Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Students will be able to identify local water sources and explain where this water supply comes from. The answer on this will vary but the goal is for students to understand that water can come from wells, lakes and streams and the water cycle drives the replenishment of this resource. Students should visit local water treatment plant websites and see what other processes the water goes through before coming out the faucet.
- Students will be able to describe how humans use water sources and use the scientific method to create plausible predictions on how water use will impact the availability of this natural resource. The answer to this objective could vary slightly from area to area but students should discover similar uses such as farming, showering, recreation, drinking, etc. Students should also discover that locals use water way more excessively than we should and that the excessive use could lead to a shortage of water and therefore conflict and competition for a limited resource.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students will need to know what natural resources are and why they are important for humans.
- Students will need to understand the water cycle and how it impacts this natural resource.
- Students will need to know what the scientific method is and how to properly use it.
- Students will need to know how to do research for credible resources.
- Students will need to know how to accurately collect, organize, analyze and display data.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- Where do fresh water resources come from?
- How do humans use fresh water sources?
- What affect does human water use have on the availability and quality of this natural resource?
- How does the water cycle relate to the human impact on water?
- What have humans done to improve or degrade the amount and quality of fresh water?
- Why should you care about water?
Engage: What object, event, or questions will the teacher use to trigger the students' curiosity and engage them in the concepts?
Post the following questions for the students and ask them to share their thoughts"
- Where does local water come from?
- How do humans use it?
- Why should we care about water?
(Although answering questions isn't the most engaging activity, hopefully at this point the students will be able to easily identify why water is important to them because of one of the many ways in which water is used.)
Have students watch a video clip "Why Care about Water?"
Explore: What will the students do to explore the concepts and skills being developed through the lesson?
Students will now be placed into groups of 2-4 and will be asked to answer the following questions;
- Where does our local water source come from? How do locals use the water and in what amounts
- Students will begin researching these concepts using computers, Internet, textbook and the media center. The teacher will circulate for guidance and keep the students on the right track and make sure they are getting accurate information from credible sources. The teacher should encourage them to check local water treatment plant websites as well as city websites. Students will hopefully discover that there are fresh water wells, springs, lakes and streams that the water comes from and that this water is treated at a water treatment plant before being directed through pipes to homes. They should also discover a variety of uses, including farming, recreation, drinking, and cleaning.
- Once the groups answer the questions accurately they will begin working on their presentations. Presentations can be in the format (power point, poster, video) but should follow the following guidelines:
- Initial questions should be answered.
- Time constraints will determine the number of uses required.
- Visuals should be included.
- Sources should be cited.
Explain: What will the students and teacher do so students have opportunities to clarify their ideas, reach a conclusion or generalization, and communicate what they know to others?
The teacher will take the time at the end of the presentations to not only recap what was learned, but draw students attention to the important content they need to walk away with. At this point, a short writing assignment to assess what students learned from the presentation. Again they should be able to identify local water sources which will typically include wells, springs, lakes and streams or rivers. They will be able to identify how this water is treated at a plant and then circulated to houses where it is then recollected in sewers and run through the treatment process again all while the water cycle aids the replenishment of water.
Students will be presented with 2 questions.
- How do locals use water and how much is used?
- How will this use of water impact the availability of water?
Students will have to design an experiment and come up with a hypothesis to this question. Students will begin brainstorming on how they could collect data about water use. The teacher can provide examples such as creating a survey to have students fill out or an observation chart for observing use of water, etc. The teacher will circulate and help students come up with testable experiments. Once students have designed their experiment, ran it and collected data they will begin working on presenting their findings. Again, they can be as creative as they want as long as they meet the requirements stated in the formative assessment of the lesson plan.
Elaborate: What will the students do to apply their conceptual understanding and skills to solve a problem, make a decision, perform a task, or make sense of new knowledge?
Students will continue to work on their experiments and presentations. This is a great opportunity for the teacher to check in with each student and each group and make sure the project is going smoothly. At this point, hopefully students will begin to see a trend of excessive water use and begin making predictions that this excessive use could lead to a water shortage.
After all groups have presented, the teacher will recap and draw attention to the main ideas or content students need to know. Students should have prior knowledge on the scientific method and the teacher will be looking for key terms like hypothesis, prediction, collection and analysis of data as well as a solid conclusion.
The teacher will give a 4 question, essay quiz . Once students finish the quiz the teacher can review content and discuss ways in which we could elaborate or extend this project.
For this lesson the teacher will have 3 specific assessment points that students are given a deadline for, however there are multiple opportunities for the teacher to check in with students individually or in groups to discuss and evaluate their understanding of the required content.
Here is a suggested evaluation method:
- Thefirstsummative opportunity will come after the group presentation. Students will be in groups of 2 to 4 and will get a group presentation grade. The rubric I use is very simple and to the point.
- The group will get 25 points for presenting accurate information that explains where our local water comes from and how local water is used. The group will either get 25 points for answering both questions accurately, 12.5 points if they only answer one part correctly and no points if there is no accurate information.
- The next 25 points will be a group effort. Students will need to provide 2 pieces of evidence that every group member was involved. First they will need written documentation of who did what specifically. The group will get 12.5 points for having some kind of work log or documentation. The other 12.5 points will come from the actual presentation. Everyone in the group must have some active part in the presentation.
- The next 25 point chunk will be creativity points. Students can present their findings however they see fit as long as they are all able to show they understand the content they researched. Students will get 12.5 points just for at least trying but will get the full 25 points if they are able to fully excite, engage and keep the attention of their classmates when they present their findings.
- The final 25 points will come from citation of sources and incorporation of math. Students will likely come to similar and "guided" resources which they will get 12.5 points for citation of some form. It can be written, displayed or simply mentioned as long as credit is given to the source. The last 12.5 points will come from using or displaying use of math in some way. For this particular assessment I am only expecting the students to show me some kind of graph or math behind the details of all the different things that local water is used for. Students will get a better opportunity to use math in the experimental presentation when they display data that they have actually collected.
- Thesecondsummative opportunity will come after the experiment design. At this point, the same groups will have been given time to design and run an experiment that answers the question “How much water is used locally and how will that use impact the availability of water locally?”
- 25 points for accurately displaying data and the use of math as well as some form of presentation that presents a plausible hypothesis to the question at hand. 12.5 points for displaying accurate data and 12.5 points for presenting a plausible hypothesis or conclusion to your findings.
- Again, 25 points for documentation of the work each student contributed exactly as done before in the first rubric.
- Another 25 points will be attributed to creativity in the same manner as the first assessment.
- The last 25 points is the same as well however there should be more math involved with the documentation of how they tracked their data, analyzed their data and presented it in a way that describes the value of the data. There will not necessarily be a need to cite any sources since it is an experiment, so the math and data should be the focal point.
- The final assessment will be a quiz (see attached) that assesses understanding.
Teacher will find out what students learned about water sources and uses from the short writing assignment completed at the end of the presentations. This information will help the teacher fill in any omissions and correct any misconceptions.
Teacher will ask questions while students design their experiment to see that they are on the right track.
Feedback to Students
The teacher will have ample opportunities to provide feedback. The teacher can evaluate student responses to questions and provide feedback during this time. As the students work to research answers, the teacher will provide feedback and help guide the groups to credible and accurate resources. During the time when students are are researching and creating their presentation, the teacher will be constantly rotating between the groups and helping them as needed.
This type of circulation and teacher guidance will continue as they work on the experimental presentations. The teacher will provide feedback about relevance of their data and method, accurately displaying and making sense of the data and how to keep the entire process within the scientific method. So students are completely working these projects out themselves and the teacher will simply provide useful feedback and guidance to help them reach the assessment goals accurately while still taking ownership of their own learning.