Lesson Plan

Hey rain, leave my homework alone!

In this lesson, students will learn about what materials are best for repelling liquids, in this particular case rain, to understand the makeup of materials and what materials they should choose for a particular task. Students will use graphic organizers
Erik W.
Classroom teacher
Springfield Public Schools
Springfield, MA
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Science

Students will be able to...

-understand what words to apply to materials for a design

-understand what the words mean and why they are important to the design

-choose the correct material to keep their homework/art project/ science project from getting wet as they walk home in the rain.

- organize their materials and plans for construction in a clear and categorical manner

-Understand that while the technology of today is often powered by electricity and highly advanced, technology is simply “anything a human creates to help accomplish a task” in order to scaffold their knowledge of why technology was created in the first place and push them to want to design on their own. 


Technology to be used in lesson;

-Overhead elmo to demonstrate properties of materials and how they interact with water

- Video of; prototype designs, engineering process (ask, imagine, plan, create, improve) that includes vocabulary words used in lesson

-Technology to  project and model how to organize vocabulary words, materials, and plan

Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Creating Graphic Organizer to learn the vocabulary and associate like words

Activity: Creating

All the vocabulary for the lesson: “build, measure, construct, appropriate, dissolve, repel, ruler, impermeable, semi-impermeable, water, absorb, hydrophobic, hydrophilic, flexible, materials, adhere, strength, size, shape, stability, rough, smooth, ask, create, plan, imagine, improve”


Should be broken down to their roots and connected with relatable words and concepts to increase student understanding of what the vocabulary means and when to apply it. 

Student Instructions

Students create a graphic organization in the mold of a table to break down each words into root words, all meanings of each word, and use associative words to make the necessary connections with the learning objective. Students can then take their words and create a second table to put their words in associated construction materials for their prototype. For example, Hydrophobic under plastic, strength under metal or wood, semi impermeable under cardboard. 

2 Using a Flow Chart to Explore and Map Properties

Activity: Exploring

Listing what materials are hydrophobic and Hydrophilic so students can choose appropriate materials in a graphic organizer and further breaking down each material into sub categories based on similar properties in a flow chart style (Find out if your material is hydrophobic or hydrophilic – Is your material smooth? Yes – go to metal, plastic, paper. No – go to cardboard, cloth (it’ll be a rough cloth), wood (unfinished). Is your material shiny? Yes – go to plastic, metal, no – go to paper, cardboard, cloth, wood. Is your material hard? Yes – go to metal, plastic, wood. No? go to paper, cloth, cardboard. Is your Material flexible? Yes  - go to plastic, paper, cloth No? Go to metal, wood, cardboard. Does your material repel water? Yes – go to plastic, metal No? Go to paper, cloth, cardboard. Does your material rust? Yes – then it is a metal No – Only left with plastic. Students will use flow chart and check off the properties of their materials as they go, if the material is smooth, shiny, flexible, hard, repels water, does not rust – it may be a good material to use in their prototype’s exterior. Students will look at other materials and based on the flow chart, decide which materials would be appropriate for the interior of their design (should be flexible, smooth, soft)

Student Instructions

Students can be given a flow chart to explore their materials and determine the properties that will assist in their design. 

3 Using Graphic Organizers to List and Organize Materials for their Design

Activity: Assessing

Making list of materials they will need and then preparing for construction. Students can create a graphic organizer to list their materials by properties using the flowchart they learned about previously;

Hard – metal, wood, plastic.  Flexible – plastic, paper, cloth. Hydrophobic – plastic, metal. No rust? Plastic, paper, wood, cloth. Students will look for which material was listed under all three and circle the material. Only materials that can be placed in all three categories should be chosen for the exterior of the design. 

Student Instructions

Students will create a graphic organizer of their choose to plan out what materials they are going to use based on Step Two and will map out each in a clear and repeatable way for peers to assess their materials and repeat the project. 

4 Procedure and Design

Activity: Creating

Students will list out the steps to building their design and then begin construction 

Student Instructions

Students will be finalizing the planning step of the engineering design process and then physically construct their design. Students should be mindful to adhere to all safety rules for building when dealing with sharp or pointed objects/materials, teacher will show best ways to adhere materials and cut out materials (particularly cardboard and showing students how to use scissors to score the card board when cutting is difficult)