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Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER ) How do snowflakes form?. Mary Tweedy, Curriculum Support Specialist Keisha Kidd, Curriculum Support Specialist Millard Lightburn , Ph.D., District Supervisor K-5 . Benchmark Focus. Science

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Claim evidence reasoning cer how do snowflakes form

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)How do snowflakes form?

Mary Tweedy, Curriculum Support Specialist

Keisha Kidd, Curriculum Support Specialist

Millard Lightburn, Ph.D., District Supervisor K-5

Benchmark focus
Benchmark Focus


  • SC.5.E.7.3Recognize how air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, and precipitation determine the weather in a particular place and time.

  • SC.5.E.7.4 Distinguish among the various forms of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, and hail) making connections to the weather in a particular place and time. (Assessed as SC.5.E.7.3.)

    Common Core Integration

  • LACC.5.W.3.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • LACC.5.SL.1.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • LACC.K12.L.3.4 : Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

Department of Mathematics and Science


Claims are the statements that answer your original question.

  • The claim must be accurate, specific, and answer the question.

  • The claim is usually one sentence in length.


The evidence is all the scientific data that supports your claim.

  • It can come from a variety of sources such as:

    textbook, reading selections, videos, lab

    investigations, class notes, etc.

  • It should include both qualitative and quantitative data.

  • It is important to have numerous pieces of evidence in order to prove your claim.


  • Reasoning is the explanation that connects your claim to the evidence that supports it or why you think your claim (answer to the question) is correct .

  • It shows why the data you chose counts as evidence.

  • It shows a detailed understanding of the scientific principles involved and uses correct science vocabulary.

  • This explanation acts as a conclusion.

  • If evidence is from an experiment, it can be the “conclusion” of the lab.

  • It is usually several sentences in length.

How snowflakes form resources
How Snowflakes Form Resources

  • Grade 5 McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders Literature Anthology: The Story of Snow Unit 3 Week 3 pp. 216-231

    User Name: wondersfl Password: wonders2014

  • Discovery Education Reading: Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

  • Animated Video: How does it snow?

  • Video: How does snow form? (Comparing snow to sleet):

  • NBC LEARN: How Snowflakes Form (And Yes, Each One is Different)

  • How Do Snowflakes Form?

  • A snowflake primer:

What do you know about snow
What do you know about snow?

How does it snow?

Gr 5 mcgraw hill reading wonders literature anthology
Gr. 5 McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders Literature Anthology:

Discovery Education Reading:

Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

Claim evidence reasoning cer
Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)

Assignment: Write a scientific explanation that answers this question: How do snowflakes form?

Claim(Write a sentence that states how snowflakes form.)

Evidence: (Provide data about the weather conditions including quantitative data to support your claim about how snowflakes form.)

Reasoning: (Write a statement that connects your evidence to your claim about how snowflakes form.)

Getting started prewriting science ideas
Getting Started:Prewriting Science Ideas

  • What is a possible claim?

  • What science words will you want to include?

  • Where will you look for your evidence?

  • What sentence starters can you use to present your evidence?

  • What reasons show that this is good evidence?

  • What writing words can you use?

Show your evidence sentence starters
Show Your EvidenceSentence Starters

  • According to the text…

  • On page ___, it said …

  • The author wrote…

  • For instance…

  • From the reading, I know that…

  • Based on what I read…

  • The graphic showed…

  • For example…

Writing words
Writing Words

  • “Uncertainty” words: usually, generally, suggests, indicates

  • Sequencing words: first, second, third

  • Therefore

  • Because

  • If… Then…

  • However

Providing feedback on a student s cer
Providing Feedback on a Student’s CER

What to Comment on:

How to Comment:

  • Components of the explanation:

    - claim

    - evidence

    - reasoning

  • Science content of explanation

  • Holistic quality of explanation

  • Explicit and clear feedback

  • Point out strengths and weaknesses

  • Provide suggestions on how to improve

  • Ask questions to promote deeper thinking

Department of Mathematics and Science

When can a cer be used
When can a CER be used?

  • Use it to engage in structured, argumentation to explain a scientific concept.

  • Use it after an experiment to explain why a hypothesis was proven correct or not.

  • Use it to justify an answer choice for a multiple (FCAT type) test question is correct.

  • Use it to discuss claims made in videos or documentaries.

Multiple choice question
Multiple Choice Question

  • Claim

    – The correct answer choice is …

  • Evidence

    - Facts from background information

    - Data from the table or graph if applicable

  • Reasoning

    - Reasons for excluding other answer choices

    - Scientific background knowledge thatexplains

    why the answer is correct beyond what is given in

    the graph, table or background information.

Claim evidence reasoning after viewing a video or a documentary
Claim, Evidence, Reasoning after Viewing a Video or a Documentary

  • What is the claim the reporter is making?

  • What evidence does he or she cite in the report that supports that claim?

  • What is the scientific explanation?

Cer resources
CER Resources

  • McNeill, K. L. & Krajcik, J. 2011. Supporting grade 5-8 students in constructing explanations in science: The claim, evidence and reasoning framework for talk and writing. New York, NY: Pearson & Bacon.

  • McNeill, K. and Martin, D. 2011. Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning: Demystifying data during a unit on simple machines. Science and Children, 48(8).