Friday, September 21, 2012

Experimental Design Lesson Plan


Student Info:
Week 3; The Scientific Method (Unit 1)
Readiness Level: Biology, 9th & 10th grade
Learning Profiles: Strong Auditory and Kinesthetic Profiles. Also visual.
Interests: varied, but include sports (football, soccer, basketball), socializing and video games

Student Connection:
Students will be able to design their own simple experiment about a real-life problem or question personally interesting to them. For instance, a student who skateboards might design an experiment to provide answers to the question: How can I make my skateboard go faster? They will also learn about experimental error and experience error for themselves when conducting measurements in a lab.

Enduring Understanding:
Students understand how to design experiments about real-life problems in order to develop problem-solving skills.

Essential Questions:
What are the essential components of a good experiment?
What are some questions I can come up with that are testable?
How can I design an experiment to test a question?
What is scientific error, when does it occur, and how can I avoid it?

Instructional Strategies:
Provide content with a PowerPoint presentation, process (think-pair-share in response to questions embedded in the presentation), and product (laboratory activity, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”, Scientific Method poster, and unit test).

Student Activities:
Provide supports for varied readiness levels (visual and auditory presentation, think-pair-share, small groups to promote peer-teaching), learning profiles (visual and auditory presentation; lab for hands-on learning (kinesthetic); creation of a poster in groups) and interests.

Content Standards:
Grades 9 & 10 Biology
11: “Investigation and Experimentation”
b. Identify and communicate sources of unavoidable error.
c. Identify possible reasons for inconsistent results, such as sources of error or uncontrolled conditions.
d. Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence.
j. Recognize the issues of statistical variability and the need for controlled tests.

ELD Standards:
EL students are ELD III/IV
Part I: Interacting in Meaningful Ways
1.       Exchanging information/ideas
2.       Interacting via written English
5. Listening actively
Part II: Learning About How English Works
1.       Understanding text structure
2.       Understanding cohesion

After being presented with content on experimental design, students will be able to identify the key components of an experiment and design a simple experiment with one variable and control. Students will also construct a poster in small groups on the scientific method. (Cognitive, Language Development. Bio Stds 11b,c,d,j; ELD Stds Parts I & II)

Assessment Plan:
Entry Level—Each student will take a quiz (week 1) on the scientific method to determine their readiness level for designing an experiment. The teacher will use that information to differentiate the assignment to meet the students’ individual needs.

Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will “think-pair-share” in response to these questions. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes.

Summative—Students will complete a lab (“Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”), which will be peer graded as I review the answers in class. Students will construct a poster on the scientific methods in groups and present their posters to the class. Finally, students will take a Unit 1 test on the experimental design and the scientific method at the end of the week to assess whether they have learned the key points of this unit.

Differentiation Strategies:
                Check to ensure students are taking Cornell notes during presentation.
                Think-pair-share during PowerPoint presentation.
Define vocab for experimental design: independent/manipulated variable, dependent variable, experimental group, control, and control group.
                Teacher will arrange students in groups for the lab and poster.
Teacher will circulate during student activities to answer questions, check for understanding, and guide students in the right direction.
                Teacher will review material for Unit 1 test by providing a handout and answering questions.

                Students will follow handout guidelines for lab.
                Teacher will provide rubric to guide students in creation of poster.
                Teacher will pair up students to peer-teach each other in the review before the Unit 1 test.
Students who need extra time to finish the test are allowed to complete after class (or another time that fits with their schedules).

1.       PowerPoint presentation, “Experimental Design”
2.       “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz” lab worksheet
3.       Scientific method poster and rubric
4.       Unit 1 review handout
5.       Unit 1 test

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