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Inquiry Lesson Plan Template (with Four Ways of Thinking

Content & Title:
Grade Level: 5
Miss Shepherd
Free the Sea: Water
Pollution and the
effects on sea life
 AZSS.Science.5.Concept 1: Changes in Environments Describe the
interactions between human populations, natural hazards, and the environment.
Objectives (Explicit & Measurable):
 Students will be able to understand that interactions between human
populations and the environment by learning how humans are polluting the
water. Students will learn this through a hands on activity where they will
“pollute” a bucket of water and then try to clean it up again.
Evidence of Mastery (Measurable Assessment: formative and summative):
 (formative): Teacher will observe and ask questions for understanding
throughout the lesson.
 (summative): Teacher will check student notebooks for completion of notes,
observations and a reflection.
Sub-objectives, SWBAT (steps that lead to completion of objective; sequence from
simple to more complex):


will be able to know the importance of water to humans and other
will be able to know what water pollution is and what causes it
will be able to know apply what they learned about water pollution
will be able to discuss with peers and develop possible solutions

Lesson Summary and Justification: (summary gives detailed information about what
students are doing. Justification – why is this lesson being taught)

Through this lesson, students will know what water pollution is, its dangers to humans
and other animals, and that human activity is the cause of water pollution. Students
will be able to participate in a hands on activity where they will see how easy it is to
pollute water, yet understand how difficult it is to purify the water back to its clean
state. This lesson is meant to show students the cause and effects of water pollution.
Background Knowledge: (What do students need to know prior to completing this

Prior to completing this lesson, students need to know what littering is. They need to
know what water pollution is, which was taught yesterday in class.
Misconception: (what possible misleading thoughts might students have?)
Possible misconceptions students might have about the causes and effects of water
pollution are:
 It is not cause by humans
 Littering in Arizona has no affect on ocean water
Process Skills: (what skills are you introducing or reinforcing)
 Observation-reinforcing
 Explanation- reinforcing
 Collaboration-reinforcing
 Exploration-reinforcing

Four Ways of Thinking connection: (Provide a complete explanation of how
your lesson plan connects to futures, system, strategic, or values thinking.
Define the way of thinking you selected and used in this lesson plan.
Remember, this should be included meaningfully in the lesson plan.)
For this lesson, I plan on connecting Systems Thinking. Systems Thinking is being able
to think about and realize that everything is interconnected. It’s realizing that its more
than just from one point to another. I think Systems thinking connects well to this
lesson, because students are required to look at the causes of water pollution and how
it is all connected. Its more than just people throwing garbage in the ocean. This way
of thinking will be included in the reflection portion of the lesson. During the lesson, I
will teach them about what Systems Thinking is. It will then be their responsibility to
observe how they are learning about Systems Thinking, and then reflect on it in their
notebook. During this lesson, students will also be using Strategic Thinking as they try
to design and come up with possible ways to clean the polluted water.
Safety: (what safety rules and items need to be addressed?)
 Students will be required to wear gloves when picking up and dealing with the
garbage they collect.
 Wash hands after touching the trash
 Do not spill or splash water from the buckets.
Inquiry Questions: (testable in the here and now.)
1. (to explore) What Causes Water Pollution?
2. (to elaborate) How difficult is it to “de-pollute” water once it has been
Key vocabulary: (list and define)
Materials: (list item and possible
1. Cause and effect- a relationship between quantity)
events where one event is the result of the
1. Gloves
2. Tubs of clean water (one per group of
2. Water Pollution- when the water is
contaminated, or dirtied, by waste,
3. Garbage from outside
chemicals, and other harmful substances.
4. tweezers and tongs
3. Systems Thinking- being able to think
5. Vegetable oil (to represent oil spills)
about and realize that everything is
6. strainer
7. Towel for under the bucket
8. Sack to put garbage in
Engage - In this section you should activate prior knowledge, hook student
attention, pose a question (IQ#1) based on your lesson objective that students
will seek to answer in Explore.
Teacher Will: (hook)
Students Will:
 Teacher will have an example dirty
 Ask questions and make
bucket with garbage in it
observations about what is in the
 Teacher will ask students what they
 Answer questions prompted by the
observe about the water in the
bucket. What happened to the water?
 Teacher will ask them how it applies
to what we learned yesterday (what is
water pollution).
 Teacher will ask them “based on what
you see, what do you think causes
water pollution?”
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
 Allow students to come up closer to the bucket to see what the dirty water looks

Ask for volunteers to answer questions, or give fair warning for kids who may
have anxiety about answering questions.
Explore - In this section students should take the lead and actively use materials
to discover information that will help them answer the question posed in
Engage. Teachers may choose to give steps to follow, especially for younger students,
but the goal is for students to discover some or all of the sub-objectives of the lesson.
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #1)
Students Will: (list all steps)
 Briefly talk about what might cause
 Students will participate in class
water pollution
 Tell the students that they will be
 Students will listen to instructions
experimenting with their own tubs of
 Students will get into groups of 3water and garbage to explore what
4 and complete the activity.
causes water pollution.
 Students will take notes, draw
 Give directions for the activity:
pictures and keep track of water
Each group of 3-4 students will get a
pollutants that go in.
bucket of water. They will also get a
 Students will have about 20
sack to collect garbage in, gloves, a
minutes to complete this portion
cup full of oil, tongs, tweezers and a
of the lesson.
strainer. Once the group has their
station set up, the groups will go
outside to collect some garbage.
When they come back inside, get to
work “trashing” your water. As you
dirty the water, keep track of what
you put in, make observation notes,
and draw pictures in your science
notebook. When you are finished, wait
for other groups to finish up.
 Walk around to give support and help,
and to keep groups on task.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
 Write directions on the board as they are told verbally. Students can refer back
to this visual list if they did not hear or understand verbal directions.
 Teacher will walk around the room to help, answer questions, and keep everyone
on task.
 Teacher will allow groups who finish early to quietly walk around and observe the
other groups.
Explain – In this section students share what they discovered, teacher connects
student discoveries to correct content terms/explanations, students
articulate/demonstrate a clear and correct understanding of the lesson sub-objectives
by answering the question from Engage before moving on.
Teacher Will:
Students Will:
 Facilitate a class discussion where
 Share what they added to their
each group will share about what they
water, what it looks like, and what
did and observed
they observed
 Make connections to correct content,
 Take notes in their science
and make connections when the
notebook on the correct content
students discover that they caused
that the teacher is teaching to
the pollution- humans cause pollution.
 Teach the students the correct
 Ask questions for clarification

content. Teacher will teach the
 Answer prompted questions by the
students that water is very important
teacher to show understanding
to humans and other animals. Teacher
 This portion of the lesson will take
will teach the students that humans
about 20 minutes
are the main cause of water pollution.
The teacher will teach them that
plastics, small particles, chemical
contaminants and oil spills are the
main components of water pollution.
 Teacher will make sure that students
understand what water pollution is
and what causes it by asking
prompting questions to students.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
 Teacher will have content displayed digitally for visual aid
 Teacher will allow enough time for students to write down the information
 Walk around the classroom while talking-be engaging!
Elaborate – In this section students take the basic learning gained from Explore and
clarified in Explain and apply it to a new circumstance or explore a particular aspect of
this learning at a deeper level. Students should be using higher order thinking in this
stage. A common practice in this section is to ask a What If? question. IQ #2
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #2)
Students Will:
 Teacher will pose the question, “how
 Think about the question asked by
easy or difficult do you think it will be
the teacher, volunteer to answer if
to get your water clean again?”
they have one.
 Teacher will call on a few students to
 Students will listen to peers and
answer this question.
ponder their ideas.
 Teacher will explain that the students
 Students will work with their group
will now have about 10 minutes to try
to try their best to clean out the
and get their water as clean as
water with the tools they have
been given.
 Teacher will tell students to use tongs,
tweezers, and strainer to clean the
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
 Make sure groups are working together- notice if any body is not participating or
taking too much control
 Keep students on task!
 Look for students who may be struggling and offer help
 If students finish early, allow them to start writing their reflection in their
Evaluate – In this section every student demonstrates mastery of the lesson
objective (though perhaps not mastery of the elaborate content). Because this also
serves as a closing, students should also have a chance to summarize the big
concepts they learned outside of the assessment.
Teacher Will:
Students Will:
 Give students about 10 minutes to
 Put their best effort into cleaning
write a reflection in their notebook.
out their buckets of water.
 Give guiding questions: What did
 Write their reflection in their
you learn from today’s activity? Was
notebook, using the guided
it easy or even possible to get the
questions as suggestions and

water clean again? Would you like to
guidelines for reflection
drink the water in your bucket? How
 Participate in discussion, listen and
would you feel if you were a sea
animal who lived in water that
 Turn in notebooks for teacher to
looked like that? What can you do to
prevent this from happening to all of
our water?
 After giving enough time for
students to respond in their
notebooks, call on a few students
and facilitate a reflections
 Collect all of the notebooks to read
and grade observation notes,
drawings and reflection.
Closure: (revisit objective, IQ’s and make real world connections)
 Go over big ideas from the lesson. Make sure students understand the key
content from the lesson. What is water pollution? What causes water pollution?
What effect does it have on humans and other animals? How would they feel if
they were animals living in this water? (this will be the last question, as it will
help their brains thinking in that direction for tomorrow’s portion of the unit.