Inquiry Based Lesson Plan (Experimental)
Teacher Candidate Mr. Timothy Winans Grade Level__5____ Date of lesson__25 April 2011
Content Standards: State the unit goal and identify one or two primary local, state or national curricular
standards to which your lesson aligns. What key knowledge and skills will students be able to demonstrate as a
result of your instruction?
NCTE/IRA NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of
the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of
society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and
4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to
communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people)
to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks,
video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
Learner Background: Describe the students’ prior knowledge or skill related to the learning objective(s) and
the content of this lesson. How did the students’ previous performance in this content area or skill impact your
planning for this lesson?
I asked several questions (that are also on the handout) to gain a gauge as to where the student are. (KWL)
Student Learning Objective(s): Identify specific and measurable learning objectives for this lesson.
Practice inquiry-based research in developing their own questions
Practice acquiring knowledge using the Internet and books to learn about a specific plant
Demonstrate comprehension by applying that knowledge directly to a growing plant and by presenting research to the
Synthesize information about the plant by designing and creating an educational sign to place in the garden next it
Assessment: How will you ask students to demonstrate mastery of the student learning objective(s)? Attach a
copy of any assessment materials you will use, along with assessment criteria.
Evaluate/ assess student’s ability to do inquiry-based research by reviewing their research questions.
Do the questions show original, serious thinking on the part of the student?
Will the answers help others learn about the plant and about organic gardening?
Evaluate/assess student’s work based on thoughtful completion of the worksheet, completed poster or sign, and oral
presentation. Among the things I will look for are:
Was the work completed on time?
Is the information on the handout accurate?
Did the student use sources adequately?
Did the student stay focused and ask for help when he or she needed it?
Did the student make good choices when selecting information to include on the poster or sign and in the presentation?
I will let the students know that cooperation with classmates will help their grade. Observe and take notes on how well
students help each other throughout the project.
I will invite self-assessment by having students write a reflection on what they liked and didn't like about doing this
kind of project.
Materials/Resources: List the materials you will use in each learning activity including any technological
An indoor or outdoor garden space (outdoors preferred)
Sifted compost or organic gardening soil (cheapest/best)
Containers and tools for planting
Sign-making materials (paper/scissors/glue/glitter etc.)
Gardening books and encyclopedias (age appropriate)
Computers with Internet access
Decorative and edible plant seed packages (a large variety)
Accurately names model/strategy; Explains WHY this model/strategy is chosen for these learners; Explains how
model/strategy lends itself to learning this content, these skills and/or dispositions.
Observe something that’s interests you, and describe what occurred.
Explain what you have observed. What theories or rules could explain what you have observed?
Based on your answers/explanation, make a analysis/prediction.
Set up experiment or activity to test your prediction.
Explain the results of your experiment in light of your explanation. If necessary, revise your explanation or
prediction or conduct another experiment.
Experimental Approach: Students test the validity of a statement
Teacher poses a problem.
Students suggest variables and ways to test for the effect of each variable.
Teacher and students plan one or more experiments. (Controls and operational definition are agreed upon.)
Students conduct the experiment(s), collect and record data, and form conclusions
Encourage students to ask questions.
Do not provide students with too many answers or too much information.
Avoid evaluation of student ideas.
Allow students time to test out ideas.
Encourage student interaction.
Provide students with resources and freedom
Used four enquiry based introductions:
Invitations to inquiry
Lastly, uses three enquiry approached:
Invitations to inquiry
Initiation: Briefly describe how you will initiate the lesson. (Set expectations for learning; articulates to learners:
what they will be doing and learning in this lesson, how they will demonstrate learning and why this is important)
Obtain enough seed packets so that there is at least one for each student in the class. You will want a mix of
edible and decorative plants; organic seeds are preferable. You will also need sifted compost or organic
gardening soil as well as tools for planting. A local gardening organization or nursery may be willing to donate
all of these materials.
Create a classroom garden. You will need a sunny space, indoors or out, to plant the seeds in pots, containers,
garden boxes, or directly into the ground. For edible plants, make sure there is no risk of heavy metals or lead
paint in the soil and pick a place where refuse or animal feces are not deposited. If you will be using containers
to hold the plants, set up a table where students can do their planting work.
If you need to, reserve time in your school's computer lab for research on the Internet. You will want at least
three 45-minute sessions; these do not need to be on consecutive days.
Visit the websites listed in the Resources section and familiarize yourself with their contents. Many of these
sites have excellent search tools that you can encourage your students to use. Some of them have links to other
gardening sites that may or may not be appropriate for your class. Still others have areas that are intended for
young gardeners. You may want to bookmark these sites on the classroom or lab computers that your students
Assemble gardening books and encyclopedias that students can use for research. You can bring these from
home or check them out of the library.
Gather materials that students can use to make signs: cardstock or other heavy paper, markers, scissors, glue,
sticks, and tape. If you are able, arrange access to a laminating machine.
Make a copy of the Organic Gardening Research Project handout for each student in the class.
Lesson Development: Describe how you will develop the lesson, what you will do to model or guide
practice, what learning activities students will be engaged in order to gain the key knowledge and skills identified in
the student learning objective(s). Identify the instructional grouping (whole class, small groups, pairs, individuals)
you will use in each phase of instruction.
I will introduce the topic of organic gardening. – I will bring in some organic produce from a local farmer's
market for a great catch/hook for attention. I will also ask a farmer, agriculture professor, or representative
of a local gardening association to come and speak to the class.
I want my students to understand that organic produce and flowers are grown without the use of pesticides
or chemical fertilizers (that is what organic means and they all just learned a new word). I will ask my
students to define the word pesticide, working toward a definition along these lines: pesticides are
chemicals that kill small bugs that eat the leaves, roots, stems, and fruit of plants. I will explain that farmers
use pesticides to help protect their plants, but unfortunately pesticides are known to cause cancer, birth
defects, and other problems, both for people who eat the food and the farm workers who are in the fields
when they are sprayed. Instead of using pesticides, some people grow food organically and find other,
natural ways to get rid of bugs.
** I’ll also have pictures to show my students organically grown plants.
Note: I will also encourage my student into a discussion about organic gardening. My idea is to access as
many things as possible that my students already know about organic versus traditional gardening and
farming, what the pros and cons of organic gardening are, why they might choose to grow a plant
organically, and how organic farming affects all of us. I will want them to write it all down - the things that
the students say on the board or on a large sheet of paper that you leave up for the duration of this unit.
Secondly (and next class)
I’ll have each student select a seed packet. You can either put several on each table and have groups of
students decide how to distribute them, have students line up and pick one when it's their turn, or have
students pick one out of a hat and exchange as they wish.
I will hand out my brochure document so that the students will understand “exactly” what they are to do.
I’ll read along with them to assist (that they understand my brochure/document).
Students should begin planting. Have them read the back of the packet for instructions. Make sure they
don't plant the seeds too deep.
While the students are planting their seeds and filling out their handout, I will have brief meetings
with individual students to go over their research questions. My goal is to encourage my students
to move beyond literal details as I did in developing your research questions.
The students should begin looking for answers to their research questions and filling out the
handout as we get started on the lesson plan. As students begin to work, touch base with any
student you missed meeting with or those who might still need some help finalizing their
questions. I am in a facilitator mode only and do not force any ideas onto the students.
The students are now ready to make rough drafts of their signs. I’ll talk to them about the purpose of the
signs, which is to teach others important information they learned from their research. When people come
to the garden and see the signs, they will understand what organic gardening is, why it is an important
movement, how they can grow certain plants, and what the plants are used for.
I will then ask the class who they think will be reading the signs. Have them brainstorm what they want
these people to learn and understand when they come to the garden. This discussion can lead to the criteria
students need to help them decide what to put on their signs, which might include:
What is important about each plant
How it is used
How to care for an organic garden
What inspires people to appreciate organic gardens
Emphasize that the signs should be attractive and easy to read.
I will ask the students to show me the drafts of their poster or signs as they complete them and then provide
them with appropriate feedback, helping them review their research if necessary to find additional or
Once I have approved the posters or signs, I’ll have the students use heavy paper to make their final drafts
(you might want to test the paper in the laminating machine first-if it's too thick, the machine may not
accept it). Laminate the signs and give them back with two sticks. Have students tape the sticks to the back
of the signs and place them by the growing plants. If their plants didn't grow, they can still place the sign
somewhere in the garden. Signs can also be affixed to a nearby wall using nails (or) go with the poster
option and use tape.
Closure: Briefly describe how you will close the lesson and help students understand the purpose of the
lesson. (Interact with learners to elicit evidence of student understanding of purpose(s) for learning and
mastery of objectives)
I will have my students give short presentations in which they will show the class their plants and their posters or
signs and explain what they learned through their research and observation. Students should also turn in their
Organic Gardening Research Project handouts.
Individuals Needing Differentiated Instruction: Describe 1 to 3 students with identified
instructional needs. (These students may be special or general education students and need not be the same students
for each lesson. Students may represent a range of ability and/or achievement levels.)
Student 1. What is the student’s identified instructional Describe strategy for differentiating instruction in
Name need? this lesson to meet this need.
2. What evidence do you have that this is an
Charlie Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) impulsive I would have Charlie sit next to me up
behavior and poor memory. front but close to the wall (away from all
of the other students). I would have
handouts to give to Charlie considering
his poor memory and ask him to re-read
constantly. I would also help Charlie
identify and adhere to constructive ways
of interacting with one another.
My ADHD student's desk should be near me -
the teacher (for prompting and redirection),
Susan ADHD away from other challenging students, and
not touching others' desks. If I notice that my
attention deficit student looks around a lot to
see where noises are coming from, because
he is very auditory distractible, he may benefit
from being seated near the rear of the
classroom. I will experiment with seat location
in the front of the classroom (near the board)
and instructional area if your student is more
I would accommodate with curriculum
George Gifted/talented student compacting, which is "the elimination of
content that a student has previously
Reflection on Practice:
Specifically analyzes student learning for each SLO. What differences do you notice in the performance of individual
students? Note needs or opportunities for reteaching or enrichment for specific learner s.
Teacher Efficacy: (Evaluation and Assessment of one’s own teaching): Examines/explains impact of personal
teaching practice by responding to following:
1) What worked well and why?
2) What did not work well and why?
3) What actions will be taken now which are: a) immediate and b) long range?
4) Briefly describes ONE reasonable alternative approach that could be used to achieve these same SLOs?