In this lesson students will be investigating how sight is related to survival. This is a great lesson because it will serve as background information for adaptations and traits and the lab is simple enough to get data, write up, and understand all in one period.
Learning Goal: Investigate how sight allows you to survive.
Opening question: Imagine you are a caveman hunting for food. How do you taking in information about your surroundings and how do you react?
Students come in the room, get ready (get their stuff), get set (get settled in their seats), and engage in writing the learning goal and answering the essential question on the board.
The purpose of this section is to get kids engaged in the topic we are learning. Today we are going to watch a video of a cheetah hunting. Before, I show the video, I ask the students what parts of the cheetah are going to be important to it being successful in the hunt and catching dinner. I take a few answers and then we watch the video.
At the end of the video, we discuss some of the features that made the cheetah successful. I always go back to the sight to connect to the point of lesson today. I let the students know that today we are investigating how sight works to give us information.
The purpose of this section is to get kids ready to be successful in the lab. I let the students know that we will be investigating whether we see color or movement first. I ask the students to talk to their partner about their opinion. This raises engagement and curiosity.
Then we set up our labs. As I am getting my lab set up on the board, I display my thinking to the class, constantly talking about the purpose of each section, why science writing is special, and how you should write each section. Together we create the Title, Purpose, Hypothesis, and procedure. An example of this lab is attached here.
In this lab, students will be using two meter sticks to make an upside V that they can use for measurement. One student will sit between the sticks staring forward while another moves the marker from 0cm up along the stick until the partner says they can see it. The partners record when they saw movement and when the saw color.
Once we are ready to start the lab, I show the students how to set up the meter sticks and then give each team four different colored markers. This adds some excitement because the student can't lie about the color. They really have to be able to see it in order to state the color. Now the students are ready to do. I let them work while I walk around and talk to them about their process and findings.
Here is a student discussing the procedure and meaning of the lab.
The purpose of this section is to bring meaning to the data the students just collected.
I ask the students to come together and we talk about the data that we found. I put a general data table on the board that represents all of the class data. Then we talk about the data. What does it mean? What do we see first? How would this help the cheetah catch the gazelle? What happens to animals that don't see well? Why is movement more important than color? When would color be important?
If there is time we watch the video again, this time stopping it to point out specific points where movement mattered more than color.
The purpose of this section is to write and review the conclusion to the lab.
I use the sentence starters anchor chart to get students ready for the conclusion. I remind them again how important it is to write like a scientist and bring meaning to evidence. Then I give the students 4-5 min to write their conclusion. When they are done they switch papers with their partner and read the other conclusion. We go through the sentence starters one at a time and look at how their partner met the success checklist.
_____ In this lab we found.....(goes back to the purpose of the lab)
_____ I know this because.....(gives specific data from the lab)
_____This makes sense because...( Brings meaning to the data)
The students get their papers back and have a chance to revise their conclusions before turning them in.
Closing question: Do you see with your eyes or your brain? Sometimes the data we bring in can be wrong or confusing. Look at how optical illusions trick our brains to think we are seeing something else. Some sickness cause hallucinations where the brain invents things that the eye didn't bring in. In the end, the eye is just way to bring in light...It is our brain that makes meaning of it.
Read more about the procedures of a successful closure here.