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NGSS Lesson Planning Template

Lesson # 2 in a series of 5
Brief Lesson Description: The lesson will be opened with a mini demonstration with me dropping a few
objects of different weights onto the floor. The students will discuss and share their observations of why
the objects fell differently. The class will then move into a discussion about matter, ending with air and
its properties. I will then show the class the sample parachute and drop it down, the students will state
their observations and connect to the opening discussion, this will introduce the vocabulary as well as the
focus question, How does a parachute interact with air? The students will then receive their materials
and construct their parachutes. Once they have constructed their parachutes they will drop them and
observe. Once they have observed we will open up comments and questions with the class relating them
to the vocabulary previously discussed. We will then answer our focus question on our recording sheet.
The students will think about how air slows the descent of the parachute.
Performance Expectation(s):
Grade/ Grade Band: 1st

Topic: Parachutes

Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to
change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or
improved object or tool (NGSS 2016).
Specific Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to answer the focus question about how parachutes interact with air.
Students will be able to construct their own parachute.
Students will be able to record their observations.
Narrative / Background Information
Prior Student Knowledge: Gather students in the area where they will view the video in Step 2 and ask
(my classroom does not have the technology for the video instead we will have a class discussion.)

My expectation for my students prior knowledge is the fundamental differences between solids,
liquids, and gases as well as a description of the main properties of air. I will also expect that they
have seen a parachute before (a picture) and know the main function of a parachute. I am also
anticipating that the students will not have all of the vocabulary about parachutes, rather the
vocabulary of air. For example; air pressure, weight, gas, etc. I will activate this prior knowledge with
the information and questions below.
If you needed to drop a box of food and water from an airplane for some firefighters, what do you
think might happen?
Why do you feel that might happen?
Here I will have the students explain their initial thoughts of what might happen to the box of food
and water. I will ask them to explain using what they know about air. From this we will move
into the discussion about air properties and activate prior knowledge to see what they already

know and vocabulary they can come up with as a class based off of their prior knowledge.
I will then drop a marker, a feather, and a paperclip on the floor and have the students analyze what
fell faster and why this might be the case.
What could you do to solve the problem and deliver the box to the ground gently?
What is a parachute? Where have you seen one?
This is where I will show the example parachute and release it so that the students can see what the
sample looks like before creating their own. This will also demonstrate for them how to properly drop
their parachute.
Science & Engineering
Disciplinary Core Ideas:
Crosscutting Concepts:
Primary students know some
Cause and effect. Air can
Asking questions and
basics about air. They know that
interact with things to
defining problems about the
they breathe air and that air is in
make them move or to
design of a parachute that
balloons and bubbles. When
slow them down (air
uses air pressure to safely
pressed to think about it, they
deliver cargo to the ground
will report that air is all around
(food-supply air drop).
and that wind is air in motion.
Systems and system models.
Still, primary students have
Many different systems
difficulty understanding that air
Developing and using models
use air as one of their
is matter. Their position often is
to compare the similarities
parts; air works with
that, if you cant see, feel, hear,
(common features) and
the solid and liquid
smell, or taste it, it isnt real.
differences in the models
parts to cause change
Primary students who depend on
(drawings and diagrams) of
(parachutes, balloon
firsthand personal experience to
bottles and syringe systems
rockets, syringe-tubevalidate their universe will
that push air and water from
bottle systems)
question the assertion that air and
one container to the other.
other gases are substantial.
Use models to demonstrate
Structure and function. Air
patterns in the behavior of
has properties that
makes it useful for
certain functions.
Planning and carrying out
investigations by observing
how materials interact with
air and investigating the
properties of air.
Analyzing and interpreting
data by describing
observations of simple
systems that compress air
(syringes and tubes) or use
air to move (parachutes,
balloon rockets). Make
comparisons by drawing
pictures and diagrams of

systems to communicate
answers to questions about
the nature of air.
Constructing explanations
and designing solutions by
assembling systems that
serve specific functions
(parachutes, balloon rockets)
and making firsthand
observations to develop
claims from evidence.
Obtaining, evaluating, and
communicating information
about air and its properties using
grade-appropriate text, and
communicating information
orally and in written forms.
Possible Preconceptions/Misconceptions: Summary of the background from FOSS includes.
Its emptythere isnt anything in it! That is the predictable first response from students when they are
shown an empty bottle, glass, or plastic bag. This investigation is designed to help them understand that,
unless they go to considerable lengths, there is always something everywhere. In many cases, that
something is air. Air is a form of matter called gas.

What can air do?
How does a parachute interact with air?
What happens when air is pushed to a smaller space?
How can water be used to show that air takes up space?
How can compressed air be used to make a balloon rocket?


ENGAGE: Opening Activity Access Prior Learning / Stimulate Interest / Generate Questions:
Focus Question: How does a parachute interact with air?
I will introduce the focus question by first asking it to the students without identifying it as a focus
question. Once I have asked them I will then write it on the front board leaving space below where we
will identify the important vocabulary.
Kites and parachutes are engineered to use air. The wind pushes against the kite and keeps it flying in the
air. The stronger the wind, the easier it is to keep the kite from falling to the ground. A parachute is used
to slowly carry passengers from high in the air to the ground. The more passengers, the faster the
parachute will fall. Air pushes up against the parachute so it comes down slowly. The air resistance on the
parachute fabric causes drag, and the parachute falls slowly. Without air resistance, all objects would fall
at the same rate due to the force of gravity on Earth.
I will illustrate the opening activity by bringing in a small plastic bag with; a feather, paper clip, and a
marker. I will drop each of the items one by one onto the floor and have the students elaborate how each
one fell and why they fall differently. We will then talked about matter with solids, liquids, and gases and
we moved into the conversation about air, I will then show the students my sample parachute to help

further their understanding.

EXPLORE: Lesson Description Materials Needed / Probing or Clarifying Questions:

At this point in the lesson I will hand out the materials once the students have completed the class
discussion, made initial predictions, and discussed using vocabulary. I will ask the students if they
have any additional questions about the investigation. The students will then be instructed to
construct their parachutes and I will walk around the room to provide guidance, keep students on
task, and answer and questions they may have about the investigation. The students will complete
the investigation sitting in their regular seats, which are in tables of six. This way they can
collaborate with their peers throughout the investigation.
8 Pieces of string, 45 cm (18") (See Step 4 of Getting Ready.) 12 Adhesive dots 2 Paper clips,
jumbo 2 Paper napkins (See Step 3 of Getting Ready.) 1 Notebook sheet 2, Parachutes 1 FOSS Science
Resources: Air and Weather
EXPLAIN: Concepts Explained and Vocabulary Defined:
- Making sense of their data and why its important
- Encourage students to ask each other questions about how they designed their cargo parachutes.
Suggest they use these prompts:
- What worked well with your cargo parachute?
- What would you change next time to make it better?
- Students can draw their new and improved designs.
- Parachutes
- System- connected things or parts
- Air Resistance- air pushing on the falling objects
- Pressure- the physical air pushing
- Wind- the flow of gases; specifically air
ELABORATE: Applications and Extensions:
To begin application; we had a class discussion about air, leading into solids, liquids, and gas. The
children then made predictions about parachutes. At the end of the lesson at this point, we will
come back together as a class and discuss our initial thoughts, we will use the vocabulary and
we will come up with a few answers to the focus question as a class. This way the students can
each share their findings, and for the students that have a harder time with this will have the
scaffolding provided by their classmates rather than me. They will then write the answers to
their focus question on their recording sheets and they will have the opportunity to share them
We defined the problem.
We came up with a plan for a solution.

We built the solution.

We tested the solution to see if it worked.

EVALUATE: questions and strategies (turn and talk)

How does a parachute interact with air?
Ask students to pair up with a partner to describe their observations about parachutes using air resistance;
share their answers to the focus question.
Encourage students to ask each other questions about how they designed their cargo parachutes. Suggest
they use these prompts:
What worked well with your cargo parachute?
What would you change next time to make it better?
Students can draw their new and improved designs.
Formative Monitoring (Questioning / Discussion): science journal
This is where the students will then add to or fix the answers they provided to their focus questions if they
wish to do so.

Elaborate Further / Reflect: Enrichment: make a note of what you would do next if you were the
classroom teacher, or what you didnt get to if you ran out of time
For the ending elaboration of my lesson the students took the discovery into their own hands, it started
with one student coming up to me and asking if he could attach his pencil. Next, while some of the
students were working they began attaching different materials to their parachutes. The next step for the
students would be the cup portion of the parachute to test for balance and design. Next time, I would
allow for more time so that the students can do the challenge of the lesson with the cup and the goldfish. I
would then take them to the playground so they can test their designs using wind and other properties of
air that we had discussed in our class discussion. I would then have the students record what happened
when the dropped their parachutes and whether or not their designs were successful. They would then be
instructed to choose one variable to change about their parachutes and we would go outside for the second
and final test. I would then have the students repeat their observations again and record them. I would also
give them at this time the opportunity to revise their answers to their focus questions, and add any
additional information that they deem fit. Once this lesson has been fully complete I would move on to the
next lesson in this particular series of air and weather.
Further elaborated in reflection paper

K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering Design. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from
Teacher Tablet Companion. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2016, from