Lesson Plan Template: Guided or Open Inquiry
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to develop a systematic plan for adjusting the turbidity of coffee to make it “just right”.
Student will be able to use probeware/sensors to gather data and create a table to organize the data.
Students will be able to write code that utilizes probeware/sensors as data gathering tools.
Students will be able to communicate their procedure and results in writing.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should have built some knowledge of planning science lab investigations from lesson 1. Students should also have some basic knowledge of using block coding in Scratch to display different Sprites and different words on the screen based on variables from their experience in lesson 1 as well. Students should be familiar with inequalities <, > and also the equal sign.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
How can we systematically adjust the turbidity of a liquid to make it “just right”?
How can using probeware/sensors and code make this process more efficient?
Introduction: How will the teacher inform students of the intent of the lesson? How will students understand or develop an investigable question?
Tell the students that Goldilocks was quite pleased with the new testing code they created in lesson 1, however she is becoming a connoisseur of coffee and realized that there is a perfect turbidity level that makes the coffee “just right”. (NOTE: the coffee does not need to be hot for this lesson, pick a turbidity target that is in the middle of clear coffee and coffee with a lot of cream) Discuss that turbidity is the haziness or amount of suspended solids in a liquid. A turbidity sensor tests for the amount of light that is scattered through the substance. The unit of measure is NTUs.
Provide the worksheet to the students and read over the challenge. Make teams of students depending on the number of computers and turbidity sensors available. Have students work through the plan on how to set up an investigation that allows a systematic approach to getting the “just right” turbidity level. Discuss why scientists use a systematic approach and how adding small amounts and testing the turbidity will allow for better control and observation.
Allow students to talk with other teams and perhaps verify their plan with the teacher before moving forward with the coding plan.
Depending on the level of coding skill and prior experience with the turbidity sensor, the teacher may need to show the students how to use the sensors in conjunction with ScratchX. The coding part can be done by each team, allowing for diversity in code, or the teacher can decide to walk the students through this part of the worksheet and Scratch. The minimum code at this point is to have the sensor produce a turbidity reading and say “just right” when the turbidity is at the target goal.
Investigate: What will the teacher do to give students an opportunity to develop, try, revise, and implement their own methods to gather data?
Students must first try their code and make sure it works with the turbidity sensor. Provide all students with a turbid liquid that you already have test and know the NTUs, each vial must be shook before testing. Make sure that all their code displays approximately the same turbidity before they begin their investigation. Once students are ready, provide them with the time and materials that are needed to alter the turbidity. It is suggested to provide the students with a variety of supplies like creamer and even sugar for them to experiment. Allow them to discover that clear brown coffee or even dark clear brown coffee has a turbidity that is very low, usually 0 NTUs. This allows them to realize they need creamer. NOTE: provide very diluted creamer as well as full strength creamer to test. Students may need to start over again once they use too much creamer. Students should be able to have pipets, graduated cylinders, beakers or other material to safely hold the coffee. Students must be able to transfer the coffee to the vial that fit inside the sensor. Students must always shake the liquid just before testing. Be sure the coffee you are giving the students is not already the target turbidity level.
Analyze: How will the teacher help students determine a way to represent, analyze, and interpret the data they collect?
Students will collect the data on the worksheet and organize the data to show the systematic procedure that was used. Students may need scaffolding and guidance on how to organize their data, however allow for some flexibility in this step which relates to their procedure. Students will use their code and the probe to gather data. Students may find they need to add more creamer or more water to dilute the coffee depending on the amount they add. The amount, if too turbid, may put them past the target level. Students may need to start over again once they use too much creamer. Students should call the teacher over when they have coffee that is “just right”.
Closure: What will the teacher do to bring the lesson to a close? How will the students make sense of the investigation?
The whole class should come back together to discuss the results and how each team may have approached the task differently and how they may have had to adjust their plan in the middle of the investigation. A discussion on how systematic and perhaps smaller amounts were key to this investigation so the turbidity didn’t go past the target too quickly.
The summary section on the worksheet along with the code created in Scratch can be used to assess the students.
Throughout the lesson the students should be asked probing questions and stopped periodically to make sure they are progressing smoothly. Each team could possibly have different procedures and this should be encouraged. Important stopping points would be after the students create their plan. Students can either conference with the teacher or other groups to receive constructive feedback. Students should have a preliminary plan for their code, before allowing the lab investigation to begin the code should be correct in Scratch. Students should do a “test” using a sample of turbid water and compare their reading to that of other groups to make sure the sensor is working as expected. Students should make sure that they also have initial readings taken before they start collecting data. Teachers should look at the data periodically to make sure students are recording the correct data.
Feedback to Students
Students should receive feedback throughout the investigation from the teacher and peers. Peer interaction to improve procedure and debug code is imperative to help make stronger problem solvers. Be sure to provide feedback to the plan and to the code before allowing students to start their investigation. A trial sample to check the sensor is needed for the students to make sure their code is working as expected.