Lesson Plan

Water In Earth Materials

In this lesson students begin to explore how water interacts with different materials. They will observe that water soaks into some materials, like soil, and runs through others, like gravel.
Madeline J.
pre-service teacher
WWU, Bellingham WA
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My Grades 2, 3, 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Science, English Language Learning
Objectives

Students will be able to... describe how some earth materials, like soils, soak up more water than other earth materials. They will explain how water flows more easily through some earth materials than through others. 

ISTE Standards

1. Creativity and innovation

3. Research and information fluency

Link to Task Cards:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1t_PTeu6Laiqb4ZXS-Cvt8SlCGwnKvRO-...

Tech Tools:

  • ​​iPads (1 for each student)

This lesson could be modified so that students work with iPads in pairs

  • Document Camera

Using a document camera will allow me to share texts and visuals that are not easily represented on a whiteboard

  • QR Codes/QR code scanning app

Using QR codes will ensure that students navigate to the exact page I want to them view and simplify the internet-use component of the lesson

  • Formative

Using Formative will enable all students to become aware of their initial ideas and provide me with a quick and clear view of what individual students already know. 

  • Padlet

Using Padlet  to construct a word wall collaboratively as a class allows students to generate definitions and visuals that make sense to them, and are therefore more meaningful. 

  • Camera

Students will document their investigation in photos that will remind them of their observations

  • Perfect Captions

Using this app, students will organize the photos they take and write descriptive captions to record their observations 

  •  Soil Survey 

The soil survey allows students to explore what scientists know about the soil in there area, or an area that they are curious about. 

  • Ask a Soil Scientist

Students take ownership of their own learning and knowledge of scientific questions when they ask a soil scientist about a curiosity they have. 

Subjects
Science
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Intro/Hook

Activity: Conversing

Hi 3rd graders! So we’ve been investigating properties of water and how it acts in different situations. We are quickly becoming water experts. We know how water changes when it’s heated or cooled, we know how it sticks together, and how it flows downwards on a slope. One thing we haven’t explored yet is how water moves through other materials.

Student Instructions

Listen and think about past lessons

2 Eliciting Initial Ideas

To get started thinking about this, consider the question: Where does water go when it rains? Think to yourself for a moment then follow the QR link on your task card and answer the question it brings you to. Communicate your ideas in pictures and/or words. 

Using Formative will enable all students to become aware of their initial ideas and provide me with a quick and clear view of what individual students already know. 

Student Instructions

Scan QR code on task card to navigate to GoFormative

Answer the question: When it rains, where does the water go? Using drawings and words

3 Direct Instruction

Padlet
Free, Paid

You’ve probably noticed that each investigation we’ve done together so far starts with a question, or something that we’re curious about. Like when Ms. Fishman went camping and the bottom of their tent got soaking wet, she wondered: Where did all this water come form? In our investigation, we figured out that the water had come from flowing down a slope. Today we have the question: where does the water go when it rains? Asking questions is something that all scientists do! That is how they decide what and how to investigate different things. Their investigation always starts with a question or a wonder they have about the world around them.

But not every question or wonder we have can be answered by an investigation. What if I asked: why is yellow the best color ever? Could we design an investigation that would answer that question?

Why not?

Right, some people may think blue is the best color ever. This question is opinion based. Good scientific questions can be answered with facts, not opinions.

Write on sheet under DOCUMENT CAMERA

Or what if I asked: how many molecules of water are in the whole world at this moment?

Is that something we could realistically figure out?

Why not?

Right, it’s such a big question, and it would be pretty much impossible to make observations that would help us answer it. Good scientific questions can be answered by making observations.

Write on sheet under doc cam and have them record in science notebooks.

So we know that good scientific questions can be answered with facts, not opinions. And that good scientific questions have answers that we can observe.

Write on sheet under doc cam and have them record in science notebooks.

Think about the question we just discussed, “When it rains, where does water go?”  It is not as solid of a scientific question as it could be.

Why isn’t it the best question we could ask to guide our investigation?

Pair share. Discuss.

Right, think about all the different answers you already came up with to that question. Rain goes a lot of places depending on where it falls. We need to make our question more specific.

Since I’m wondering about the rain that falls outside, on land, what if instead we ask the question: How does water flow through different earth materials?

Do you think that is something we can investigate and answer today? Or at least get a start on?Write question on sheet under doc cam and have them record in science notebooks.

What do you think I mean when I say “earth materials?” Yes, and earth material is anything that comes from nature…such as wood, dirt, sand, etc.

Add "Earth Materials" to unit word wall on PADLET

http://padlet.com/wall/t2pqxna0jl9e

Using Padlet in this way will allow us to construct a word wall collaboratively as a whole class. W/ student-generated definitions and visuals

Student Instructions

work together to create definition of "earth materials" and a visual for the word wall on Padlet

4 Engaging With Phenomena

We will be working with two different earth materials today.

Show gavel and soil

I want you to have an opportunity to explore and get to know these earth materials before we start our main investigation.

Use your senses (except for taste!) to observe the gravel and soil. You can feel them, smell them…etc

One person from each table group, come get a cup of each earth material and a hand lens for every person in your group.

Allow 3ish minutes. Collect observations from the whole class. Record them on the board.

What do you think will happen if we add water to the earth materials? Will the same thing happen with each material? Or do you think it will be different? Why?

Well let’s get investigating!

Go over materials.

Gather students around front table group and demonstrate the procedures without adding water.

There are more steps to this investigation than in others we have done so please listen carefully, pay close attention to the instructions on your sheet, and ask questions or for help if you’re not sure!

Ms. Parson and Ms. Fishman pass out materials (except graduate cylinder) as I demonstrate.

First, you will get two small plastic cups with holes in the bottom.

Step 1: line each cup with a filter paper

Step 2: pour dry soil into one filter paper, almost to the top but not quite.

Step 3: set the soil cup on one side of your balance

Step 4: set the other cup with a filter paper on the other side of the balance

Step 5: Add gravel to the empty filter paper until the balance is level.

How will you know when to stop adding gravel?

When the two cups are level, what does this tell us?

Right, this will be important because we’ll want to know how the weight of the cups changes when we add water.

Step 6: Remove the cups from the balance and place each into a larger cup

Step 7: Squirt 50 milliliters of water into each cup

Demonstrate how to measure the amount of water in the syringe and check for understanding. Discuss milliliters

Step 8: Make observations as the water moves through the materials.  Discuss what you notice with your group.

Does anyone have questions about what they’re going to be doing?

Remember you have the instructions on the sheet we passed out. Ok, get to it!

Walk around to guide students when necessary, listen to observations, and ask questions.

When everyone’s water is done draining (about 5 min), call attention.

Without talking, remove your small cups from the larger ones and place them on opposite sides of the balance.  Is one heavier than the other? I want to hear from each group.

Record results on board.

In a second, your group will get a graduated cylinder. Hold up for class to see. “Graduated cylinder” is basically a scientific name for a measuring glass. Can you all say “graduated cylinder?”

 We’re going to use our graduated cylinders to measure the amount of water that drained through our earth materials and collected in our large cups.

First, pour the water that drained through the soil into the graduated cylinder and record the measurement in your science notebook. Then pour it back into the cup and do the same for the water that drained through the gravel. Make sure to record your measurements because I want to collect them from each group.

Pass out graduated cylinders.

Once students have their measurements, call attention and start clean up.

Collect and record measurements from each group. 

Student Instructions

Follow task card to directions on Google Slides.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14JxnNEQWGdE2nLtuzVo4uXUBAbXJsyQn...

Carry out the investigation, taking photos and organizing them into the Perfect Captions app to describe their observations. Upload final Perfect Captions page to Padlet

5 Sense-Making

Padlet
Free, Paid

Review investigation question: How does water flow through different earth materials?

 

So, how does it flow through different materials?

 

Right, water flows more easily through some earth materials than through others. Some earth materials, like soils, soak up more water than other earth materials.

 

Why would you want to know which material allows water to flow through more easily?

 

What if I told you, I’m going to build my house at the bottom of a valley, so there are hills pretty much all around. Remember, we’re in Washington, so it rains a lot in this valley. I ask you: should I build my house on soil? Or on gravel?

 

Show sketch of scenario on doc cam

 

What would your advice be? Why?

 

Discuss your ideas with your table group.

 

Listen to students’ discussion. Call attention and ask particular students to share (those who thought I should build on gravel to let the water through)

Discuss this idea.

Student Instructions

use compiled pictures and observations on Padlet to guide discussion 

6 Application & Extension

Guide students through soil survey. 

The soil survey allows students to explore what scientists know about the soil in there area, or an area that they are curious about. 

Students take ownership of their own learning and knowledge of scientific questions when they ask a soil scientist about a curiosity they have. 

Student Instructions

Follow task card to explore what scientists know about the soil in our area, and ask soil scientists a question that you have about science.