Lesson Plan 1

Middle School Science Lesson Plan

 Lesson 8: Lab

Grade and Subject: 6th Grade Science

NM Standards and Performance Objectives:

Standard I: Understand how scientific discoveries, inventions, practices, and knowledge influence, and are influenced by, individuals and societies.
Strand III: Science and Society
5-8 Benchmark I: Explain how scientific discoveries and inventions have changed individuals and societies.
5. Performance Standards-
1. Examine the role of scientific knowledge in decisions (e.g., space exploration, what to eat, preventive medicine and medical treatment).
2. Describe the technologies responsible for revolutionizing information processing and communications (e.g., computers, cellular phones, Internet).

Measurable Objectives of Lesson (SWBAT: Students Will Be Able to):

  • Work cooperatively with partners and in groups to achieve common goals.
  • Apply the scientific method.

Grouping strategies (must include at least 3; circle all that apply):

Whole group,  pairs,    triads,  small groups,   individual work

Modalities (must include at least 2; circle all that apply):

Auditory, visual, tactile/kinesthetic


  • graph paper
  • an equipment kit for each group containing the following:
    • 2 spoons (one plastic, one metal)
    • 1 popsicle stick
    • 1 glass stirring rod (about same height as spoons)
    • 500 ml beaker
    • 500 ml hot water >85°C
    • timer or stop watch
    • 1 plastic knife
    • 4 thumbtacks
    • 1 ea. 1/4 inch square slice of saturated margarine or butter (in stick form), very cold or frozen (size of butter slice can vary depending on size of thumbtacks used)
    • goggles
    • 1 small piece of wax paper

Key Vocabulary:

caulk, conductor, duct, heat, insulation, radiant barrier, radiation, R-value, U-value

Hook (5 minutes):

Are our homes completely airtight? When all the doors and windows are closed, can outside air still come in and can our inside air seep outside? What effect does this have on how much energy we use?

Teacher Instruction/Student Practice (30-40 minutes):

  1. Instruct each group to obtain the materials for one Lab Activity kit. Note that the recommended water temperature for the activity is at least 85°C (approximately 185°F). Inform students of safety precautions when handling the water or teacher may opt to pour the hot water for the students.
  2. Instruct students to follow the directions outlined in the Lab Activity.
  3. Confirm that the students have recorded their time and temperature measurements and observations in their Lab Report Form, as well as answers to the lab questions. If teacher thinks students will need it, review how to calculate range and average with the class.
  4. Distribute graph paper to each student. Instruct students to graph their results on the graph paper. A sample graph is provided below with material plotted on the x-axis and time plotted on the y-axis. Although students worked in teams to obtain the data measurements, each student should complete his or her own graph.


Assessment/Student Feedback:

Participation in whole group discussion and small group lab experiment



Completion of Lab Report Form and individual graph (teacher checks for completeness)


Teacher Commentary about lesson plan:

The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to energy conservation in the home, lab experiments, and the scientific method. This lesson is a great opportunity for students to practice whole group discussions, working in teams, and completing individual work. The home energy conservation lab is a lesson that relies on previous learning and prepares students for future learning in the energy conservation unit and beyond.


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