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 design a scientific investigation using observations of common plants.
Students will be able to evaluate and explain the results of their plant investigation.
Students will be able to recognize how the scientific method is used in their daily lives.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Student should have experience making observations.
Students should understand the steps of the scientific method.
Student should have basic knowledge of taking minimal measurements.
Student should have basic understanding of plants; how they function, what they need to survive, and potential situations that could damage their growth.
Student should know how to create a presentation with a poster or computer programs.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
What would be some effects of plants being exposed to a nutrient poor environment? To a nutrient rich environment?
How do you use the scientific method in your daily life?
Introduction: How will the teacher inform students of the intent of the lesson? How will students understand or develop an investigable question?
Summary: The teacher will begin by leading a short discussion using the diagrams students have created about the scientific method. There will be a PowerPoint to follow that shows various plants with deficiencies and teacher will guide them into figuring out variables that they could test themselves.
Instruction: Students will begin class by making a diagram of their current view of the scientific method. This could be with a comic drawing or flow chart. The teacher could then ask a few students to share their diagram or lead a very short discussion to assess what students know. This could be collected by teacher (formative assessment) or just briefly reviewed to help guide an introduction into the lesson.
Here are some examples:
The teacher will explain steps of Scientific Method. Here is a link with a strong overview for the students: http://youtu.be/RClbWBd1PfE
- Observe and ask a question
- Complete background research
- Form a hypothesis
- Design an experiment to test the hypothesis
- Analyze collected data and form conclusions
- Communicate Your Results
The teacher will go over possible effects on plants when environment is altered. Follow attached PowerPoint.
Teacher will show following video of plant observations
Investigate: What will the teacher do to give students an opportunity to develop, try, revise, and implement their own methods to gather data?
Day 1 (con't)
Students will comprise a class list of variables that might alter a plant's growth, color, or overall health. They will also be given a lab report template and the lab/presentation rubric (attached) and be instructed to devise an experiment to determine one variable and its' effect on their plant ecosystem.
Students will be placed into groups of 3 to 4 students. Once in their groups- each group will decide which variable they are going to use for their experimentation. They will be allowed about 20 minutes to work on their methods.
At the end of class, students will complete a short 3 minute presentation on their chosen variable and what method they devised to determine what caused effects of such scenario. The teacher will help provoke questions to strengthen experimental method for each group.
As students are leaving the class, they should hand in an 'exit slip' that lists three observations and three concerns about current experimental method devised in class today.
Beginning of class:
Students will answer these questions: What is your hypothesis for your plant scenario? How are you going to collect this data? Teacher can choose to collect or just use to check for progress.
Teacher will then demonstrate how plants are to be handled, methods of obtaining measurements, and how to conduct a safe, clean laboratory environment.
- Plants are to be handled with gloves
- CO2 can be reduced by placing plant into bag or box
- Light can be increased with lamps and decreased by placing in boxes or in a closet
- pH can be altered by adding Baking Soda to increase and lemon juice or vinegar to decrease
- Salinity can be altered by the addition of NaCl
2.) Teacher will review rubric in detail for what is expected to be placed in lab report
3.) Teacher will help students in small groups make 20 observations of healthy, green plant using all modes of senses except taste.
4.) Teacher will help students test their hypotheses.
5.) Teacher will assist in short discussion of what was seen during initial experimentation
End of class- handed in when leaving:
Students will reflect on whether their hypotheses were supported as of today? They will give at least three evidence based reasons why/why not.
Analyze: How will the teacher help students determine a way to represent, analyze, and interpret the data they collect?
Day 3 and on (depending on how long teacher has to work on experimental process)
Beginning of class:
Students will answer the following: What are 3 ways your plant changed from the original control? This can be collected or used to check progress and understanding.
Independent Work on Lab Reports:
Students will complete their lab report of the experiment they completed as a group. The lab report will follow the standard report format attached. Students will then use these findings and lab report to make presentation. This can be a PowerPoint, flow chart, comic strip, etc. as practiced in Day 1. Rubric for final lab report and presentation are attached.
Presentations: students will present their findings and ideas. These will be graded based on rubric provided. The presentations might flow into multiple days. This entirely depends on teacher's preference for length of activity. The restrictions on presentations are up to the instructor but should follow the rubric closely.
Presentations and Lab Reports will be graded based on provided rubric (both activities are on this same rubric).
Closure: What will the teacher do to bring the lesson to a close? How will the students make sense of the investigation?
The teacher will wrap-up the lesson plan by leading a discussion about the ways we use scientific method in our daily lives. Some examples:
- Alarm clock is not waking you up in the morning. You isolate the variables and test each one to figure out how to solve the problem. Is the alarm clock plugged in? Is the alarm set? Is the volume up loud enough? Is the buzzer, radio, or iPod more effective at waking you up?
- Soccer - do shoes I wear have an effect on the score?
- Falling asleep in class - test different variables to determine what could help you stay awake (more sleep, eating breakfast, etc)
Teacher will evaluate ability of student to document findings and express ideas to their group and the class based on a rubric reviewed with students beforehand. This rubric involves ability to include data, interpret data, and present the data to their peers.
Each day includes an introductory assignment and an exit assignment. These assignments will provide the teacher with an opportunity to assess student understanding throughout the lesson.
Teacher can also assess group progress through discussion.
Feedback to Students
Students will receive feedback through group discussion and as a result of formative assessments (daily and exit assignments)
Feedback will also be provided with the final project.