ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Pass the Solar Energy, Please!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Kathy Perkins
System: Tuscaloosa City
School: Tuscaloosa City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34899

Title:

Pass the Solar Energy, Please!

Overview/Annotation:

Students know that humans and other animals must eat food to have the energy to grow, maintain body temperature, heal, and move, but do they realize that all the energy in food was once energy from the sun? In this lesson, students will participate in a simulation regarding the transfer of energy from the sun to plants, the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy during photosynthesis, and the transfer of energy between organisms when one organism eats another.  Then they will use websites, close reading of nonfiction passages, and vocabulary-building activities to prepare them to construct their own models of the transfer of energy in a food chain to show that energy in animals' food was once energy from the sun.  

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
10 ) Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RI.5.1]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.5.10- Find in the text/or answer who, what, why, when, and where questions to demonstrate understanding of an informational text.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
10 ) Construct and interpret models (e.g., diagrams, flow charts) to explain that energy in animals' food is used for body repair, growth, motion, and maintenance of body warmth and was once energy from the sun.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Through constructing and using models, explain that energy in animals' food used for body repair, growth, motion, and maintenance of body warmth was once energy from the sun.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Model
  • Energy
  • Repair
  • Growth
  • Motion
  • Maintenance
  • Animal
  • Plant
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The energy released [from] food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter (from air and water).
  • Food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and the energy they need to maintain body warmth and for motion.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use models to describe a phenomenon that includes the idea that energy in animals' food was once energy from the sun. Students identify and describe the components of the model that are relevant for describing the phenomenon, including the following:
    • Energy.
    • The sun.
    • Animals, including their bodily functions (e.g., body repair, growth, motion, body warmth maintenance).
    • Plants.
  • Identify and describe the relevant relationships between components, including the following:
    • The relationship between plants and the energy they get from sunlight to produce food.
    • The relationship between food and the energy and materials that animals require for bodily functions (e.g., body repair, growth, motion, body warmth maintenance).
    • The relationship between animals and the food they eat, which is either other animals or plants (or both), to obtain energy for bodily functions and materials for growth and repair.
  • Use the models to describe causal accounts of the relationships between energy from the sun and animals' needs for energy, including that:
    • Since all food can eventually be traced back to plants, all of the energy that animals use for body repair, growth, motion, and body warmth maintenance is energy that once came from the sun.
    • Energy from the sun is transferred to animals through a chain of events that begins with plants producing food then being eaten by animals.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Dynamics of Ecosystems

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.10- Identify that animals get their energy to grow and move from food (plants and animals); recognize that this energy was once from the sun.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will develop the vocabulary that helps them communicate about the transfer of energy from the sun to animals.  Key vocabulary terms includes the following terms:

  • photosynthesis
  • carbohydrate
  • carbon dioxide
  • oxygen
  • producer
  • consumer
  • organism

Students will interpret models of the flow of energy in a food chain.

Students will construct their own models to explain that energy in animals' food was once energy from the sun and present this information to the class.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Specific materials are listed in each section of the lesson.  (See below.)

 

Technology Resources Needed:

Teacher computer with Internet access and projector for showing the following videos and websites:

At least 3 student computers for student exploration of the following sites: 

Background/Preparation:

Preview the websites and videos prior to teaching the lesson.  See "Ecosystems Study Guide" in Attachments section for definitions of vocabulary.  Key vocabulary terms includes the following terms:

  • photosynthesis
  • carbohydrate
  • carbon dioxide
  • oxygen
  • producer
  • consumer
  • organism
  Procedures/Activities: 

Engage (15 minutes):

Materials: computer with Internet connection and projector for showing websites

Ask students why they need energy.  (Possible answers: to be able to grow, to be able to move and think, to keep from getting sick, etc.)  Remind students that they also need energy to keep their bodies at a stable 98.6 degrees.  How do they get energy?  They should know that they get energy from food, but where does the energy in food come from?

Watch 3-minute Crash Course Kids video, “Fabulous Food Chains.”  Have students turn and talk with a partner about where the energy in food comes from.  Ask students to think about whether this is true for all food chains or just the ones in the video.

Tell students you love hamburgers, but you wonder how hamburgers give you energy and where that energy comes from.  Project and discuss the Energy Flow Interactive from PBS Learning Media.

Explore (20 minutes):

Materials: directions and game cards for “Energy in Food Comes From the Sun” activity from Attachments section, large bag of Skittles or 4 sheets of the carbohydrate cards printed from the Attachments section, zip-top sandwich bag and paper cup for each child in the class

Use the “Energy in Food Comes From the Sun” materials in the Attachments Section to model how plants make carbohydrates using energy from the sun.  While plants use most of this energy to grow and survive, carbohydrates stored in the plant provide energy to primary consumers.  Students will act out how the sun’s energy is passed from plants to primary consumers such as caterpillars and then to secondary consumers such as birds.

Explain (45 minutes – 1 hour):

Materials: computer with Internet connection and projector for showing websites, 3 computers for student use, copies of the CTP Food Chain “Cootie Catcher” for each student, markers or crayons, scissors, copies of “The Ecosystem of the Forest” passage and questions from ReadWorks.org for each student

Divide students into four groups to rotate through the following learning stations.  Students will spend 10 – 15 minutes at each station.

1. Close reading group (teacher-led): Use projector and computer to display HarcourtSchool passages about the energy pyramid.  Do a close reading of the passages, recording questions the students have about the text, new vocabulary, and connections using software to annotate on the passages or with sticky notes placed next to the projected passages.   Following the reading, have students use the plant and animal cards from the exploration phase of the lesson to create and explain an energy pyramid.

2. Technology Station: Students work individually or with partners at computers to explore the flow of energy in a food chain with the following websites:

3. Vocabulary Development Station: Students create a Creative Teaching Press food chain “cootie catcher” to review new vocabulary.

4. Reading Comprehension Station: Students read two-page “The Ecosystem of the Forest” passage from ReadWorks.org and answer questions, citing specific evidence from the text to support their answers. 

Elaborate (20 – 30 minutes):

Materials: paper, markers or crayons, pencils, picture cards from Attachments section (optional)

Students will construct a model to illustrate and explain that energy in animals' food is used for body repair, growth, motion, and maintenance of body warmth and was once energy from the sun.

They may use the picture cards from the Attachments section, or they can draw their own illustrations.  Students may choose from the following types of models:

After students have constructed their models, have them present them to the class.



Attachments:
**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Conduct a formative assessment during the group work to determine if students can interpret models of the flow of energy in a food chain.

Assess students' models and presentations using this rubric to evaluate if students can construct their own models to explain that energy in animals' food was once energy from the sun and present this information to the class.

Acceleration:

Students who are already familiar with the way solar energy is used by plants during photosynthesis and passed to consumers may be interested in reading about other uses of solar energy with paired texts from ReadWorks.org about the use of Solar Energy to decrease pollution.  

Students who are reading above grade level may substitute "The Eco Pyramid" passage for "The Ecosystem of the Forest" passage during learning stations.

As an alternative to creating a diagram of energy flow on paper, students can use an online flow chart creator such as Draw.io to create their models.

Intervention:

Assign groups strategically during learning stations, pairing students who need extra assistance with peer tutors.

Students who are reading below grade level may substitute "The Food Chain" passage for "The Ecosystem of the Forest" passage during learning stations.

Students may preview or review content with this food web activity from SuperTeacherWorksheets.

Preview or review content with the Crash Course Kids Compilation Video about food chains, food webs, and photosynthesis. 


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.