A pair of students will research a specific scientist from the past and present information to the class and carry out one of his/her experiments.
Grade Level: 7 - 9th
Length of Time: About 3 Hours or More
Objectives & Outcomes
The students will be able to use a variety of resources to research the life, writings, theories, and other information about a specific scientist from the past. The students will effectively communicate the information to their peers through a classroom presentation, which will include replicating one of the scientist’s experiments.
- Internet access or other resources
- Supplies needed for experiment (provided by students or classroom inventory)
- Use of display boards or Power Point access
Prepare ahead of time: Isaac Newton info and apple for mini-presentation, a list of (x) number of scientists students will be assigned to research, inventory of supplies that may be needed to carry out experiments, instruction page, evaluation rubrics for assessment page.
Opening to Lesson
- Teacher will display an apple or be eating one as students walk into the room.
- Show a photo of Isaac Newton with a few facts about him
- Drop a second apple to the floor
- Ask students what concept you have just shown to them (Gravity)
Body of Lesson
- Explain to students the assignment: They will research a scientist and will present and carry out one of the scientist’s experiments, studies, or theories to the class
- Pair students
- Distribute instruction page to each pair of students with the scientist’s name shown
- Be sure students clearly understand the assignment
- Allow students at least one class period to do the research, preparing display board or Power Point slides
- Ensure the pair of students are working cooperatively and the work is done together
- Have students create a list of needs for the experiment, or other required supplies
- Make suggestions when necessary
- On day two, allow students to carry out their experiment on a limited basis practicing their presentations (Some experiments may need to be done one time, others the students may need to “practice”, still others may need to be done only during the presentation)
- Assign the students time slots to present their reports and experiments to the class
- On day three or later, each pair of students will present their research and replicate the experiment or study.
- Use the Assessment page to evaluate the presentations
- Flowing each presentation, allow a short Q and A period
- If the result of an experiment does not match the expected outcome, explain that this probably happened to the real scientist as well
- Continue until all students complete the assignment
- Create a short test or quiz about the scientists with questions related to the class presentations
Have a discussion about the difficulties in research from the past to researching today. Why might it be easier to research today? What may make it more difficult? Are the variables the same?
Assessment & Evaluation
Assessment page used during presentations
Modification & Differentiation
Group students in threes/fours or alone. Presentation done for other classes, especially lower grade level students. Allow students to choose own scientist to research, randomly choose, or use current scientists in the news. Use different example instead of Newton. Allow students to dress in the era of the scientist.
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