Lesson Plan By: Brandy Elliott
Lesson: The Rat Experiment Length: 2 Weeks
Age or Grade Intended: 5th grade
5.2.4 Keep a notebook to record observations and be able to distinguish inferences* from actual observations.
5.5.1 Make precise and varied measurements and specify the appropriate units
Using two albino rats, the students will make observations everyday in their journals, with at least four sentences each entry.
The students will take turns taking care of the rats by performing every task on the check list, with 100% completion.
Advanced Preparation by Teacher: The teacher will need to buy the two Albino Rats before hand. The rats will also need cages and the two different kinds of food. The teacher also needs to provide the journals for the students and make out the checklists for the students to perform. Also the students will be completing the items on the checklist with a partner; the teacher needs to have the students paired up before hand.
Engage: The teacher will start by asking engaging questions like: Is it important for people to eat healthy foods? What kinds of food do humans need to eat to stay healthy? Is it important for animals to eat healthy too? What kind of foods do animals need to eat to stay healthy? What kinds of food do rats need to eat? What would happen if there were two rats and one rat was fed sugar water and the other was fed milk? Then the teacher will introduce the two rats to the students and let them name the rats.
Encourage: Now the students will have 2 weeks to do experiments with the rats by feeding one sugar water and the other milk. Each rat will go through the same routine everyday and the only difference will be their diets. The students will do observations on the rats in their journals. The students will be in pairs and there will be a daily schedule for the groups to clean the cage, feed the rats, give each rat the same amount of exercise time everyday, measure the length of the rats and graph on a chart, weigh each rat and graph on the chart. Once a day for about 5 min. the class will sit in a circle with their legs together and let the rats run around. The students will make their own conclusions about the rats.
Engage: At the end of the two weeks the graphs should be finished and the students should have 10 journal entries. The class will discuss the differences between the rats and the changes in them throughout the two weeks. Then the teacher will begin instruction about nutrition and a healthy and balanced diet. The teacher will also talk about effective observations and inferences. The teacher will also instruct on using measurements and the different ways to measure items.
For students with allergies we can have them work with a partner and the partner can measure and weight the rat and the students with allergies can record.
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