening to the thinking of other students.

Once students have formulated their argument and shared their prediction, you can click on the most popular prediction (within the video).  Derek will show you what actually happens and explains the physics behind the results.

I challenge you to watch the set and make your own prediction first…my initial prediction was not correct!  Happy Science!