Reflection: Backwards Planning Absolute Zero - Section 2: Engage


When I set out create a flow of lessons for a given unit I start with the standards I want to address and the story line that will tie them all together. Much like building the parts of a well developed story (beginning, middle and end, rising action, falling action, conflict, characters and themes, etc) the mark of a solid science unit includes similar structure. 

In this lesson you are pulling from what students already know about measuring temperature and setting the stage for using a scale that includes no negative value for temperature. This is necessary when working with gas laws in the lesson that follow, a bit of foreshadowing if you will, so students should be asked what 0°C and 100° C mean in relation to liquid water, then connect that understanding to kinetic molecular energy and measuring the temperature of gasses.  

The mark of good teaching is knowing the path you are guiding students down and what you want them to understand at the end of the day, week, month, unit, etc. The lesson progressions in my units build this kind of storyline so I encourage you to follow a similar progression. 

  Begin with the end in mind
  Backwards Planning: Begin with the end in mind
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Absolute Zero

Unit 2: Effects of Heat Energy Transfers on Earth's Atmosphere
Lesson 1 of 14

Objective: SWBAT 1) describe the relationship between the Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales; 2) explain the concept of absolute zero; and 3) describe the motion of gas molecules according to the kinetic theory of gases.

Big Idea: Students build on their understanding of measuring heat with this investigation into what we mean by absolute zero.

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Science, Matter and its Properties, heat transfer, Gas Laws, Air Pressure
  48 minutes
screen shot 2014 10 25 at 3 34 00 pm
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