Compare and Contrast : Using measurement to get there

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SWBAT gather data and compare it with other data points.

Big Idea

Comparisons can be drawn to help make informed decisions about questions in life.


5 minutes

This is the follow up to the measurement lesson.

"Boys and girls, yesterday, we put this toy butterfly in the water and we measured all the possible items we could measure.  Do you all remember doing this? Today we are going to measure it again, in all the same ways and see if there are any similarities or maybe even some differences." 

"Let's review a tiny bit what we did yesterday.  Turn to your shoulder buddy (the partner sitting next to your shoulder) and talk, spend three minutes discussing what we did yesterday.  Partner number one, you will speak first. When you hear the bell, Partner number two add anything they remember. Ok, here we go. I am setting the timer.  Don't begin until I say, 'begin." 

While the children are having dialogue, I am wandering and listening.  After three minutes, I ring the bell and wait for the all the children's attention.  

"Who would like to share what you and your partner spoke about?" 

Students will remember the growing insect, however, they may not remember exactly what we did with the growing insect.  I lead them and prompt the students with questions pertaining to:

Eliciting the five different types of measurement we learned about: length, volume, time, weight and temperature.  After this, encouraging them to remember the concept of gathering data the day before and now measuring today.  


15 minutes

I have the Measurement Power Point  from the day before ready to go my laptop. I open it to slide 11.  

The children are so excited to see what has happened to our growing butterfly, they can barely contain their excitement to continue gathering our data.  

We proceed through the same process as the day before. We measure the temperature of the water, the amount of liquid in the bowl with the butterfly, the weight and size, as well as, how long it has taken based on the time we are completing the investigation.  With a lot of help, we figure out how long it has been in time for the reaction to take place.  

Each time we take a measurement, I model the placement to write the data on the chart. Students also write the data in their charts.  


10 minutes

The science in this lesson is not about why the butterfly grows.  The purpose and focus of the lesson is the science inquiry of measurements, gathering data, comparing and contrasting that data and communicating the results. 

I have the Comparing and Contrasting power point ready to switch to after we have gathered all the data from our investigation.  

"Ok, everyone, we have some work to do.  We just finished gathering all the data, but now we have to do something with it.  We can't just gather it and let it sit.  That just wouldn't make any sense.  I want to show you something that I think would make this a bit more clear what we should do next.  Please put your eyes up here on the screen. I want to share something with you. 

Slide 1 shows the title and the standard we will be looking at.  This lesson is not connected to a performance standard, but to science and engineering practice 4.  This practice explains that students need to be able to compare observations based on predictions and prior experience. This is exactly what the students have accomplished.  

In slides 2 and 3, a simple explanation for the students to think about and understand the purpose of comparing and contrasting is offered.  

"Boys and girls, let me ask you a question, can you think of another time we looked at objects and looked for things that made those objects the same?  Maybe even different?" 

"Yes, when we did that investigation with the insects.  The one when we put them into groups."  

"Can you clarify that for me? What do you mean, we put them into groups?"

"We sorted them into groups and put the insects that had the same number of wings or were striped or spotted together." 

"Yes, you are correct on that.  That is exactly what we did. Sometimes scientists need to do that.  This is a more formal way to sort and classify.  We call this comparing and contrasting.  I think we could actually compare the data we had in the 'before' chart and compare it to the data in the 'after' chart."  

Slide 4 is a repeat of the slide in the Measurement Power Point.  It offers me a clean slide to write on if it is necessary to revisit it without the before/after data that was gathered with the children.  This slide may not need to be used, it is a back up.  



15 minutes

"When we look at the data from the before and the after, we can use our math skills and figure out what the differences are in the numbers.  That would be contrasting.  Finding the differences....."

I walk the students through doing the math and finding the differences.  We write the numbers on the screen to record our work.

(Be sure to save the power point at this point in the lesson.  This ensures you will not lose all this work.  Remember to date it with the days date, this way it will not replace the work from the day before, but show a progression of days work).

"Ok, you guys, I have a really important question I need to ask you.  Back at the beginning of the school year when we were talking about what scientists do, I remember something about communicating.  Does anyone else remember that? Scientists share their work with other scientists.  I think since we are really trying to be good scientists, we should practice communicating our results with this work. How would you all feel about practicing that?

"Oh! yeah, let's do that." 

"Well, you know we are going to have to be really good writers in order to do this.  I have a good page that I think will help us get started.  I don't expect you to write it all in on your own. This is only the first time we have done this.  I think we will practice this a lot more this year. You will be able to do it later on all alone. So how about if we do it together?" 

I pass out the blackline at the end of the Comparing and Contrasting Power Point.  I also have slide 5 up on my screen. This enables me to write and model for the students what I would like for them to practice writing on their own papers.  

An example of what I would write would be: 

We compared the growing butterfly before and after soaking in water overnight. Our results showed that it took 24 hours for it to grow.  In the beginning, we had one cup of water, but afterward there was only 1/2 a cup.  At first, the butterfly was two inches wide.  After soaking, it was four inches.  Next, we weighed the butterfly.  It was only 2 blocks in the beginning, but weighed 6 blocks at the end.  Last, we noticed the temperature of the water did change at all.  It was not hot or cold.  The thermometer said it was ____degrees in the beginning and it stayed the same.  


5 minutes

This lesson is a precursor to many more to come throughout the course of the school year. However, I do want to see what the children have internalized from the two days of work.  So I offer them this page: Tell Me What You Have Learned  It has three boxes, one to show in a graphic form anything they remember, a box for any new vocabulary and a box to write about what they learned.  

I like giving formative assessments such as this, because they are very adaptable.  For the ELL students who may still be struggling with the language, but understands concepts, they are able to demonstrate their knowledge in a picture format.  Lower and middle level students should be able able to add graphics and include any new vocabulary they learned.  Higher level students should be able to address all three boxes.  

After the assessment is given, I am able to take the pages home and look them over.  Just with a quick glance, I will be able to see what and where the children are after this lesson.  With the higher level students, reading their responses, will offer more insight into their thinking as well. If there are any unusual misconceptions, I will be able to address those at at later time.