Lesson Plan Template: Guided or Open Inquiry
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- apply their understanding of the flow of heat from a hot object to a cold object through an Engineering Design Challenge.
- apply their understanding of the way heat flow can cause an object to change temperature through an Engineering Design Challenge.
- learn to read a thermometer.
- keep a record of their thermometer readings and will use the information to construct a line graph.
- use informational text to describe the structure of the text.
- use a diagram to assist in interpretation of informational text.
- use an informational text to determine the meaning of the domain-specific words: evaporation, climate, semi-arid, and perishable.
- use an informational text to create a summary statement explaining what happened and why.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
SC.3.P.9.1: Describe the changes water undergoes when it changes state through heating and cooling by using familiar scientific terms such as melting, freezing, boiling, evaporation, and condensation.
Students should have the prior knowledge that heat causes things to change temperature. They should have an understanding of melting, freezing, and evaporation. They should have the knowledge that objects can gain heat, but may need to revisit the concept that objects do not "gain cold," but rather that they are losing heat when they become colder.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. How does a cooler work?
2. How does heat flow?
3. What would it be like to live in a place that does not have electricity?
Introduction: How will the teacher inform students of the intent of the lesson? How will students understand or develop an investigable question?
1. Follow the instructions for the Freeze the Treats activity listed in the Formative Assessment section, using the attached response sheet.
2. Observe the contents of the cooler after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, and at the end of the day. (It may be a good idea to have a frozen set of the treats available at the end of the day for the students to consume, as they will probably be disappointed to see the treats melting as the day goes on.)
3. After each observation, the students should illustrate their observation and compare it with their prediction diagrams on the response sheet.
4. After each observation, discuss the flow of heat. Ask the students if the ice cubes are gaining or losing heat.
5. Distribute the Mohammed Bah Abba Informational Text and Response Sheet (attached).
6. Using your knowledge of how your class works best, place the students in partner groups.
7. Allow the partner groups to read and respond to the text using the response sheet.
8. Review the information in a whole group setting, making sure to highlight the information about how the cooler works through carrying heat energy away from the pots as the water evaporates.
1. Model the set up of a clay-pot cooler for the students. Place a smaller clay pot inside a larger clay pot. Pour sand in the space between the pots until it is almost to the top.
2. Repeat the set up for a second clay-pot cooler.
3. Place a thermometer inside each clay-pot cooler, wait one minute, and record the initial temperature of each cooler.
4. Carefully pour water over the sand in one of the coolers.
5. Place a cluster of grapes in each of the coolers.
6. Cover the cooler that did not have water added with a dry cloth. Cover the cooler that had water added with a damp cloth. Every two hours, rehydrate the cooler that initially received water by adding more water to the sand and removing, dampening, and replacing the towel.
7. Set both coolers outside, or near a window that receives ample sunlight if going outside to observe each hour will be too much of a disruption.
8. Every hour, record the temperature inside the coolers by removing the towel, reading the thermometer, and then replacing the thermometer and towel. The condition of the grapes should also be observed and recorded in the students' science notebooks.
9. Model graphing the data of the hydrated cooler for the students. The x-axis should show the times of the recordings, while the y-axis should show the temperatures.
10. Students will independently graph the data of the dry cooler. They will check for accuracy with their partner from Day 1.
11. Discuss the difference between the inside temperatures of the two coolers throughout the day. Explain how the hydrated cooler is able to remain at a lower temperature because the water is carrying heat away as it evaporates.
Investigate: What will the teacher do to give students an opportunity to develop, try, revise, and implement their own methods to gather data?
1. Discuss with the students that they are about to become classroom engineers. Engineers use science and math to solve problems by using materials and energy to design structures or machines to serve a practical purpose. The word "engine" and "ingenious" are derived from the same Latin root, "ingenerare", which means "to create." Engineers create new, or better, structures. Explain the Engineer Design Process (Attached. Refer to chart of graphic) Phase 1. Explain that we are now in Phase 1: "Identifying the Problem." In this stage, engineers identify the problem or challenge and any things they need to consider when they design their solution.
2. Remind the students that the clay-pot coolers are important to the people of Nigeria because they do not have electricity to run refrigerators to keep their foods from spoiling. Ask the students if there are ever times that people in Florida are without electricity for long periods. Discuss with students how severe weather could result in power outages that last for days. Provide the students with the following challenge: "All computer models are currently suggesting that Hurricane Ed will make landfall in Florida as a strong Category 2 Hurricane. Specialists from Florida Power and Light are predicting power outages that could last for three to five days in some areas. Sand is being used for sandbags to prevent damage from flooding. Design a clay-pot cooler that uses a material other than sand, so that items that need to be refrigerated will not spoil if Hurricane Ed causes lasting power outages."
3. Brainstorm possible solutions. Put students into teams of 3-4 and allow time for them to discuss, brainstorm and draw their plans and designs in their science notebooks. Circulate and assist using guiding questions as student groups generate ideas for how to solve the problem. If students are having trouble, ask them to brainstorm materials that easily available and absorb water.
4. Design and build a working model or prototype. After they decide on a plan, students should make a labeled drawing of their idea in their notebooks so they can begin to work out the details of the design. Once they have a plan approved by the teacher, they will gather materials from home or school.
1. Students will use the materials provided by the teacher (clay pots, water, cloth) and the material they have planned to use as the sand substitute to build a model of their design for testing. Tell students that this model is called a "prototype."
2. Each group will take and record the beginning temperature of their prototype in their science notebooks.
3. Each group will add water to the sand substitute in their prototype, place a cluster of grapes in the cooler, and place the damp cloth over the entire thing. The prototype will need to be rehydrated every two hours.
4. Each group will place the prototype outside (or near the window).
5. Every hour, the group will record the temperature of the inside of the prototype. They will graph this data in their science notebooks. They should also describe the condition of the grapes at each recording.
Analyze: How will the teacher help students determine a way to represent, analyze, and interpret the data they collect?
Once the first test is completed, each team will "Analyze their data/results" and discuss as a group what is working in their model and what might need to be changed. They will discuss their plans for modification with the teacher and will gather materials to use on Day 5.
1. After "Modifying," they will test again, continuing the "test-analyze-modify" cycle until they feel their "solution is complete and a final model is achieved." Students will need to follow the previously implemented procedure for reading, recording, and graphing the temperature inside the cooler.
Closure: What will the teacher do to bring the lesson to a close? How will the students make sense of the investigation?
1. Discuss with the students that the final step in the Engineer Design Process is presentation. Remind students that one of the challenges Mohammed Bah Abba faces currently is getting the information about the clay-pot coolers to the people in remote areas. One way that he has found to be effective is through skits that entertain the people he needs to educate. The students now have the task of creating a presentation that entertains their classmates while educating them about the use of the sand substitute their group used in their clay-pot cooler to solve the Hurricane Ed challenge. Their presentation should make use of their graphs of the temperatures inside their clay-pot.
2. After each presentation, students should make a comparison between the effectiveness of the material their group used and that of the group that presented. They should also give a possible explanation for any differences between the groups.
3. Review the Engineer Design Challenge Process through class discussion. Do students understand each phase and how the process helps engineers solve challenges and create the best designs they can?
4. Follow up with the Summative Assessment activity.
Use the attached Engineering Design Process Evaluation Rubric to evaluate each student's performance during the Design Challenge portion of this lesson.
The students will also revisit the Freeze the Treats activity, responding to the question, "How does the ice help keep the treats frozen longer?" They should be able to use the knowledge of the flow of heat obtained during the clay-pot cooler design challenge to explain that the ice surrounding the treats will receive the flow of heat (from the cooler itself) before the treats do.
At the beginning of the day, display a medium sized cooler. Place inexpensive frozen popsicles or freezer pops in the cooler and close the cooler. Ask the students to respond to the first question on the Freeze the Treats Response Sheet: "Will the treats still be frozen after 10 minutes, after 30 minutes, after 1 hour, after 3 hours, and at the end of the day?"
On the sheet, students will mark "yes" or "no" beside each time interval. Next, ask the students to respond to the second question on the response sheet, "Why will the treats in the cooler melt over time?" Add some ice to the cooler, and close the cooler.
Instruct the students to respond to the next two items on the sheet, "Will adding ice to the cooler keep the treats frozen longer? Why or why not?" and "With the ice in the cooler, will the treats still be frozen after 10 minutes, after 30 minutes, after 1 hour, after 3 hours, and at the end of the day?"
To respond to this final question, tell the students to pretend that the front of the cooler is invisible. Have them create diagrams showing the cooler, ice, and treats after each time interval. As the students are illustrating, circulate to gather information about their individual ideas regarding the effects of adding the ice and how the ice and treats will change over the course of the day.
Feedback to Students
On Day 1, students will continue the Freeze the Treats activity by observing the contents of the cooler after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, and at the end of the day. They will compare their observations with their prediction diagrams on the response sheet. Additionally, students will learn about Mohammed Bah Abba and how his clay-pot cooler is helping people in Nigeria improve their lives. They will respond to the informational text with a partner, and will receive feedback about their performance and understanding during a review of the information in a whole group setting.
On Day 2, students will participate in a teacher directed inquiry using models of the clay-pot cooler. Students will learn how to read a thermometer and will create a line graph displaying the changes in temperature inside each clay-pot cooler every hour over the course of the day. During this activity, one clay-pot cooler will be rehydrated every two hours and the other clay-pot cooler will not be hydrated at all. Students will observe as the teacher models reading, recording, and graphing the temperature of the rehydrated cooler, then will record and graph the temperature of the cooler that is not rehydrated on their own paper. They will receive feedback by checking with a partner for accuracy.
On Day 3, students will be presented with the problem of a power outage in Florida as the result of a hurricane. They will be asked to work in small groups to design a clay-pot cooler that uses a material other than sand. They will use the initial steps of an the Engineering Design Challenge to create a plan for their clay-pot coolers, receive feedback from the teacher, and will gather the sand substitute from home or school to be used on day four.
On Day 4, students will continue the Engineering Design Challenge process as they use their sand substitute in a clay-pot cooler. They will record the temperature inside the cooler every hour over the course of the day, and will graph their findings. They will make a plan for revisions to their sand substitute, have their plan approved, and gather any necessary materials for day five.
On Day 5, students will implement their revisions and will record and graph the temperature in the clay-pot cooler every hour.
On Day 6, students will prepare a presentation in which they demonstrate how their clay-pot cooler works. In the presentation they will share their graphs and summarize the overall effects of using their sand substitute. They will complete a response sheet where they compare the results of other groups to their own, and provide reasons to explain differences in the results across groups.
On all days, the teacher will monitor the activities and student interactions to assist in guidance and redirection if there are misconceptions.