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Daylan Bakes

Science
12/14/14

Final Draft

Core Decisions of Lesson Design
What
This lesson will revolve around creating the aquarium part of a model terrarium/aquarium. In this
lesson, students will increase their understanding of the use of a model to represent something
else. Here we are focusing on how the model terrarium/aquarium represents natural elements in
our ecosystem (soil and gravel representing the earth, water representing lakes/rivers, etc.)
Students will also engage in discussion with one another and build on each other’s ideas and
observations to come to a common understanding. Also, students will work on making
predictions and drawing conclusions based on evidence.
How
This particular lesson will be taught through an initial discussion, followed by the building of the
aquarium in a terrarium/aquarium model (with simultaneous discussion: student to student and
teacher to student), and culminating in the completion of TKL (Think, Know, Learn) chart, final
discussion, and observation writing.
Our teaching methods revolve around Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, capitalizing on
our students bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and spatial intelligences. By including this
differentiation, we hope to engage our students completely.
After our first lesson, we learned that discussion took a while. We will either need to include
more time for discussion or find a way to limit or focus. We also identified the students’ prior
knowledge of plant life (needing sunlight, water, and soil) and a basic understanding of the water
cycle. All of our students had ideas, but some shared more readily than others. We will need to
call on students specifically, paying attention to who has shared and who has not.
In our previous lesson we:
○ Asked for predictions – which resulted in predictions mostly related to whether
plants would die or not
○ Got a lot of input on how plants, soil, sun, and water relate to each other
○ Saw some confusion around whether worms ate plants or not
○ Had questions about whether sunlight had the same effect as indoor lights
○ Had questions about whether or not sunlight can get through clouded-glass
windows
Why
Building models is a great way for students to visualize how systems work, and watch those
systems’ processes unfold. In such hands-on activities. students put themselves in the role of the
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Daylan Bakes
Final Draft
Science
12/14/14
scientist, which leads to further engagement and investment in the activity. By creating this
model in a group, students are learning how to work collaboratively and engage in scientific
discussion.
This specific model represents an ecosystem. Understanding how ecosystems function,
especially how the different elements relate to one another, leads into understanding systems and
energy transfer. Both of these understandings are overarching ideas central to science and
science education. Throughout this lesson, students will gather evidence and make predictions
based on this evidence. This, also, is a central skill in science education.

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