ACESSE Resource E: Selecting Anchoring Phenomena for Equitable 3D Teaching

This pair of workshops is designed to introduce you to the process of selecting phenomena that can anchor an entire unit that supports students’ 3D science learning or that can serve as a basis for a multi-component assessment task. This resource can also be used by individuals wanting to refine their teaching practice around phenomena based instruction. You may have heard a lot about phenomena, but you may also be wondering what exactly they are, and whether using phenomena is any different from how teachers teach today already.

This learning experience will help you:

With respect to the assessment process, this resource supports the task of clarifying learning goals and eliciting evidence of student learning. Specifically, analyzing standards helps to clarify learning goals. In assessment, scenarios present phenomena to students, and then specific prompts are designed to elicit student understanding of core ideas, practices and crosscutting concepts. Once written as a scenario for an assessment, teachers can use the resources introduced in ACESSE Resource B to design specific prompts for their assessments (SEP Task Formats Tool, CCC Prompts Tool). This resource complements Resource C, in that it provides some ways to integrate tools to connect science instruction meaningfully to students’ everyday lives and cultural practices. This workshop has multiple segments, and it is broken into two sessions that last roughly three hours each, which can be organized as a full-day session or across multiple days.

Link to PowerPoint File Version

Link to Open Educational Resource Version (on OER Commons)

Link to Facilitator’s Guide for this Resource

ACESSE-E-Phenomenon Game Cards with Key- PDF

ACESSE-E-Phenomenon Game: Easy to Cut Out for use version PDF

One-Page Description of this Resource (PDF)

Recording of this Professional Development Session

This resource is an open educational resource (OER) and can be freely shared, modified, and used. This resource is brought to you by the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE, or “access”) project. It has been developed with guidance from science education experts from across 13 states to make it as broadly useful as possible. You can follow the work of the ACESSE project on Twitter.

Preferred citation: Penuel, W. R., Bell, P., Neill, T., Morrison, D., & Tesoriero, G. (2018). Selecting Anchoring Phenomena for Equitable 3D Teaching. [OER Professional Development Session from the ACESSE Project] Retrieved from