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Part A

Lesson 101: Scientific Method


Grade: 5
Description of learners and Fifth grade students
learning environment
May have background knowledge of what the
scientific experiment is but do not know the specific
steps
First portion will take place in a classroom where
students will be sitting and watching the short video
clip.
Second destination will be in a science lab and 4
children and their mentors will be assigned to a lab
table.
Intended learning Goals and Steps of the Scientific Method.
Lesson Content
Our goal is for students to learn how to conduct an
experiment while following the scientific method
during a chemistry experiment.
Instructional goals and
objectives

Standards

Given the procedures to an experiment, a fifth


grade student must write a hypothesis and
highlight all components of the if/then model.
Fifth grade students must list and explain the 6
steps of the scientific experiment and get an 80%
or above in order to proceed to the next lesson.
Fifth Grade Nature of Science Standard: Students
gain scientific knowledge by observing the natural
and constructed world, performing and evaluating
investigations, and communicating their findings.
Make predictions and formulate testable questions.
Test predictions with multiple trials.
Keep accurate records in a notebook during
investigations and communicate findings to others

using graphs, charts, maps and models through


oral and written reports.
Compare the results of an investigation with the
prediction.
Materials

1. Putty Experiment:
a. 2 containers (1 smaller than the other, preferably a film
canister)
b. Water
c. Food colouring
d. PVA glue (a type of white glue also known as Elmer's
glue)
e. Borax solution (ratio of about 1 Tbsp of borax to a cup
of water)
2. Elephant Toothpaste
1) A clean 16 ounce plastic soda bottle
2) 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a
beauty supply store or hair salon)
3) 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
4) 3 Tablespoons of warm water
5) Liquid dish washing soap
6) Food coloring
7) Small cup
8) Safety goggles
3. Soda/Mentos Experiment:
1) Large bottle of Diet Coke
2) About half a pack of Mentos
3) Geyser tube (optional but makes things much easier)
4. Procedural instructions handout for both putty and
elephant toothpaste experiment

Procedures

Begin the lesson in the homeroom. Ask students,


How do we go about answering scientific
questions? How do you think scientists went about
answering the question: Is the Earth flat or round?
Allow 3 or 4 students to raise their hands and give
their opinions.

If a student answers with the Scientific Method, or


something related to the Scientific Method, point
this out to the class and praise the student.
Continue to introduce the scientific method. These
are all great ideas. There is a specific way that
scientists go about answering scientific questions
they may have. This is called the Scientific Method.
It begins with a question. Any of you could use the
scientific method to answer a scientific question
you may have. To learn more about the Scientific
Method, we are going to watch this short video that
will explain what it is and how it works. Make sure
to pay close attention, because we will be asking
you to become scientists for the day and try out
this method for yourselves!
Play the video using the projector/computer in the
homeroom classroom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVVpdHePbow
After the video, allow time for questions from any of
the students to clear up confusion.
Ask students to name the steps of the scientific
method. Call on one student at a time to
individually list one step, then continue this process
in order until the students have named all the
steps. Write the steps out on the board as they tell
you.
Move to the science lab where the guest speaker
will be. The guest speaker will be a science
teacher from a nearby Middle School, as they know
how to teach the basics to younger children.
Introduce the guest speaker to the children and
explain that he/she will be showing them how to
become a good scientist.
Speaker explains the importance of the scientific
method. As scientists we must be able to ask
specific questions, make predictions, follow

procedures in an experiment, and make


conclusions. This will help us better understand the
world around us. The Scientific Method helps us to
organize our thoughts so that scientists, like you,
can be confident in the answers you find. To help
you understand how the scientific method works,
we are going to look at two experiments. Lets start
with the first one.
Pass out the elephant toothpaste handout, which is
attached.
Speaker will tell kids that first they will be reading
the procedures of the experiment in order to
practice making a hypothesis.
Children follow along as speaker reads the step by
step instructions for the experiment which is he/she
explains is the procedure part of the scientific
method.
Speaker and mentors help kids make hypothesis
using the if/then model provided on handout
Do the experiment as a class (Speaker reads first
step and the students, with the help of their mentor,
completes the step. Then the speaker reads the
next step and the process continues until the
experiment is finished.
After experiment, have students write out their
observations, check the analysis box, and make a
conclusion. (have mentors guide them)
Pass out the silly putty handout
Follow the same procedures as you did with the
elephant toothpaste procedure.
Have students wash their hands and put goggles
away.Once all is done, have students hold onto
their silly putty
Walk back to the classroom and have children sit
at desks again.
Have speaker ask students to volunteer to give

their hypothesis, observations, and conclusion for


both experiments.
Have speaker re-explain that the students just
followed the scientific experiment. You made a
guess as to what would happen, followed
procedures, and made conclusions. Now that we
have practiced, lets see if you remember the steps
of the scientific experiment.
Assess the students
Assessment

Given an example experiment and its procedures,


students will be assessed by creating a hypothesis
and highlighting all the components of the if/then
model.
Students will also be assessed by listing and
explaining the 6 steps of the scientific method.

Resources/References

putty instructions:
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/crazyputty.ht
ml
elephant toothpaste: https://sciencebob.com/fantasticfoamy-fountain
soda/mentos:
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/dietcokeme
ntos.html
standards:
http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/standards/scie
nce/2010-Science-Grade05.pdf

Part B
When we started brainstorming about our project, we wanted to do something unique
and interesting that the kids would really enjoy. We considered doing something with horticulture
and take the kids to the greenhouses, but instead decided to focus our lesson around chemical
reactions and the scientific method. We thought that demonstrating some cool experiments
would get the kids interested in the lesson and would be something they would share with their

parents. We used Google to find kid friendly science websites to find the procedures for these
experiments.
The experiments that are conducted in our lesson plan are inspired by our personal
experience. The experiments used in the lesson are experiments we have personally conducted
as children or even young adults. We remembered doing these experiments for a reason;
because they are engaging, enjoyable, and impactful. This is why we were inspired to include
these chemical reactions in our lessons, because we feel that if we remembered them then
other children would be likely to remember and enjoy them as well.

References list
Science Bob. (n.d.) Fantastic foam fountain. Retrieved from
https://sciencebob.com/fantastic-foamy-fountain/
Science Experiments for Kids. (2015, February 6). Crazy putty. Retrieved from
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/crazyputty.html
Science Experiments for Kids. (2015, February 6). Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. Retrived
from http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/dietcokementos.html

Part D
Ejiwale, J. A. (2012). Facilitating teaching and learning across STEM fields. Journal of STEM
Education: Innovations and Research, 13(3), 87-95.
This article is addresses the need for a paradigm shift in the way teachers teach STEM.
Teachers are no longer dictators in the classroom but instead become facilitators. More
importantly, the article goes on to focus on how teachers can be effective facilitators of this new
kind of educational experience. It suggests that teachers realize that their methodology matters
and the correct answer is less important than how they got the answer. It also suggest lessons
be tied to the real world, teachers think on their feet and use teachable moments and finally
that students are engaged in their learning experiences. A large part of our lesson is designed
around these concepts. For example, in developing if/then statements, we want to students to
create their own, and as long as they have all the parts and its a reasonable prediction, what
they actual predict matters less than the process of writing the statement themselves.
Morrison, J., Bartlett, R. V. (2009). STEM as a Curriculum. Education Week, 28(23), 28-31.
This interesting and informative article suggests that teachers already know how to teach
STEM, but theres a far better way to integrate it into the classroom than teaching the individual

subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Certainly, cross-curricular teaching is


difficult, but this article goes on to point out that thats exactly what vocational education tracks
and career clusters are doing. It claims that this is the best way to teach STEM by citing several
examples, including that students in career clusters in Maryland outperformed their peers not in
career clusters in Algebra 2 and completion of science credits. Although our students are not
quite old enough to fit into a vocational education track yet, we hope to mimic this effect by
taking them to chemistry labs in Wetherill to do our experiments.

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Benefits:
Creating the objectives first gave us a vision for what our lesson/procedures would look like. It
gave us a foundation for success.
Looking at fifth grade standards gave us a basis to the start of the lesson plan. This gave us an
outlook.
Using the fifth grade standards allowed us to set a goal for what we wanted our lesson to cover
and what we wanted students to learn overall.
Challenges:
Making the procedures match up with the objectives was challenging at points. We had to make
sure we were veering away from what we want our students to learn from the lesson.
Having young students perform a chemical experiment in a lab is challenging, because we want
the children to have responsibility of doing the experiment, but we want them to remain safe in
the process. Because of this, developing the procedures was a challenge because we had to
decide how much responsibility to give to the students, and what responsibilities we were going
to give to the mentors.
Locating fifth grade science standards that could be used for an engaging lesson was initially
challenging. The scientific method does not seem like an interesting topic, but we have
managed to create a lesson that involves fun and excitement while also effectively teaching the
scientific method, covering the fifth grade standard.