Science Skills

The power of observation

Author(s): SEP Coordinators

The power of observation

Students each receive similar looking objects (marble, gem stone, bead, rock) and are given some time to make and record as many observations as possible. Then students at each table group mix up their objects and take turns reading out their descriptions while the rest of the group is trying to identify the described object.

View this entire lesson plan

Oobleck

Author(s): SEP Coordinators

Oobleck

Students will read the first part of the book by Dr. Seuss, "Bartholomew and the Oobleck," where they learn about the mysterious substance "Oobleck",  created by a group of magicians in the story. Students then make Oobleck from cornstarch and water and observe its properties, realizing that Oobleck does not behave like other solids or liquids.  After experiencing Oobleck first hand, students create their own ending to "Bartholomew and the Oobleck".

View this entire lesson plan

Mini Medical School - Hematology

Author(s): Rustom Falahati, Megan Robblee, Bonnie Daley

Mini Medical School - Hematology

This is a two-class lesson plan. During the first class students are entered into a "mini-medical school" where they will learn about the functions and components of blood and make a candy model to reflect their relative proportions.  At the end of the class, they graduate medical school as hematologists. The next day they will be presented with a mock patient with a blood disorder. In groups, they will attempt to diagnose the patient using blood smears, results of lab tests, and patient histories.

View this entire lesson plan

Demonstrating how to Conduct Controlled Investigations: Example Using Sound

Author(s): Linda Akiyama and Ranyee Chiang

Demonstrating how to Conduct Controlled Investigations: Example Using Sound

The teacher conducts an investigation to compare the sound produced by two different sized pipes (higher pitch, lower pitch, louder, softer).  The teacher conducts the experiment multiple times, each time changing different variables.  The students are "directors" and are asked to "cut" the scene when they observe something wrong with the experiment.

View this entire lesson plan

Introducing Models to Elementary School Students

Author(s): Linda Akiyama and Ranyee Chiang

Introducing Models to Elementary School Students

Students learn what a model is by comparing a model of the tongue to their own tongue. They practice asking themselves, "How is this model like the thing it represents, and how is it different?"  This format of questioning can be used when using any model in science and can be used to check students' understanding and misconceptions.

View this entire lesson plan

Cleaning Water: A 5th Grade Standards-Based Science Unit

Author(s): (Coach) David Mann, (Team Members) Kevin Baldizon, Jeff Foote, Robin Schneider, Ben Wieman

Cleaning Water: A 5th Grade Standards-Based Science Unit

Many children around the world die due to drinking contaminated water.  This engaging science lesson will allow students learn how to build and use a simple homemade filter system to clean contaminated water. This 5th grade, standards-based lesson is great for California Science Content Standards Earth Sciences.  Students make observations, collect data and form hypothesis.  The end result is a gratifying surprise that they will enjoy while learning basic investigation and experimentation concepts.

View this entire lesson plan

Sheep Heart Dissection

Author(s): Chris Cain and Soroya Wood

Sheep Heart Dissection

Students observe and dissect a sheep heart. In doing so, they learn about how the heart works and what it really looks like.

While this lesson is adaptable for many grade levels, it is a great fit with California's FOSS 5th grade Living Systems kit and that kit's goal of learning the structures and functions of the circulatory system.

View this entire lesson plan

Forensics Crime Lab

Author(s): Molly Darragh, Maria Jenerik, Sarah Maifeld, Christopher McClendon

Forensics Crime Lab

A crime is staged in the classroom.  After observing the crime scene, student identify and collect crime scene evidence.  Students use blood typing analysis, microscopy, and chromatography to analyze the evidence.  The list of suspects is narrowed to identify the potential culprit. This lesson may be done in two parts or as one long session.

View this entire lesson plan

Mini Mystery Boxes

Author(s): SEP Coordinators

Mini Mystery Boxes

This lesson is designed to help students better understand the nature of science. It uses simple, readily available mini-mystery boxes to model how scientists study things they cannot see (see http://www.lab-aids.com/catalog.php?item=100). Scientists often study things that cannot be seen - either because they are incredibly small (inside of cells/atoms) or too far away (other galaxies). In such work, scientists must rely on indirect information. Mystery boxes – each with a small steel ball and a raised terrain inside – demonstrate this aspect of science to participants. The students will draw a model and discuss in groups what they think the box looks like inside.

View this entire lesson plan

Mystery Box

Author(s): SEP Coordinators

Mystery Box

This lesson is designed to help students better understand the nature of science. It uses a Mystery Box (see attached photos) which has a funnel at the top and a beaker underneath. When water is poured into the top funnel, colored water flows out the bottom. A turn of the funnel and then pouring in more water results in either a different colored water or no water at all. The teacher demonstrates this Mystery Box to students and challenges them to propose models of the inside of the box. The students draw models of what they think the inside of the box looks like and share and discuss these models. Students can also construct their own mystery box using cardboard boxes and other common materials. For this option, you will need an additional class period.

View this entire lesson plan

Energy Conversion in Electricity – Resistors and Circuits (lesson three of eight)

Author(s): Ben Engel, Arthur Millius, Lisa Monti and Helen Wong-Lew

Energy Conversion in Electricity – Resistors and Circuits (lesson three of eight)

Students are introduced to the concept of a resistor and reminded about electrical energy from the previous lesson. They are then challenged to build a GIANT circuit to determine whether the size of a circuit affects whether it lights a bulb. They build as a class a giant series and giant parallel circuit. Then, in pairs, they build their own circuits with different resistors.

View this entire lesson plan

Making a battery

Author(s): Florian Merkle and Margot Juhr

Making a battery

This is an inquiry-based activity in which students are given materials to make a battery. Students work in pairs and results are shared with the class. Content is discussed after the hands-on session.

View this entire lesson plan

Electromagnets (lesson four of eight)

Author(s): Ben Engel, Arthur Millius, Lisa Monti and Helen Wong-Lew

Electromagnets (lesson four of eight)

Introduce the scientific method, control and variable. Reiterate that electricity can be used to create magnetic energy and discuss the different properties of an electromagnet (number of batteries, number or wires turns, or material of wire). Students then take time to think of experiments varying these properties and then test their hypotheses by actually performing the experiment they thought of.

View this entire lesson plan

Introducing Models to Elementary School Students

Author(s): Linda Akiyama and Ranyee Chiang

Introducing Models to Elementary School Students

Students learn what a model is by comparing a model of the tongue to their own tongue. They practice asking themselves, "How is this model like the thing it represents, and how is it different?"  This format of questioning can be used when using any model in science and can be used to check students' understanding and misconceptions.

View this entire lesson plan

Heating Earth

Author(s): Nathan Gosse and Kim Probst

Heating Earth

Students develop an experimental plan to investigate the question how solar energy heats different earth materials (water and land). A container half filled with water and half with soil is exposed to full sun (if doing it outside) or placed under incandescent lights (inside). Students take temperature readings of both materials for 15 minutes and then either bring setups to a shady spot or turn off the lights. Again students record change in temperature in intervals during the next 15 minutes and then graph results. Lesson introduces the concepts energy transfer, solar energy, and heat sink.

View this entire lesson plan

Alternative Energy Part II (lesson eight of eight)

Author(s): Ben Engel, Arthur Millius, Lisa Monti and Helen Wong-Lew

Alternative Energy Part II (lesson eight of eight)

Student take their cars outside to a "time track" and a "distance track". They measure how fast their car goes 10 feet on the "time track" and how far their car goes in 30 seconds on the "distance track". They perform multiple trials, interpret their data, and predict which region in the world the car would be most suitable for.

View this entire lesson plan

Alternative Energy Part I (lesson seven of eight)

Author(s): Ben Engel, Arthur Millius, Lisa Monti, Helen Wong-Lew

Alternative Energy Part I (lesson seven of eight)

Students design a car that could be powered without gasoline. A class discussion ensues on different energies you could use to power a car. The students receive a model car kit with alternative modes of propulsion and get to design a car based on a form of energy they choose.

View this entire lesson plan

Oh Deer! and English Language Learner Writing Extensions

Author(s): SEP Quattro Staff

Oh Deer! and English Language Learner Writing Extensions

Teacher(s) will describe an ecosystem scenario and ask students to ponder why the population of deer in a particular area fluctates from year to year. Students will research the question through a simulation of deer in nature. The teacher will record data from the activity in the form of a graph. Before analyzing the graph, students will record words they used in the activity and sort others used in the context of ecology. While analyzing the graph and sharing their experiences, students will use these words to create sentences and eventually a paragraph describing the patterns of the data collected.

View this entire lesson plan

"The Having of Wonderful Ideas" and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning

Author(s)

Volume / Issue

Page(s)

Journal / Publisher

Pub date

Abstract / Description

Weblink

Duckworth, E. Second Edition p1-14 Teachers College Press 3 Mar 2007

Essays on teaching and learning

World Catalog - Find in a library
Syndicate content