Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
1. Students will be able to construct density graphs from lab data and use them, in conjunction with reference tables, to identify a substance.
2. Students will be able to explain what kind of relationship there is between the variables of mass and volume by analyzing their graph.
3. Students will be able to find the volume of an irregular shaped object and then determine its density.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Density and graphing are both part of middle school science standards. (see below) Students should be familiar with basic graphing techniques. This activity uses graphing to deepen the understanding of density as an intensive property that can be used to identify a substance.
Students should have experience working in lab groups and using basic lab equipment, such as balances and graduated cylinders.
SC.8.P.8.4 Classify and compare substances on the basis of characteristic physical properties that can be demonstrated or measured; for example, density, thermal or electrical conductivity, solubility, magnetic properties, melting and boiling points, and know that these properties are independent of the amount of the sample.
MAFS.8.F.2.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
What is the shape of your graph?
What happens to the mass when the volume increases?
Is the relationship between mass and volume of a substance direct or inverse?
What does the slope of the graph represent?
What does your graph tell you about the identity of your sample?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
The attached PowerPoint begins with two slides intended to engage student interest. One is a picture (or clip) from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana substitutes a bag of sand for a gold statue. There are dire consequences because of the density differences between sand and gold. The second slide refers to Archimedes and asks the students to think about what he discovered sitting in the bathtub. The first slide refers to mass and density; the second refers to volume and density. Together they should provide insight into the task proposed on the next slides. The teacher should encourage students to discuss the two slides using the Think, Pair, Share strategy. However, the teacher should not explicitly discuss density.
The task is intended to maintain engagement and encourage exploration. Students are told that they are lab technicians who will be testing gold rocks found during construction at a local high school. After presenting the task, the teacher puts the students into lab groups based on the pre test data. At the teacher's discretion the groups may be formed in the cooperative learning method (mixed ability) or they may be formed by grouping high, mid and low level students in homogeneous groups.
Students discuss and design a lab procedure in their lab groups and describe it to the teacher before they get equipment. Some guidance may be needed at this point. Students conduct the tests on the sample rocks; collect data; and graph. The teacher should monitor all groups, asking probing questions intended to redirect if necessary.
As a team, students should use a density reference table to determine if the samples are gold or not. They should also discuss and answer the additional questions, which explain the connection between mass, volume, and density. The teacher should validate or question their conclusion, as necessary.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Students will design and carry out the guided inquiry lab under teacher supervision and guidance.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
The data analysis, graphing, and lab questions will be completed in small groups independently.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
The post assessment quiz will be given near the end of class. See the Summative Assessment section for details. The teacher should briefly explain the correct answer at this point. However, if there are low levels of correct student quiz responses, remedial measures should be planned for the next lesson.
The Density Assessment will be given again by whichever method used earlier, but as the post test. Students answer each question one at a time. Results will be shown on the screen, if an electronic system is used, or students may look around the room. The teacher will not state the correct answer yet. Students will then be asked to discuss, either convincing others or changing their way of thinking. Students answer the question the final time. Only then will the teacher provide the correct answer. These discussions can be invaluable in clarifying and deepening student understanding of the topic.
This assessment is summative in that it is at the end of the lesson, but it will also be used to guide further activities before the unit mastery test. It is not necessary to record student grades on this quiz.
A pre test will be given to students. See attached document, Density Assessment.
Any type of student response system can be used for pre and post assessments (SMART system or comparable) or a web site or app such as www.polleverywhere.com or www.socrative.com (students must all have access to a smart phone or tablet).
If no technology is available, students could write answers to questions in large letters on a whiteboard and hold them up for quick review by the teacher.
In addition to the pre test, it is crucial that the teacher interact with the students during Think, Pair, Share and while they are in lab groups. These are critical moments for formative assessment. If students are off track, ask questions or give prompts that allow the students to correct their own thinking.
Feedback to Students
There will be no immediate feedback given to the students about the pre-test from the teacher, since it will be given again as a post-test.
Students will give feedback to each other during the engagement activity using the Think Pair Share strategy, in small group discussions, and during the lab activity.
Teacher feedback will be given to lab groups after they write their lab procedure, before they check out lab equipment. Teacher feedback will also be given during the lab activity to each lab group and again as part of the whole class discussion following the lab.