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Elementary Science Lesson Brief Summer A 2016

Puja Kapadia, Susanne Steward, Katia Grant, Jeeshan Ahmed

Title: The Blubber Glove Challenge
Grade Level: Second
Description of Lesson: The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the biological science
concepts of how artic animals keep themselves warm in their cold environment. Many types
of Artic animals possess a layer of blubber, which is intended to insulate them from the cold
temperatures on land and in water. Students will also correlate Engineering and Design
principles to the creation of human products modeled on natural principles through a
discussion of how human made products like winter jackets help keep us warm and conserve
heat. Students will receive hands on experience by being able to put their hands in a bucket
of ice water, one is protected by blubber and one is left un-insulated. They will be able to
record their results with their partners and the data will be displayed in a bar chart.
Rationale/ Related Science Standards:
NGSS 2-LS4-1 Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems Performance
Expectation: Make observations of plants and animals to compare diversity of life in
different habitats.
NGSS LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans Disciplinary Core Ideas. There are many
different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and
in water. (2-LS4-1)
NGSS 2-PS1-2: Structure and Properties of Matter: Analyze data obtained from
testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best
suited for the intended purpose. I.e. heat retention.
NGSS 2-PS1-2: Structure and Properties of Matter. Engineering Cross Cut.
Every human-made product is designed by applying some knowledge of the natural world
and is built by using natural materials.
NGSS 2.MD.D.10: Mathematics CCSS Connections: Draw a bar graph (with a singleunit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories.
Approximate Time: One 45-minute period
4 Water basins filled with water and
Post-It Notes to record results
Blubber glove assembled with two
Baggies and Crisco.

4 groups of 4-6 members at a table.

Natural glove assembled with two
Baggies and no insulation.


Students will work in groups of 4-6 students, assigned by their current tables. Students
will work in pairs within those groups.
Ask the students what they think might happen to their hands when they go into the ice
Ask the students how they think they can keep their hands warm in ice water.
2-3 members of the table will put the blubber glove on one hand and the natural glove on
the other and immerse up to the line on the glove in the ice water. Hands should only
stay in a for a few seconds so they dont freeze
Partners will record the results of warm or cold for the blubber glove hand on a sticky note
as their teammates report it to them and then proceed to place the sticky on the bar
chart on the white board.

Elementary Science Lesson Brief Summer A 2016

Bar chart will have the class count of 18 on one axis and blubber hand warm and
blubber hand-cold on the other axis. Students will place their sticky on warm or cold on
the bar chart.
Switch partners and repeat procedure.


Walk around the room to assess scientific thinking and questions and help those that
need it.
Call children back to the front of the room.
Review our read aloud book again from the pre-assessment session.
Ask students how they think products in our human world that help keep us warm are
modeled after this natural world heat retention principal?
Did your hand stay warm?
Review their bar chart and ask them how they would interpret it. Which hand was
warmer and which was colder? Did everyone come to the same conclusion, what can the
bar chart tell us?
What are some of the things we use to keep us warm?
Make notes in your science journals

Helpful Hints/Suggestions:
In a whole class discussion, make sure children understand their jobs as team members.
Make sure children are aware of any safety concerns prior to conducting the experiment.
Make sure to give children a brief outline of what is going to happen during the activity and
our expectations of them during this time. Speak with the classroom teacher beforehand to
ensure that the groups and partnerships make sense to her and that students within those
groups should be able to work together. Make sure to keep tying back the experiment to the
real world. By the end of the period students should be able to make the connection that
animals have physical characteristics that help them to adapt to their environments (blubber
for animals in the arctic to help keep them warm). Make sure that the bar chart is easy to
read and make sure that all children in the classroom understand what it means and how to
read it.