Students learn what a model is by comparing a model of the tongue to their own tongue. They practice asking themselves, "How is this model like the thing it represents, and how is it different?" This format of questioning can be used when using any model in science and can be used to check students' understanding and misconceptions.View this entire lesson plan
Many children around the world die due to drinking contaminated water. This engaging science lesson will allow students learn how to build and use a simple homemade filter system to clean contaminated water. This 5th grade, standards-based lesson is great for California Science Content Standards Earth Sciences. Students make observations, collect data and form hypothesis. The end result is a gratifying surprise that they will enjoy while learning basic investigation and experimentation concepts.View this entire lesson plan
In this lesson, students are introduced to how the brain interprets and uses sensory information from the visual system to guide how the body moves and performs various tasks. This lesson makes use of a specialized set of goggles with prism lenses that shift what the wearer sees. Using these prism goggles, students will see first hand how the brain adapts over time to changes in what we perceive. The lesson also makes a connection to the brain and brain function by giving students a chance to see and touch a preserved brain specimen.View this entire lesson plan
Students observe the browning of apples after cut and being exposed to air and brainstorm ideas about why this might be happening.
Students think about ways to slow down or prevent the browning effect and in teams create and conduct a simple experiment to test their ideas.
A crime is staged in the classroom. After observing the crime scene, student identify and collect crime scene evidence. Students use blood typing analysis, microscopy, and chromatography to analyze the evidence. The list of suspects is narrowed to identify the potential culprit. This lesson may be done in two parts or as one long session.View this entire lesson plan
This lesson is designed to help students better understand the nature of science. It uses simple, readily available mini-mystery boxes to model how scientists study things they cannot see (see http://www.lab-aids.com/catalog.php?item=100). Scientists often study things that cannot be seen - either because they are incredibly small (inside of cells/atoms) or too far away (other galaxies). In such work, scientists must rely on indirect information. Mystery boxes – each with a small steel ball and a raised terrain inside – demonstrate this aspect of science to participants. The students will draw a model and discuss in groups what they think the box looks like inside.View this entire lesson plan
This lesson is designed to help students better understand the nature of science. It uses a Mystery Box (see attached photos) which has a funnel at the top and a beaker underneath. When water is poured into the top funnel, colored water flows out the bottom. A turn of the funnel and then pouring in more water results in either a different colored water or no water at all. The teacher demonstrates this Mystery Box to students and challenges them to propose models of the inside of the box. The students draw models of what they think the inside of the box looks like and share and discuss these models. Students can also construct their own mystery box using cardboard boxes and other common materials. For this option, you will need an additional class period.View this entire lesson plan
Students will analyze the results of another scientist's experiment by examining leaves that have been exposed to different treatments, and draw conclusions about the process of photosynthesis.View this entire lesson plan
Students will test a variety of food samples for the presence of lipids, proteins, simple and complex carbohydrates.View this entire lesson plan
Students will be able to see the iron filings in breakfast cereal fortified with iron and qualitatively compare the iron content between 2 different cereals. They will also see that as part of a salt solution, some elements give off characteristic colors when placed in a flame.View this entire lesson plan
This activity is based on a lesson from the Living by Chemistry curriculum developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science (see citation).
During this activity students explore in depth their own understanding of what constitutes "matter" and work together as a group to create a definition for matter.
Students work in pairs to debate how to sort "items" printed on cards into three categories: "matter", "non-matter" and "unsure" and then try to determine what properties all items in each category have in common. A whole class discussion about "tricky" items follows during which students ultimately agree on a definition of matter.
You can choose which cards you would like to use depending on your students' age, abilities, and experiences. As an example, for elementary grades, you might choose not to use the entire set.View this entire lesson plan
The lesson introduces the concept of calories and provides examples of high calorie and low calorie foods. Students learn a number of ways to determine how many calories a food item has and discuss how calories influence body weight. Students learn how to measure calories by constructing and using a calorimeter.View this entire lesson plan
Students will extract DNA from strawberries.View this entire lesson plan
Teacher(s) will describe an ecosystem scenario and ask students to ponder why the population of deer in a particular area fluctates from year to year. Students will research the question through a simulation of deer in nature. The teacher will record data from the activity in the form of a graph. Before analyzing the graph, students will record words they used in the activity and sort others used in the context of ecology. While analyzing the graph and sharing their experiences, students will use these words to create sentences and eventually a paragraph describing the patterns of the data collected.View this entire lesson plan
Students use a slinky to model earthquake waves. Learn the speed, direction and behavior of different waves which tell scientists about earthquakes.View this entire lesson plan
Students will investigate different objects and discuss whether they are alive or not alive. Students are challenged to provide evidence for their decision and defend their opinion.View this entire lesson plan
Students work in whole class and small group settings to discuss, observe and learn about a wetland ecosystem (salt ponds) and some of the organisms that live there. Abiotic and biotic factors of species survival are discuss. Live brine shrimp are used in observation.View this entire lesson plan
Students discover that, when electric current flows through an insulated wire wound around a steel core, the steel core becomes a magnet. They learn that this happens because an electric current produces a magnetic field. They experiment with a number of variables and try to find out how to increase the strength of the electromagnet.View this entire lesson plan