Lesson Introduction

Element 1: Introduce the CTE Lesson

woman pointing to poster board
Introduce the CTE lesson with an explanation of the CTE subject matter and objectives. Do not feel the need to strongly emphasize the science content here unless it is integral to the CTE content. Be certain to answer why this lesson is being taught. This part of the lesson should include one or more elements or activities to engage and motivate the students. It should also link to previous learning or experiences.

Look through your selected lesson. How can you introduce the topic and engage your students in the CTE content immediately? While you are not directly incorporating science at this point, review your ideas for the scientific practices and see if this helps generate ideas for how to introduce the lesson. Maybe you can start by asking questions and getting your students to engage in this as well. Or perhaps you could start with a story or a video. What other ideas can you think of?

Make some notes in your participant guide on fun and/or engaging ways to start your lesson.


Review the sample lesson plan to see how the lesson introduces the CTE subject matter while engaging and motivating students.

Element 2: Assess Your Students' Pre-Understanding of the Embedded Science

Review the sample lesson plan to see how students' pre-understanding is assessed.

Element 3: Teach the CTE Content and the Embedded Science Within

Begin with the CTE content and gradually transition to the embedded science. Be sure to make a clear connection between the CTE and the science skills and knowledge, and how these skills and knowledge will translate to the workplace. Use both the CTE terminology and the scientific vocabulary so the students begin to understand that they are interchangeable or connected.

When planning this portion of your lesson, start considering the inquiry-based learning approach. Make sure you are connecting the material to the students’ prior knowledge and helping them make personal connections to the material. Help your students make clear connections to how they will use the knowledge or skills they are learning in the workplace.

Remember the five core principles of integrating science into CTE as you develop this portion of your lesson. In your participant guide, jot down a few ideas for how you can teach the material keeping the core principles in mind.

test flasks with 5 core principles


Use the sample lesson plan as a guide in teaching the content and the embedded science as one. 

Element 4: Create Activities with Authentic Application of CTE Using Inquiry

students with a chip board
Use meaningful laboratory experiences or field-based activities so the students can participate in an authentic application of the CTE content using scientific inquiry to apply what they learned. Make sure that the experience is a real-world situation based on the CTE content. Be sure that the science concepts used in this part of the lesson are consistent with those already used in the lesson.

This is an excellent area to use the online resources provided in Part 1 of this course to help you develop ideas for activities. Additionally, turn to your community of teachers (both science and CTE teachers) as well as industry partners to help you come up with engaging real-world activities for your students.

Once again, consider the inquiry-based learning approach as you develop this portion of your lesson. What level(s) of inquiry will you use?

In your participant guide, make a few notes about ideas for activities. You may want to review some of the online resources included in the PDF below.

Online Resources


Take a look at how the sample lesson plan used an activity with inquiry which also incorporated several of the scientific practices. 

Element 5: Provide Opportunities for Students to Demonstrate Understanding of the Explicit Science in the Lesson

Teacher gives students the opportunity to demonstrate understanding
Students should be able to explain and communicate their findings during the inquiry part of the lesson. Encourage them to use a variety of media to show their understanding. Be sure that the scientific findings are tied back to the CTE content. This part of the lesson can integrate the CER approach to help your students communicate their understanding.

In your participant guide, write down some ideas for ways to have your students demonstrate their understanding of the science in your lesson.


Review the sample lesson plan to see how students were able to demonstrate their understanding of the science after they completed the activity.

Element 6: Evaluate Through Formal Assessments of CTE and Science Knowledge and Skills

The last part of the lesson assesses the students’ knowledge and skills in the CTE and science concepts.  Students should have the opportunity to self-assess and reflect on what they have learned.

In your participant guide write down some different options for formally assessing the CTE and science knowledge and skills in your lesson. When brainstorming ideas for this portion of the lesson, consider alternatives to an exam or quiz as a tool of formal assessment. 

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Design an interesting and challenging assignment.
  • Create and use rubrics for assessment.
  • Assign groups an assignment, but evaluate the work both on the group and individual level.
  • Have the students present/teach a topic covered in the lesson or have them create a video or e-learning module.
  • Have the students develop and conduct an experiment to prove or disprove what they’ve learned or were taught.


sticky note
Review the sample lesson plan and the technique used to assess the students' knowledge and skills. 

Quick Check