Justin Price EAGLE RIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PHOENIX, AZ
3rd Grade Science : Unit #8 - Animal Structures : Lesson #3

Investigating Worms Part 2

Objective: SWBAT conduct a scientific investigation by following procedures they helped to design.
Standards: 3-LS4-3 4-LS1-1 SP1 SP3 SP4 SP6 SP8
Subject(s): Science
60 minutes
1 Introduction - 10 minutes

I try to gather all the materials groups requested into bus tubs before class to help ease the distribution.

I begin by placing a poorly written Worm Experiment experiment under the document camera, and ask them to tell their neighbor about this experiment.  I remind students that scientists do experiments, but they also must be able communicate their experiments and results to others, and challenge them to write their procedures in such a way that anyone who reads it would be able to follow it without any help.

Next, I pass out the Experimental Design Rubric, and I ask them how they would score this experiment.  We work as a class to revise the experiment, which really helps students understand what is expected from them.

2 Engagement - 30 minutes

I have students send up someone to get supplies, and start passing out worms and coir, which is a coconut fiber bedding.  I remind them to have a fair test, they will need to divide the worms evenly among their different trials.  After materials are distributed, I circulate to keep them moving forward on their procedures.  Once they are making progress, I remind them to revise their written procedures to be specific and to make sure they have included all possible steps.

3 Closure - 10 minutes

Once the worms have all been placed into their experiments, and the procedures have been recorded, I have each student write a prediction about the outcome of the experiment with a reason for their thinking.  The revisions we made to the sample experiment earlier in the lesson make this step more clear for students.

Finally, I collect science notebooks, and ask them to reflect on their participation during science today.  I use the Experimental Design Rubric to assess a sample of student work (Exemplary Student Notebook Sample), and I use this to determine areas of focus for future lessons, as well as identifying students that may need additional support.