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Daylan Bakes

Science
12/14/14

Final Draft

Lesson Plan
Goals / Objectives
Students will build a model of an ecosystem in order to understand what natural elements and
relationships are represented by the materials.
Standards
Framework
Scientific and Engineering Practices - 2.) Developing and using models
Crosscutting Concepts - 5.) Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
Disciplinary Core Ideas – LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics
Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts,
building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Materials and preparation
All materials and prep provided through science methods class professor/TA
Classroom arrangement and management issues
Four students sit at a desk arranged into a table. We will stand or kneel around the table. The
workspace for building the aquarium is fairly small so it is important to remind students to be
mindful of space and the materials.
Sitting or kneeling around the table poses a potential management issue, especially when one
grows tired and needs to stand. The adult is then situated well above the students - instead of on
their physical level.
Plan
Hook:
(15 minutes) Students will review predictions from last week and discuss findings related to
predictions. They will discuss the following questions:

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Daylan Bakes
Final Draft
Science
12/14/14
● What is a model? (Accessing what was discussed last week around this question)
● What were your predictions from last week?
● What did you observe this week? What changed?
● What are some signs that the seeds are growing?
● What do you think about your predictions now?
Body:
(2 minutes) Review teamwork norms from last week (take turns, listen when others are talking,
respect materials)
(20 minutes) Build aquarium
○ Have one student get a ruler and place it on the aquarium
■ Review which side are centimeters
■ Have student make sure water stops 4 cm before top of aquarium
■ Have two students alternate getting cups of water to fill up aquarium
■ Have third student record how many cups of water were used, and mark
the water line on the bottle
○ Have one student get elodea (2 sprigs)
■ Have another student measure
■ Have a third record length
■ Have first student put elodea either in gravel or allow it to float freely
■ Ask: What did we say plants need to live?
○ Have one student get 10-15 duckweed plants – tell them to estimate since they are
so small
■ Have another student count and record number of duckweed
■ Have first student place duckweed in water
○ Have one student collect 3 droppers full of algae
■ Have all student record what algae looks like before placed in water
■ Have first student put algae in water
■ Have students again record how algae looks
○ Have students help clean up aquarium
■ Ask: What do you think fish, frogs and other things that live in water need
to live?
■ How will we provide these things in our aquarium?
(10 minutes) Return to Think/Know/Learn chart – ask students what they learned from
observing/making the terrarium/aquarium
■ What was similar about the terrarium and aquarium? What was different?
■ What do we know about what plants and animals need?

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Daylan Bakes
Science
12/14/14

Final Draft
■ What do we know about how plants and animals work together?
■ Based on what we know, what do you think will happen in the
aquarium/terrarium over the next week?
■ What do you think the materials inside the model represent?

If there is time, we will discuss predictions for next week. Depending on time, this could take the
form of each student writing down a prediction and then sharing them out, or sharing students'
predictions in a discussion.
Anticipating students‟ responses and your possible responses
1.

What students are likely to be confused by or find difficult?

The abstract concept of terrarium/aquarium as a model of a larger system - one that our students
interact with on a regular basis.
2.

What students are likely to find especially engaging?

I think the students will find the actual building process and further discussion and expansion of
idea particularly engaging. This is based on the amount of time spent on/engagement with
discussion in the initial lesson.
3.

What aspects of the lesson might present particular managerial challenges?

One of the greatest challenges previously faced was the sheer amount of information our students
brought/wanted to share with us and each other. Also, as a teacher, we want to be able to engage
students inquiries, especially when they are so aligned with the content being taught. It becomes
difficult to know when to „allow sharing‟ and when to focus on the task at hand.
Assessment of the goals/objectives listed above
Final question:
What do you think the materials inside the model are representing?
“Learn” in chart - stating that they know what the things within the model represent in the
world. Looking for students to respond that the gravel and soil represent rocks/dirt, the water
represents lakes/rivers, and the plants represent plan life found both on land and in water.
Time estimates
Hook: 15 minutes

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Daylan Bakes
Science
12/14/14
Build Aquarium: 20 minutes
Review/Conclusion/TKL Chart: 10 minutes

Final Draft

Questions
During Initial Discussion and while building aquarium/terrarium:
● What did we say plants need to live?
● What do you think fish, frogs and other things that live in water need to live?
● How will we provide these things in our aquarium?
TKL Chart:



What was similar about the terrarium and aquarium? What was different?
What do we know about what plants and animals need?
What do we know about how plants and animals work together?
Based on what we know, what do you think will happen in the aquarium/terrarium over
the next week?
● What do you think the materials inside the model are representing?
Accommodations

Some students may not be able to handle materials well – if this happens they will sit and
watch rather than participation
● Students may talk over one another and not listen well – if this happens, a “talking stick”
will be implemented using a marker
● Students may not have worksheet from last week. If this happens, they will record
information in their notebooks instead
● The lesson may finish ahead of time. Should this happen, students will draw the aquarium

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