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University of San Francisco Lesson Format

Author: Rosa Herrera, Linda Lazar Date Created: September 9th, 2017
Lesson #: 1 Date of Lesson: August 29th, 2017
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Lesson Overview
Subject(s) Science
Topic or Unit of Study Matter and Its Interactions
Grade/Level 5th grade
Objective Students will be able to accurately balance objects of
varying mass and determine their mass using known mass counter weights.
Summary Students will use the balance scale to understand the
importance of making quantitative measurements

Learning Context The classroom is 5th grade science with about 30 students
in the class.
Teaching Strategies Collaborative learning, group work, hands-on learning
Time Allotment 45 minutes
Sample Student Products
Authors Comments and
Reflections The lesson was short given the class time constraints. After
the lab, more than half of the students seemed confused still about how to use the balance scale.
Some students just wanted to balance the scale, even if they did not determine the mass of the
unknown object they were trying to figure out. They placed
one unknown mass on one side, and other unknown masses on the other side and tried to balance
the scale, missing the entire point of balance scales.
Anticipatory Set Introduce students to the balance scale. Begin with a
discussion of units and an introduction to the metric system.
Modeling Teacher goes to the front of the class and show students
exactly what her strategy is for using the balance scale. First she shows the students how to
balance or tare the scale initially. Next she tells the students where the material of unknown mass
must be placed. She then proceeds to balance the
unknown mass with weights of known mass in grams. The teacher balances two different objects
before breaking the class up into groups to work on their own. Balance or pair of scales use a
balance beam that compares masses by balancing the
weight due to the mass of an object against the weight of a known mass or masses. While the
teacher is explaining the scale, students huddle up around her, observe, and ask questions.
Guided Practice Students work in groups of four to find the mass of various
objects including rods, binder clips, and more.
Independent Practice Students fill out their lab worksheet to answer questions
based on the lab and the practice they did. Students will be evaluated one by one. The evaluation
will take around five minutes per student. This part of the lesson will be observed by the
supervising teacher. Students will come to the back of
the classroom to show me how well they know how to use a balance scale. They will be asked a
few questions, including, what are the first things we must do before we want to find the mass of
an object. The answers we are looking for are - make sure
the scale is balanced (arrow is in the middle of the scale) and making sure the position of the
sliding mass is on the zero on the graduated scale
Closure Students will continue to use the balance scale to perform
labs, and other quantitative observations throughout the school year.
Follow Up Students who are struggling with the balance scale will
receive more one-on-one tutoring with me.

Materials and Resources

Instructional Materials Balance scales, various small objects, objects of known
mass, notebook, pencil.
Resources Textbook.

Standards and Assessment

Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that
occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.
[Clarification Statement: Examples of reactions or changes could include phase changes,
dissolving, and mixing that form new substances.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not
include distinguishing mass and weight.]
Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
[Clarification Statement: Examples of materials to be identified could include baking soda and
other powders, metals, minerals, and liquids. Examples of properties could include color,
hardness, reflectivity, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, response to magnetic forces,
and solubility; density is not intended as an identifiable property.] [Assessment Boundary:
Assessment does not include density or distinguishing mass and weight.]

Assessment Plan Students will be evaluated individually to see how well

they can determine the mass of two unknown objects. Students will also hand their worksheet in
and the teacher will determine which students are struggling with using the scale.