Lesson Plan Example:

Lesson Title: The Fabulous Chemical Reaction Boat Races

Lesson Author: David Dolecki with Molly Daysh, Denise Sebra and Natalie Shoptaw

Grade Level: Fifth

Subject Area: Science

Time Allotted for the Lesson: 5 days, 1-hour lesson per day

Description of Lesson: To better understand chemical reactions, the students will watch a quick video on the subject and then engage in a hands-on group activity to explore their own chemical reaction. This will all lead to the students creating vessels propelled by a chemical reaction and writing about all they went through to accomplish this task. By the end of this unit they will all have become scientists and have a new respect for the world around them.

State Curriculum Standards met in this lesson:
·         5-PS1-4.               Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances. [**Clarification Statement: Examples of combinations that do not produce new substances could include sand and water. Examples of combinations that do produce new substances could include baking soda and vinegar or milk and vinegar.]

·         ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution (Engineering)


·         MP.5     Use appropriate tools strategically. (3–5-ETS1-1),(3–5-ETS1-2),(3–5-ETS1-3)

·         5.MD.1 Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real-world problems. (5-PS1-2)

Instructional Objectives:

The students will be able to better understand how chemical reactions occur, and what types of substances might cause chemical reactions.  The students will be able to use measurements to appropriately mix products for safe experimentation.  The students will be able to use tools to design and create a workable vessel.  The students will learn how to work in group situations and gain collaboration skills.

Materials, Resources and Technology Needed for this Lesson: Water bottles, Duct tape, Straws, Water, Vinegar, Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, Potassium Iodide, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Sugar, Small mixing cups, funnels, measuring spoons, stir sticks, Mess tray, Paper towel, Balloons, Mentos.

Student's Present Level of Performance and Knowledge: This unit requires minimal background knowledge of chemical reactions.  It is adaptable for a diverse group of students and by methodically pairing the students, they should all be able to follow the directions and lessons.  

Instructional Procedures:

·         Lesson Set: The teacher will lead a whole-class discussion on chemical reactions to assess background knowledge.  There will also be a video shown on chemical reactions to introduce the lesson.

·         Techniques and Activities:

Day 1:

       · Teacher asks students to choose a partner. Next teacher assigns pairs to work as lab groups, based on learning needs, learning strengths, and social compatibility.

      ·  Next they will watch a quick video on chemical reaction, using a graphic organizer to take notes. They pair-share what they learned during the viewing.

· After the video a whole-class discussion will ensue about if they learned anything new in which the teacher assesses their prior knowledge.

·  The teacher will then demonstrate how mixing just two substances can create a chemical reaction by placing a balloon filled with a small amount of baking soda on top of a water bottle filled partially with Vinegar and then dumping in the baking soda. This will cause the balloon to fill with gas. The teacher will not inform the students what products were mixed.

·  Then the students will get into their lab groups and be asked to explore what is on their desks to see if they can duplicate the event and inflate a balloon with a chemical reaction. (The products will include: Baking Soda, Sugar, Flour, Salt, Water, and Vinegar).

·   The groups will be guided to open their minds to try as many combinations as they can think of.

·   After their group has had a chance to work with the products to create a chemical reaction and inflate the balloon, they will then, if time permits, use their computers to search for other possible products that could create a similar chemical reaction.

·   During the last 5 minutes of the period we will create a list of products they come up with.


Day 2:

   · The class will discuss what they thought about the previous lesson and if there was anything new they discovered or anything they were curious about and wanted to learn more about.

   · The class will also discuss what went well and what didn’t within their group collaborative work.

   · The discussion will then turn to safety and costs and what they think about some of the things they had already looked up if time permitted them to use their computers to search for other possible products that could create a similar chemical reaction.

   ·  Next they will work in groups to use the computers to continue their searches on possible chemical reactions and include the new parameters on safety and cost to come up with a list of things they might be able to use in a classroom experiment. Each group will discuss what experiment they would like to try. We will decide as a class what experiment to try as a future lesson.

  · The next task will be to have a discussion and to adjust our list of possible products to include these parameters for the current chemical reaction lesson.

   · When our list is complete, the teacher will then ask the students to gather into their groups from the previous day and then ask the groups to choose someone to gather the supplies (most of the items on their list) that have been brought in for further experimentation.

   · Have the students take notes using a graphic organizer about which products caused a chemical reaction and which didn’t, as well as if they did, which ones created a bigger reaction.

  · With 10-15 minutes left in the class, have the students break into pairs briefly to discuss what they have learned so far and if there is anything they did not understand. Teacher will engage class in brief closing whole-class discussion to assess understanding.

   · The last couple of minutes will be used to explain that they will be creating a vessel that will use a chemical reaction to be propelled forward and to think about this for the next lesson.

Day 3-4:

    · This will begin with a discussion about the prior lesson and if they had any questions.

    · The students will then get back into their groups to continue working with the items from the previous lesson if they did not get a chance to finish or they wanted to try some again for further clarification.

     · When each group finishes their exploration, they will have their notes in their graphic organizers and be given a list of items that they will be able to use to build their vessel. At this point they will have to   engineer a vessel and design (draw) a diagram of their craft. These designs must have a key.

     ·  When their design has been created they will then use the products from the list that will be in the     room and begin constructing their vessel. They will use information from their notes on chemical reaction to figure out how to add the products as well as how the gas will propel the vessel. They will also have to make sure the vessel floats.

Day 4-5:

        ·  The students will use this time to create their vessels.

        · Once the majority of students have finished their crafts, they will then surround an area with a large basin of water and begin to launch them one at a time. Prior to each launch the creator will explain what they did to their vessel and what they used for the chemical reaction and then the class will discuss their opinions on whether the launch will be a success or not. All responses must justify their response using evidence from their earlier lesson activities.

Day 5:

          ·  The students will write an essay on their experience with the activities and project they built. They will follow the rubric to create a well written paper that explains what they learned during this 5 day unit.

Lesson Closure:  The teacher will discuss what was learned through this unit and students will turn in their essays to serve as summative assessments. 

Adaptations for Special Learners:

1. By implementing Group Work, cooperative learning, the teacher is helping to differentiate instruction so as to ensure all learners are able to comprehend the given science lesson

2. Technology is used to introduce chemical reaction 

3. Pair ELL’s with English speaking students

Supplemental Activities: Extension and remediation: Students will watch a video in regards to chemical reactions.  

Assessment/Evaluation: On days 4 and 5, the students will be launching their vessels and one student from each group will discuss, for the class and teacher, how they came up with their chemical reaction.  On day 5, students will submit their essays regarding their experience with the activities and project they built.

Student Products: Students will develop graphic organizers with notes taken throughout this unit.