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Kimberly

Greco
November 2016

Science Lesson Plan-4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Science Lesson Plan- Water Pollution and other Environmental Dilemmas


November 10, 2016
Goals I Objectives
Students will able to identify, categorize and demonstrate different types of environmental
dilemmas and their effects on the world around us.
Standards (and Assessment Anchors, if applicable)
K-12 Science Framework
CCSS ESS3: Earth and Human Activities: How do Earths surface processes and human
activities affect each other?
ESS3.C: How do humans change the planet?
-Students will able to identify and understand how human impact on water
affects the quality, and availability, as well as discussion possible solutions to
reduce these impacts.
-By the end, SWBAT discuss how humans have negatively impacted the
environment, particularly water, as well as be aware of different organizations
that are working toward improving these dilemmas.
Add in Standards from Cross-cutting concepts and practices.
Standards from Cross-cutting Concepts and Practices
1) Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple,
sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining
causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such
mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain
events in new contexts. Students will be discussion the cause and effects of different
environmental dilemmas and create a class graphic organizer that will help them
construct their thoughts. Creating a water filter will also allow them to see, hands on,
how polluted water goes from polluted to clean and safe and what the process may look
like.

2) Systems and system models. Defining the system under studyspecifying its boundaries
and making explicit a model of that systemprovides tools for understanding and testing
ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering. Students will construct
their own water filter with the materials provided to determine how and why a water filter
is needed to go from polluted to safe and clean water.

3)Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and
determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.
Students will be writing down their steps, process of thinking and what went right or
wrong in their water filter. They will also write an exit slip on their thoughts on a specific
water filter material plays in the process of filtering water.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Science Lesson Plan-4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Literacy: SWBAT make text to world connections through Just A Dream and the science
introduced throughout the story. Using the text, they will be able to guide their group discussions
and support their claims.
Engineering: SWBAT to construct a water filtration system that models how polluted water
becomes pure & clean.
Materials and preparation1)Read Aloud:
Materials: Book-Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg. Chart paper & various colored
markers.
Preparation: Be very familiar with the book and understanding what messages the
author is trying to send the students- also be prepared with timing. There may be times
where students will stop to ask questions or you have questions to ask them, which may
take more time than allotted.
Having chart paper ready to facilitate a class discussion, as well as questions to help
guide their thinking.
Example class graphic organizer:

Dilemma

Air pollution

Smoke stacks
of factories
polluting air

Cars polluting
air

Global
Warming

Melting
Glaciers

2) Group work(15 minutes):


Materials
- Lined and pencil.
-Chart paper and markers to model and guide their thinking.
Preparation- In order to get a mid-way check up on where the students are in the lesson,
breaking out into small groups (2 groups of 3), will allow them to dig deeper into their
thinking. Model example of ways to jot down ideas for group work. Prepare to give them
about 15 minutes of time to work together and then bring back together to discuss as a
whole group. Use chart paper to jot down notes that everyone came up with.-How can

we make this into just group discussion after the reading? It may take more
time if they split into groups now, cutting into the experiment part.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Science Lesson Plan-4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

3)Water Filter Experiment (20 minutes):


Materials:
- 2 Seltzer bottles filled with gravel/sand/dirt from outside
-coffee filters
-2-4 red solo cups
-2 large Seltzer bottles to be used as filtered water jug
Give students a wide range of materials to work with in this experiment! The more
materials they can use in the experiment will encourage further exploration
-Cotton Balls
-Cotton Clothes
-Tissues
-Toothpicks
Preparation- I will gather the above materials, including filling 2 seltzer bottles up with
dirt/gravel/sand. In order for the students to construct their own learning, I think it will be
necessary for them to make the filtration system themselves, using the materials
provided. The only parts I think I may need to demonstrate is where to place the coffee
filters and the red solo cups. Leading into the experiment, I will scaffold with some
questions to guide their thinking, such as: 1) Presenting them with a Poland Spring
bottle and asking them how this water become pure and safe enough for us to drink?
Why do you think we have to purify our water? Where do you think pollutants (possible
opportunity for vocabulary word?) may come from?
4) Final Assessment (5 minutes): Discuss experiment and findings as a group. Give students
the exit ticket.- Materials include: Lined paper & pencils. *remind them to put their name!
Classroom arrangement and management issues
1.I will be using the library for this lesson. I chose this space for many reasons: 1) it is right next
door to our classroom, so it will be easy to access if necessary. 2) it is a quiet space that is not
often occupied and has many tables and room for the students to learn. With the experiment I
prepared, the students will need extra desk space, which the library provides. I also do not want
the work we are doing to disrupt my teachers instruction and the other students.
2. I will have most of the materials, except for their composition notebooks and pencils, ready at
the front of the room and will assign helpers to bring the material over to the library. The
materials for the experiment will already be in the library in the back area, so they do not get
distracted by it and only focus on that part.
3. The biggest management concern I worry about is them talking to each other when they
should not be or not taking the lesson/experiment seriously. My overarching question for this
project (for Field Seminar) is allowing myself to be more flexible in student collaboration,
while still making sure that everyone, including myself, stays on task. I think anticipating that
the students will be talking during the experiment and group work will allow myself to
exercise my presence as a teacher in the classroom. Another management/preparation
concern is the students having sharpened pencils. I need to keep this in mind and remind
them to sharpen their pencil before heading to the library, because I do not want them
leaving the library after the lesson begins.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Science Lesson Plan-4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Plan
1)The "hook": Review the chart that we made as a whole class about What We Know About
Water. Using this chart, I will ask the students: Based upon the different key points we have on
our chart, are there any up here that may have negative impacts on water and the
environment? Then I will begin reading Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.
Questions to guide reading:
1) What impacts, either good or bad, do people have on the environment?
2) Why do you think Walter makes fun of his neighbor for planting a tree as her birthday
gift?
3) As Walter travels along, are any of these stops along his dream something you
recognize or have read about?
4) At what point in the story does Walters mindset change about taking care of the
environment? Has your mindset changed? (ask them to dig back into the text to support
their claim).
(10-12 minutes reading/discussion)
2) After reading the book, we will migrate into a group discussion about the book and they will
identify the different environmental dilemmas introduced in the text. On chart paper, we will
create a graphic organizer to record our findings and expand upon their learning. Example of
chart is above. (10minutes)
3) After we have identified the dilemmas, we will break into two groups of 3. Each group will
choose one dilemma and discuss ways they would either reduce or solve the dilemma. They will
record their ideas on the paper provided, which we will discuss with as group later on.
(10minutes)
4) Migrate into discussion about water pollution and what they know about it. Guiding questions:
1)What or whom do you think impacts water quality? 2)Are there any bodies of water nearby
that are polluted? What makes them polluted? 3) *Show them a bottle of Poland Spring and
ask: How do you think this water became so clean and pure? This question will scaffold into our
experiment of the water filter. (5 minutes)
5) Experiment: Create Water Filter. Students will create their own water filtration system with
the materials above to get a sense of how water goes from being polluted with matter and other
pollutants, to filtered and clean. Students will work in two groups of 3 to create these systems,
and record their steps and findings in their composition notebook. (20 minutes)
Guiding Questions: 1) What role does the coffee filter play in the process? 2) Where do you
think the pollutants may have come from?
6) CLOSING: As an exit ticket, students will write two facts about the lesson: 1) Pick a piece of
material that you used to make the water filter. What role did it play in the process of filtering the
water? 2) A question they still have about what they learned. (3 minutes)
Assessment of the goals/objectives listed above
Using the graphic organizer chart, group work and water filtration experiment, I will be able to
assess how students are organizing their thoughts, and whether they are able to back their
claims with details and evidence. The group work will also help me practice my flexibility in
allowing the students to engage their critical thinking skills with their peers. In the group work, I
hope to observe and listen to the background knowledge the students bring to the table.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Science Lesson Plan-4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Through the experiment, I hope to observe the engineering skills brought to the table, as well as
their understanding how a filtration system helps purify and eliminate pollution in water. I hope
this experiment will also teach them good values into taking care of our environment and
working as a team to do so.
Encouraging the students to record their discussions, as well as their steps/procedures for the
experiment will give both the students and I written evidence to their understanding and what
gaps need to be filled in their learning.
Anticipating students' responses and your possible responses
a) Management issues: The biggest challenge I think I may face is seeing some of the students
feeling disengaged or unwilling to participate. In order to make sure everyone is engaged, I
hope to call on certain students to start off answering a problem and then asking others to
elaborate on their thinking. Another issue that may arise is during the experiment and the
students either getting too messy with it or getting off task. If this is the case, I will take the
proper steps to manage the levels of noise, keeping the students on task and also engaged.
b) Response to content of the lesson: I anticipate that some students may need extra
clarification with the discussions and experiment. During their discussion, I will pop into their
groups to understand their thinking and if necessary will asking them a probing question, such
as what are some ideas or solutions you have read about in the news or our texts that humans
have used during environmental dilemmas?. If the students are truly struggling with the
experiment, I think I would intervene when necessary to keep the experiment moving, without
giving them any answers or information. During my intervening, I may asking them Why do you
think I am taking this step versus the step you started to take?

Accommodations
a) Accommodations for students who may find the material too challenging: Differentiating the
questions or asking the students who do understand to help guide their learning. If necessary, I
may intervene during the experiment in order to keep it moving.
b) Accommodations for students who may need greater challenge and/or finish early? Although
I do not anticipate anyone finishing early, I do see some needing a challenge. During the group
discussion, if students need a challenge, I may ask them to discuss different companies,
movements, philanthropies etc. that are working toward improving the environment and why.
During the experiment, I would ask why this system works, if there are any safe chemicals (such
as chlorine) that water companies use to make sure the water is 100% safe to drink.