Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain how the CEBAF particle accelerator has contributed to scientific knowledge.
- Explain how the new and improved accelerator may continue to expand that knowledge.
- Identify the benefits to society and science of the Jefferson Lab's investigations.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes a main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
In regards to science:
- Students should clearly understand the current theory of the atom.
- If a review is needed, teachers might show titled "Atomic Structure" (uploaded by YouTube user Ian Stuart).
- Here is another engaging video about elements called "Meet the Elements" (uploaded by YouTube user Boing Boing Video).
- If students need more practice, this worksheet (from ScienceSpot.net) is an excellent review and has the answer key attached.
- Students should have a sense that new investigations and data continuously add to the body of scientific knowledge.
In regards to literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in this article include the title, subheadings, photographs, and captions.
- Students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), body paragraphs that support the main point(s) and include relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that the use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. What does a particle accelerator do?
A particle accelerator acts like a giant microscope. It stuffs electrons with extra energy by accelerating them to nearly the speed of light. This extra energy allows the electron to travel inside the atom's nucleus to probe its protons and neutrons. In particular, the energy supplied to the electrons allows them to shoot into atoms and nuclei at increasing speeds. The force and speed of the electrons causes collisions with subatomic particles, allowing them to shoot out and collect in detection chambers. Scientists then study these expelled and smashed pieces to determine the mass, charge, speed, location, and behavior of the particles.
2. How has the CEBAF particle accelerator changed over time, and what is the potential of its latest version?
The CEBAF accelerator was originally designed to provide electrons with 4 billion electron-volts (GeV) of energy, but soon after the machine achieved 4GeV in 1995, operators realized they could surpass that. By incrementally pushing CEBAF's limits, the original machine eventually achieved 150 percent of its original design energy in August 2000, providing 6GeV electrons for experiments. Construction began on an upgrade of the machine in 2008. In late December 2015, the machine reached its new potential for the first time, delivering 12GeV electrons. The upgrade will further human knowledge of the particles and forces at play in the heart of matter.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Show students different pictures of models of atomic structure that scientists have used over time. Then ask them to identify the one they believe to be the currently accepted model. Encourage peer and class discussion and ask students to explain the reasons for their choice. Use the conversations to determine their level of background knowledge.
- Several sites to use for resources:
2. Have students work with 1 or more partners to draw a model of an atom, identifying the location of protons, neutrons, electrons, and the charges of each. Students may then share answers with the class.
- Students are likely to draw a variety of pictures that reflect Bohr's ideas or which show that electrons exist at diverse levels.
3. Have students watch this 9-minute video titled "History of the Atom" (uploaded by YouTube user Bozeman Science).
4. Have students write a brief reflection statement explaining the currently accepted model of atomic structure.
- This short video clip titled "Amazing Atoms" (1:37, uploaded by YouTube user PBS) is a very good visual that will help eliminate any misconceptions about the current model of the atom.
5. Ask students: "Have you ever heard about a particle accelerator? Do you know what it does?" Explain that it is a device used by physicists and chemists to study collisions between sub-atomic particles in order to better understand atoms and their nuclei.
6. Show students images of a particle accelerator. Here is a link to several on Wikipedia.
7. Tell students that today they are going to read an article that will inform them about the Jefferson Lab's particle accelerator. As they read this article they should think about the conditions which allow scientific knowledge to change.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "Exploring the Heart of Matter." For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. They can also number the sections:
- Jefferson Lab
- A Microscope for the Nucleus
- Energetic Electrons
- Triple the Power
- More on the Way
2. Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
3. Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary they must define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge and/or use a dictionary to define the words.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
3. For discussion of students' answers to the defined vocabulary terms, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
1. Students may assume that the most current model of the atom is necessarily the correct or "perfect" one. Remind students that science is the quest for understanding and that we still a lot to learn and discover about the atom!
2. Students may think of atoms as living because they move. Movement is not a characteristic of life, and all living things are made of cells. Cells are made of millions of atoms, but each atom alone is not alive.
3. Students often believe electrons "belong" to a specific atom and that their orbits are true orbits. Electrons can be easily transferred or shared, depending on the element. Electrons are not in true orbits. This titled "Basic Atomic Structure" (1:56, uploaded by YouTube user mtchemers) explains what keeps electrons attracted to certain atoms.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, or maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
1. Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
2. After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. The teacher can show the sample response on an overhead or with an LCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- The use of textual specifics throughout the response.
- How the author uses different paragraphs to address different aspects of the prompt.
- The writer's use of transitions both within and in between paragraphs.
- How the body paragraphs support the main point and tie back to the prompt.
- How the concluding sentences reinforce and support the main point. Brainstorm with students additional ideas about how to wrap up the piece.
3. Teachers might want students to use the rubric to provide a score for the sample written response and have them justify the score they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a 4.
1. Have students complete an "exit ticket" at the end of the lesson containing:
- The most interesting new thing they learned
- 1 new vocabulary term they now feel more comfortable using
- 1 thing they still find confusing
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
2. Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written responses will be assessed.
3. Go over the prompt with students and make sure they understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts.
New information from discoveries and investigations constantly adds to the body of science knowledge and often contributes to revising or changing ideas. Preliminary findings gleaned from the previous CEBAF machine indicate that scientists are gaining knowledge about the characteristics of atomic particles.
- Write to explain at least two of those findings.
- Explain how utilizing this more precise machine will change our understanding of sub-atomic particles and how this may benefit science and society.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"