Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Questions from the Conservation of Energy BB Lab, Table-Top Twitter, and the students' initial "blog" posts will be used to determine where students are in their learning.
During the initial Table-Top Twitter (TTT) students will be answering the following questions based on other students' work.
- Is it a system?
- Is it a good example?
- Is there another example that would work better?
The teacher will be able to assess if the students have a grasp on what a system actually is. Conversation after this activity can stem from the information that the teacher has seen.
TTT will also be used after students have a rough draft of their design for their model of an open, closed, or isolated system. The students will be using this information to build on what they have, but the teacher will use this to guide students to better designs with probing questions.
Questions from the Conservation of Energy BB Lab will be used to see if students grasp the idea of Conservation of Energy. Students should understand that the temperature increase of the BB's in the lab is from a transfer of Kinetic Energy into Thermal Energy. They should also be able to understand that Chemical Energy from food is stored as Potential Energy in the body then transferred as Kinetic Energy by shaking the BB's. The BB's now have the transferred Kinetic Energy and is now transferring that to Thermal Energy which is being released as heat (temperature change).
These questions will be answered in the students' blog post so the teacher can see what the students are understanding, what misconceptions they may have, and what they need to work on.
Feedback to Students
After students have answered the questions in their lab groups from the Conservation of Energy BB Lab, the class will have a whole group discussion. Any questions will be answered at this time and students will be allowed to add to their initial answers. (Advise students to add to their answers, they are not to take anything out even if they feel they were wrong).
Students will then be asked to formally write down their answers in a blog post. Once the teacher has read them over, the teacher will give narrative feedback to the student explaining what they understand, what they need to work on, and what they could possibly do to improve the work. (A longer explanation of feedback is given below in the Evaluate Understanding section). Allow students to revisit the post and fix their ideas.
The student's final blog post will serve as a summative assessment. This is purely a writing assignment that students will answer based on questions provided by the teacher.
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to design a system (open, closed or isolated) and build it to show understanding of systems and energy transfer.
Students will be able to explain that energy cannot be created nor destroyed using information gathered during lab.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
Is it possible to have a truly closed system?
If energy cannot be created nor destroyed, where did all of the energy that we have come from?
Are there any other systems that cannot have things added or taken away from them?
Can energy be destroyed by a black hole?
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should have a clear understanding of what Kinetic, Potential, Thermal, and Mechanical energies are. Each type should have been discussed prior to this activity on their own so students have a strong background with each one.
The scientific understanding of what a system is should be familiar to all students. Ex: water cycle, carbon cycle, etc.
Get Started: What activities will help students begin thinking about the concepts associated with the learning objectives?
Students will be assigned to groups of 4. Each group will be asked to find an example of a system (either in the classroom or online). Each group will create an illustration of their chosen system on a small poster and give a brief explanation of why this is a system.
(This is called "Table Top Twitter") After 10 minutes, students will be asked to stop working. In the next 5 minutes each student will be asked to silently walk around to each of the other groups and write down on the poster paper whether they think that the illustration represents a system. They must include in their response:
- Is it a system?
- Is it a good example?
- Is there another example that would work better?
Engage: What activities will engage students in the content?
Conservation of Energy BB lab.
Students will also write the answers to the BB Lab questions in their personal "blogs" (either online or in a notebook). This will be reviewed by the teacher and feedback will be given depending on what the student has written.
Explore: How will students explore the concepts?
Through the Conservation of Energy BB Lab, students will be able to take the information gathered and further research the three different types of systems. They will be asked to look for the definition of each system and a solid example of each one (open, closed and isolated).
- Open system is one in which both mass and energy transfer takes place across the boundaries.
ex: An open tank of water
- Closed system in which there is no transfer of mass takes place across the boundaries of system but energy transfer is possible.
ex: A gas in a balloon
- Isolated system is that in which there is no transfer of mass or energy taking place across the boundaries of the system.
ex: A thermos containing hot or cold liquid
This is essential to constructing the final summative blog post.
Students can use multiple sources to research the three systems. The teacher may want to find sources ahead of time online, or allow students to explore the Internet or other sources on their own.
- Each group will be asked to research the three types of systems (open, closed, and isolated) as it pertains to energy. After they find out what each type is and a simple, solid example of each one, they will report their findings to the teacher. See above for simple examples and definitions of each.
- When students finish research and bring definitions and examples to the teacher, they may then choose one of the three to continue working with. If the definitions and examples are similar to those above or the student can explain how their example fits the definition of that system, they move on to the next portion of the activity.
- Once one of the three types of systems have been chosen, they are to design a model of the system using materials provided by the teacher.
- Each group will design a system using the materials listed below. This will be a performance piece that will show the teacher that the concepts being studied are able to be directed into a real world problem. (The teacher may supply whatever is on hand. This is just an example of supplies to use).
- Styrofoam cups (multiple sizes)
- Tin foil
- Wax paper
- Bubble wrap
- Masking tape
- Plastic bottles (multiple sizes)
- Paper towels
- After the design is created, students will join another group with the same type of system. These students will give feedback on the other groups' design.
- After the feedback is given students will actually build the design and test to see if the system is true to their definition.
Explain: How will the concepts be explained and discussed?
Since students already have prior knowledge of Kinetic, Potential and Mechanical energy, students will be able to discuss the BB Lab questions as a small group. From these questions, the students will discuss and argue findings about the Law of Conservation of Energy as a large whole class discussion and how the BB lab is an example of this. In addition, the class will decide as a group if the jar in the BB Lab was an example of an open, closed, or isolated system.
Practice Together: How will the whole group practice applying the developing knowledge and skills?
Students will discuss how they think that their designs represent their chosen type of system. The group will give feedback to one another.
Practice in Teams or Pairs: How will teams or pairs of students practice their developing knowledge and skills?
Through "Table-Top Twitter" students will be able to discuss the different ideas they have in the very beginning of class. They will also use this method to critique each other's designs of the chosen system. By students actually writing to each other, they should be able to convey more information than simple discussion.
Practice Alone: How will students independently practice their developing knowledge and skills?
Through blog posts, students will revisit their initial posts and then change anything they feel that was incorrect. They will also be asked to now explain the relationship between thermal, kinetic and potential energy. They will take the information gathered in the mini-lesson and lab to relate the 3 types of energies. Students will also include why each type of the three systems are important to the Law of Conservation of Energy. See Student Final Blog Post instructions.
Evaluate Understanding: How will students and teachers evaluate students' understanding of the concepts and skills?
The teacher will provide narrative feedback to students' blog post using the following model:
- Summarize what the student has explained
- Explain misconceptions/what has been left out
- Have the student resubmit the assignment when corrected
Closing Activities: How will students and teachers develop closure around the acquired knowledge and skills?
Students will be asked to answer questions on types of systems and the Law of Conservation of Energy on an online poll or using hard copies as an exit slip.
Examples of questions to use:
- What kind of system is the Earth?
- Where does the potential energy that humans have come from (what is the source)?
- Can a system be truly closed?
- According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, what is happening to the total amount of energy in the Universe?