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This lesson provided by:
Author:Cheryl Shelton
System: Huntsville City
School: Academy For Science & Foreign Language
Lesson Plan ID: 12635
Title: Teaching the Scientific Method
Life is one project after another, no matter what career field one chooses. The responsibility of planning a project is a valuable lesson for students that applies to most career fields. This method requires students to answer a question or solve a problem, make observations and collect data, and draw a conclusion as to the answer to the question or problem.
Content Standard(s):
SC(8) 1. Identify steps within the scientific process.
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s): Students will select, transfer, and use data and principles to complete a problem or task with a minimum of direction.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:
PowerPoint presentation (see attached), copy of Scientific Method for each student (see attached), materials required for sample lesson: 3 different brands of paper towels (cut into equal squares), water, graduated cylinder, scissors, calculator, pan to test towel pieces, extra paper towels, and ruler
Technology Resources Needed:
Computer, presentation software, LCD projector
Students will need to have an understanding of how an experiment must be carried out in order to maintain validity.
1.)Present the attached slideshow about the Scientific Method. The presentation includes steps with an explanation.
Discuss and answer questions about these eleven steps.
Have each student write a statement about each step, collect statements, see where students have misconceptions, and review.

2.)Hand out a copy of the Scientific Method Example. Discuss the question and have students write a hypothesis.
Have each student write his own hypothesis (it may be the same or different from lab partner's).
Also discuss together possible answers to the variables and standards of comparison.

3.)Now each student will need to complete these steps and actually do the experiment.

4.)The Experiment:
The Paper Towel with Great Holding Power

5.)Step 1.
Statement of Purpose or Question:
Which paper towel will hold the most water?

6.)Step 2.
When Brawny, Scott and a store brand are tested for absorbency, then … will be proven to hold the most water.

7.)Step 3.
A. Independent Variable
Brand of paper towel
B. Dependent Variable
Brand of paper towel
C. Constants or Controls
Amounts of water added to paper towel
Size of the paper towel
Process of determining amount of water left
Time water is on paper towel
Test all three brands around the same time and on the same day.

8.)Step 4.
Standards of Comparison:
Color and size of each brand of paper towel

9.)Step 5.
Materials and Procedure:
A. Materials
roll of Brawny, Scott & store brand
graduated cylinder
extra paper towels

B. Procedures:
1. Get all materials.
2. Review my directions for experiment.
3. Cut paper towels into 4 cm x 4 cm squares.
4. Lay one square of Bounty paper towel in the pan.
5. Measure out 10 ml of water and add to paper towel in pan.
6. Let it set for one for one minute.
7. Pick up paper towel with forceps and let the extra water drip out of paper towel until the drops are at least five seconds apart.
8. Pour water in pan back into the graduated cylinder and calculate the amount of water the square of paper held.
9. Repeat steps 5-9 for each paper towel for total of fifty times.

11.)Step 6.
Qualitative Observations:
Some water was lost when it was returned to the graduated cylinder.
Water temperature was hard to regulate.
During some tests the air conditioner was on.

12.)Step 7.
Quantitative Results:
A. Raw Data
B. Results

13.)Step 8.
Analysis & Interpretation of Results:
Have students describe what was discovered.

14.)Step 9.
Possible Experimental Errors:
Ask students to review step 6 and write statements of what they observed.

15.)Step 10.
Ask students to state whether their hypotheses were correct
Have them include why their results did, or did not, support the hypothesis.

16.)Allow students to make recommendations for further experimentation based on their data & practical applications.

In groups of 3-4 students design an experiment with one of the following questions.
Which size funnel will sand pour through the fastest?
Will the temperature of ice water change if salt or sugar is added?
Will the angle of a ramp have an effect on how far a marble will roll?

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Scientific Method.doc
Scientific Method.ppt
Assessment Strategies:
a) Teacher observation during discussion and review of what student's work.

b) Evaluate each students information for Steps 2-5 and 8-10, and as group work for Steps 6-7.

c) Repeat assessment for each experiment as in b).

d) When grading the challenge, each student will be assessed on all components of the scientific method.

Give students opportunities to complete more lab activities and/or a science fair project.
Acquire more simple science experiments or do some together as a class.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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