Blue-footed Boobies from the Galapagos


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Science Lesson Plan Format

(More information on science lesson plans)
Title of lesson:  (Try and come up with a catchy, descriptive title for the lesson.  This can set the tone and pique the interest of the students.)


Grade level/s

Time needed:  (A lesson plan is usually intended for a single or double period.  You can specify "One 45 minute period, an eighty minute double period, etc.  A lesson plan is very different from a unit plan which takes place over a much longer period of time, e.g. more than one day, weeks or longer)

Science or Math background material for the teacher: (Include information on the science concepts and skills, terms, related to the topic.  This material is to make sure the teacher is familiar with the science content, and it not necessarily going to be given to the students.  

Instructional Objectives: (Make each objective as specific as possible.  Use Bloom's taxonomy to make sure you include objectives involving different types of skills and knowledge.  You can use SWBAT (students will be able to) to begin objectives.  Later when you design your assessments you can go back and look at these objectives to make sure your assessment covers all the major objectives.

National Science Education Standards met by this lesson:  (You can visit this link and then copy and paste the standards your lesson meets into your lesson plan.  You can start out by looking at the relevant Content Standards for the appropriate grade level.  

Materials: List all materials needed to carry out the lesson.  These could be chemicals, lab apparatus, plant or animal specimens, rocks or minerals, materials such as paper cups, string, rubber bands, etc., computers (specify operating system), web browsers with plugins, java,  javascript, other software, PowerPoint presentations (include a copy) worksheets or handouts (include a printable copy with the lesson plan),books, magazines, articles.  For each item give a complete description and where you can obtain the item.  

Procedure: (Describe in detail the steps you would go through to carry out the lesson from beginning to end.  Include enough detail so that another science teacher could use your lesson plan to teach this activity, even if they weren't familiar with the topic. You can additionally specify what the students will be doing and what the teacher will be doing, just make sure to put it in sequence from beginning to end.  Sometimes when you begin a lesson it is a good idea to try and determine what the students already know about the topic.  You can find this out in a variety of ways such as careful questioning, having them do a concept map, draw what they understand about a topic, giving a brief survey, etc.  Obviously a lesson plan is not set in stone, and good teacher will make adjustments and vary things depending on the situation.  However, a detailed and well planned lesson plan is especially useful the first few times you teach a lesson.  It is also a great resource to share with other teachers for the future days when you might not be prepared and can pull out a tried and true lesson that is well documented.)

  1. motivation:   (This is one of the most important parts of a lesson plan.  You must describe how you will get the students' attention, then focus it on the topic, and finally get them interested in learning more about it.  A great way to do this is to relate science to popular culture that the students are interested in.  Another way is to tap the inherent curiousity that humans have.  People love a good puzzle or mystery so  things like discrepant events, crime scenes and forensics, scenarios, and case studies are all possible ways to get students motivated and interested in a topic. Sometimes just telling a short story about something that has happened to all of us can be motivating.  You might also use hot science topics that have been in the news, etc.)
  2. Advance organizer (if appropriate) (Please note the correct spelling.  "Advanced" organizer is NOT correct):  This is a technique developed by Joe Novak in which a big idea or the big picture is presented at the beginning of a lesson.  This provides students with "ideational scaffolding" to which they can integrate new concepts.  In some cases such as a lesson using discovery learning, you wouldn't provide an advance organizer.  A good example is the activity where you give students a wire, battery and bulb and ask them to play around with it until they get the bulb to light.  An advance organizer would not be compatible with this activity.  If you were going to do an activity on the classification of living things, an advance organizer might be very helpful so that when students are introduced to lots of different terms they would have a structure to help organize them. )
  3. Describe your procedure step by step (There are many different types of activities you can use.  Some examples are:  lab, lecture, cooperative learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning, computer activities, simulations, field trips, scenarios, project-based learning etc.  In all science lessons you should remember that children are not empty vessels waiting to filled, instead, learners construct knowledge and assimilate it into their existing mental frameworks.  Another principle that is very useful is to use inquiry.  This involves using questions as the basis of a lesson.  Finally, a great way to guide the development of a science lesson is to use the Learning Cycle (developed by Robert Karplus).  There are three stages in the learning cycle:  1)  Exploration of phenomena, 2)  Introduction of terms and concepts, and 3)  Application of the concepts in different and new situations.  This runs counter to traditional lectures where vocabulary and terms are listed on the board during a lecture and then an experiment or activity takes place.  Karplus found it was far more effective to lets students experience something first, and then terms and concepts could be introduced and linked the experiences. )
  1. Include discussion questions and possible answers at appropriate points in the lesson plan.  (Remember, use different types of questions, especially those that require the use of higher order thinking skills.   Make sure to include possible answers for that new teacher who might be using your lesson plan.  This also applies if students are going to be collecting data.  You should include examples or sample data in your lesson plan.)
  2. Closure  (How are you going to wrap up the lesson?  Are you going to have the students summarize what they have learned?  You can also provide a hint or preview of the next lesson to heighten anticipation, and to make a smoother transition to the next topic.)

Adapatations for students with disabilities:  (How might you adapt this lesson for students with different disabilities, e.g. physical, visually impaired, learning disabled.  You might want to check out SAVI-SELPH for examples.)

Multicultural Connections: (Are there any ways you could integrate different cultures into your lesson? )

Possible ways technology might be incorporated:

Assessment (How would you assess whether the students have accomplished the objectives?  You can use both formative and summative assessments, traditional or alternative assessments)

Extension activities: Provide some suggestions for students who want to learn more on this topic.  These could be activities that could be done at home or online.  

Bibliography/References: (List any useful books, articles, web sites)