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Lesson Plans (213 results)

Free science lesson plans designed to engage students through hands-on experiments and activities. Chemistry, life sciences, physics, engineering and more, for elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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What goes up, must come down in this thrill-seeking lesson plan! How much energy does a roller coaster car need to make it through a loop? In this lesson your students will learn about kinetic and potential energy as they build their own roller coasters from simple classroom materials. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-2. Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
  • MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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Teach your students how to make plastic out of milk in this hands-on lesson plan! You will conduct a simple milk-transforming experiment to explore how plastics can be derived from a natural resource such as milk. Students will perform their own experiments and can even create a product from their resulting organic casein polymer. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • MS-PS1-3. Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
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In this lesson, students play a game. Each classroom corner represents a habitat. After selecting an animal card, students have to move to the matching habitat while acting out the animal displayed on their card. By explaining why they selected a certain habitat, students realize that a habitat is a place that helps an animal survive. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
  • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
The egg drop project is a time-honored tradition in many science classrooms. Students build a device to protect an egg and prevent it from breaking when dropped. This project typically relates to lessons about Newton's laws of motion or potential and kinetic energy. However, it is also a great way for students to practice the engineering design process, and learn about the importance of design iteration and learning from failure. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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Your students will design, build, and race balloon-powered cars in this fun lesson plan that teaches about engineering design and kinetic and potential energy. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from that object.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-2nd
Your students have probably walked or ridden over a bridge at some point in their lives. In this engineering activity they will design and make bridges out of folded pieces of paper, and test how much weight they can hold with pennies. How does the shape of a bridge affect its strength? Let your students explore and find out with this lesson! This lesson can be expanded to a second lesson looking at how the material a bridge is made out of can change its strength; see second lesson for details. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Aircraft carriers are much shorter than a typical airport runway. How do airplanes manage to gain enough speed for takeoff over such a short distance? A catapult gives them an extra boost! In this lesson, your students will practice engineering design as they build their own paper airplane launchers, while learning about kinetic and potential energy. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-2. Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
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Your kindergarten students are used to moving objects. They throw balls, play with toy cars, and sweep the floor, but how much do they think about these actions? In this fun, hands-on lesson, you will use a game (rolling balls) to explore how pushing and pulling affects an object's motion. This lesson can be expanded with a second lesson exploring how objects can push each other, and how weight influences motion. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Learn about real space flight and Newton's laws of motion with this fun lesson! This new twist on a classic project lets your students build a multi-stage balloon rocket that they can launch across the classroom. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
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