© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.This study investigated science classroom discourse in terms of the types of teacher discursive moves (TDMs) and the relationships between the types of TDMs and student-led cognitive contributions in different science concepts by considering the classroom context. An experienced seventh-grade science teacher and her 19 students were engaged in argument-based inquiry activities focusing on physics and chemistry concepts. The analysis revealed that even though the teacher used a variety of TDMs, the following four enacted TDMs were prominent: knowledge providing–evaluating, communicating, monitoring, and evaluating–judging–critiquing. There were implicit relationships between the knowledge providing–evaluating, communicating, monitoring, and evaluating–judging–critiquing moves and the students’ cognitive contributions in different science concepts. For further analysis, several video cases were selected for scrutinizing these episodes, and it was found that evaluating–judging–critiquing teacher moves interacted with classroom culture more than the other two commonly used TDMs by using comparison prompt (simple comparison), evaluation prompt (teacher-led evaluation), and resolution prompt (student–student judgements). It was observed that when the teacher increased the number of resolution prompts, the students reached greater cognitive contributions during the negotiation of physics phenomena. Recommendations were presented for the science teachers’ professional development in the sense of discourse–cognition relations.