PEOE Demonstrations

doing labs

The PEOE strategy is a fun and effective way to conduct demonstrations. In the process, you engage students in scientific inquiry. And once students are engaged in your lesson, teaching science is so much fun and rewarding!

What is PEOE?

The PEOE strategy follows the following steps:

  • Predict: Students predict what will happen in the demonstration/activity.
  • Explain: Students explain how they arrived at their predictions based on their current understanding of the concepts involved. The Explain phase is useful to illustrate the students’ prior knowledge, reasoning skills, and possible misconceptions.
  • Observe: The teacher conducts the demonstration or students carry out the activity. Students record their observations and evaluate their explanations in light of their observations.
  • Explain: Students revise their explanations, if necessary, to account for their observations.

A good example of a teacher demonstration involving PEOE is  Bending Water which is part of the STAO Grade 9/10 demo collection.  Check out some of the other demos in this collection.  They’re fabulous and safe! Best of all, they’re free to download – courtesy of STAO.

Appropriate use of PEOE

The PEOE strategy is effective for many of the demonstrations a science teacher typically conducts.  However, PEOE may not be appropriate if:

  • the demos/activity do not yield immediate results,
  • students have insufficient background knowledge or experience to make a reasonable prediction.

For more info on PEOE and demos in general check out these links: 

  1. Smarter Science, P.E.O.E. Steps, 2012
  2. Assessment Resource Banks: English, Mathematics, and Science, 2011

Share your favourite PEOE activity by emailing it to