Lesson: Air Pressure (Day 6 and 7)

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Lesson Objective

Students will compare and contrast differences between high and low pressure by doing: -An investigation on how air’s pressure affects a balloon in a plastic bottle -Present conclusions on how air’s weight prevents a balloon from blowing up -Engage in a study of air pressure

Lesson Plan

Please see document entitled: "Air Pressure Lesson Plan" for detailed lesson plan.

This is inquiry based lesson indented to cover 2 days (1 hour lesson each) of science sessions.  The lesson is written in ABC, CBV, R format (Activity Before Concept, Concept Before Vocabulary, and Reading).   

My Reflection:

       These materials are an updated version of this two day air pressure lesson.  I did this lesson twice with two separate groups of students. 


      Experiment Notes

      Some things to note while doing the experiment is that it is really important to show the materials involved and how they are going to be used before having the students use them.  This will help avoid pit falls where students cut up the balloon with scissors as a part of their trial or take apart their plastic bottle.  I updated the inquiry question for the experiment to be "How can you get the balloon to blow up in the plastic bottle without taking it apart?" From experience, this became a necessary addition because students will otherwise take the opportunity to destroy the materials they were given in order to get the balloon to blow up. 

     Also, make time for students at the end of the experiment to just focus on finishing up their poster for the experiment.  This will help them prepare their thoughts and be ready to present their ideas in front of the class so they are not up there unprepared. 


      Power Point Notes:

     I added more opportunities for student reflections in the power point from its original version, this is because when it was originally presented students did not contribute as much to the learning and their notes.  Everytime a new concept is taught there is a slide asking students to reflect or write or talk with a partner.  I feel this will add to the direct instruction of the concepts of air pressure.  Teacher questions and directions in running the power point are in the notes section of each slide so essentially the power point itself is the lesson plan for note taking day.

Lesson Resources

Air Pressure Power Point   Activity
Compare Contrast High and Low air pressure Worksheet   Assessment
Science Starter Air Pressure Lesson   Starter / Do Now
Inquiry and the National Science Education St
Air Pressure Lesson Plan.doc  
National Science Education Standards
Experiment WorkSheet - balloon in a bottle.doc  
Houghton Mifflin 5th Grade Web Page


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