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Nicole Hester

Modified Science Lesson Plan


Professor Davis
October 16, 2014
Science Lesson Analysis & Adaptation
During my experience as a student of the Urban Teacher Resident Partnership Program
(UTRPP), I have been gathering many resources to teach lessons to my students. Many resources
I find are in textbooks, curriculum maps, or online. Before I started implementing more and more
lessons I thought these lesson plans were curriculum materials that claimed to be ready to use,
hands on, or inquiry based lessons. As I am lesson planning with a close analysis of these
activities, I realized that quite the opposite might be true in an abundance of lesson plans.
Teachers must reflect on their education practices and adapt lesson plans for students needs. The
course Teaching Elementary Science has taught my how to analyze and adapt science lesson
plans. The lesson plan I have found is from a first grade science textbook with the title of the
lesson called The Sun. I am going to analyze this lesson to make sure it is a hands-on and
ready to use lesson. After analyzing I am going to modify it to have the three legs of
science!
Science Content:
One of the Three Legs of science is science content. The science content for this first
grade lesson is about the sun. The Next Generation Sunshine State Standard for this lesson is,
SC.1.E.5.4- Identify the beneficial and harmful properties of the sun. From finding the 20132014 First Grade Science curriculum map from Hillsborough County it also states the essential

question, how is the sun helpful? The lessons objectives are that the students will be able to:
recognize that the sun can only be seen during the day and to identify and describe characteristics
of the sun as a star. By referring back to the Hillsborough Science Curriculum map for Grade 1
this science content is appropriate for students background knowledge because during the month
of December students will learn about space and stars. This content knowledge prepares first
grade students class for this lesson on the sun. As I continued to research the benchmarks and
found the content standards to be derived from the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, AAAS website. The Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS, and the National
Science Teachers Association, NSTA, differ in their wording of the similar standards but overall
address the same content. Therefore, I believe that the content is appropriate for first grade
information of the Grade Level Expectations and NSTA standards.
The activities help students understand the sun can be only seen by day, the
characteristics of the sun, and beneficial/harmful properties of the sun. Students will learn that
sun can only be seen by day by pointing to the sun outside, viewing it in pictures (located in the
text), and by having a class discussion of when students see the sun (making a personal
connection). Students will learn the characteristics of the sun by creating a class anchor chart and
their own individual sun in their science notebooks by drawing a picture of where they see the
sun. Students will learn the beneficial and harmful properties of the sun by watching a video on a
candle, having a class discussion that the sun is hot and by understanding why we are point at the
sun instead of looking at it directly. The lesson plan strengths were that it gives a lot of content,
such as vocabulary words, sun, and star, dealing with the lesson and extension ideas. Overall, I
believe that the science content of the sun first grade science lesson is complete, accurate, and
appropriate for this specific grade level.

Science Process Skills:


Another of the Three Legs of science is teaching the science process skill. The second
NGSS standard for the first grade lesson on the sun, which was included in the Hillsborough
Science Curriculum map, states, SC.1.N.1.3- Keep records as appropriate -such as pictorial and
written records of investigations conducted. This was the only text that I found, for the sun
lesson, which mentions a type of a science process skill. As I continued to modify the sun lesson
plan I noted there are more opportunities to teach science process skills. The main skills students
are focused on using for this lesson plan are observing, describing, and discussing. The students
are observing the video of the fireplace. They are focusing on what the fire looks like and what it
would feel like if it were real in our classroom. Also, they are describing the sun by designing
and labeling a picture in their science notebooks. While teaching that the sun is a star students
are having a classroom discussion about why the sun is different than others stars they see in the
night sky (much closer, appears to be bigger and brighter, harmful to look at the sun, etc.)
Students are observing, describing, and discussing for scientific purpose, but are they
doing science? I believe that students were almost doing science in this lesson. There can
always be modifications to be made. I believe this lesson was more of an activity than an
experiment. Students could of observed the sun outside and the students could of made a
starting point has to be their (students) ideas, not the scientific ones (Harlen, 57). Students
would have observed the actual sun, of course not by looking directly at it, but by feeling the hot
Florida heat and seeing the brightness! After observing outside students can collect their
observations in their science notebook by their choice (picture, sentences, labels, etc.). A quote
from How do you Know Science is Going on? by Sullenger, states, When children connect their
understanding and interests in the world with the understanding and interest of the science

community. (Sullenger, 26) I believe this quote connects to the classroom discussions in the
classroom, which influence the classs science community. I would not change the science
process skill of discussing because I believe children learn from each other by making
connection with communication from their peers.
The Nature of Science:
The last part of the Three Legs of science is the nature of science (NOS). I think this
lesson did a really great job of addressing that science is a complex social activity and that
science explains and predicts. The social aspect of science is when children get to discuss and
question each others claims, just like real scientists. In this lesson students are discussing with
their peers about why the sun is different than others stars they see in the night sky. Also, I
believe this lesson addresses the nature of science concept that science explains and predicts.
There is reasoning behind the sun rising every morning and disappearing every night. There is an
explanation of why the sun can be harmful/beneficial. Students will learn these concepts through
the Science Misconceptions part of the lesson. The science misconceptions addressed in the
lesson plan are about the changing sun. It addresses that students may think the sun in colder in
with different seasons of that it changes in colors/size but it is in fact the same all year round.
The teacher must teach students that the earth rotates while the sun stays the same. It is the
brightest star because it is the closest star. Addressing these science misconceptions, while
including two components of the nature of science, I believe this first grade science lesson on the
sun is prepared the teach the NOS. As stated in the article De-Cookbook It! , the Three Legs of
science helps the teachers role becomes more that of a facilitator of scientific research,
(Shiland).

Lesson Modifications: The Sun

1. I would enhance students background knowledge by starting class with a video, that shows
real-life scientists engaging in science process skills about studying the sun. Next, I would have a
classroom discussion on questions students have about how they want to study the sun in class
today. This relates back to the nature of science aspect that The world is understandable
because children will be able to see a real-life scientist studying and understanding the world
around them.

2. Instead of introducing the lesson with asking, What is the flame of a candle like? for
students to have a connection to what the sun is compared to, I would have my class go outside
and observe the sun. I would first conduct a mini lesson on how the sun is harmful to our eyes
and to not look at it directly, then I would have them go outside and explore why the sun is
beneficial. Students will be able to discuss and explain their observations with peers as they
relate back to the science content, which supports that Science is a complex social activity
from the NOS.

3. I would continue to later in my lesson model a diagram of the characteristics of the sun but
before we begin the lesson, and our outside exploring, I would have my students bring their
science notebooks outside and tell them to put what they believe is important to know about the
sun for our science community. This would modify the note taking section of the science lesson.
I believe this supports the notion that Science is not authoritarian because Im letting my class
come up with their science note taking.

4. I would make a formative assessment of a post card exit slip where students would send to a
family/friend/scientist and share what they have learned or ask their wonderings. This way the
teacher can see what students learned and what they want to know. These would be great
questions to discuss next class.

5. I would ask students to discuss with their caretakers at home what the sun looks like during
the day and what stars look like at night. Together with their caretakers they can continue
learning about space by comparing/contrasting and making connections at home. Students will
be scientists in their own backyard! This supports the nature of science that Science demands
evidence and in order to find evidence, we first must have wonderings to explore and study.
During science time they can record their findings at home on our Youre a Scientist! bulletin
board.

References
Access the Standards by Topic. (n.d.). NGSS Hub. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from
http://standards.nsta.org/
Harlen, W. (2001). Primary science: taking the plunge. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Project 2061. (n.d.). AAAS. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from
http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/
Shiland, T. (1997). DeCookBook It!. Science and Children, November/December, 14-18.
Retrieved October 14, 2014, from the Canvas Course Reserves database.
Sullenger, K. (1999, April) How do you know science is going on? Science and Children: 22-26