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Teacher/Grade/Room: Ms.

Topic: Evaporation
Lesson # 1 in a series of 1 lessons
Brief Lesson Description/Connection to Other Disciplines: Students practice use of independent,
dependent, and controlled variables in a series of evaporation experiments with multiple trials. Students will
analyze patterns and relationships, reason and interpret data, and graph points on the coordinate plane (math).
They will use evidence to support their analysis and reasoning (ELA).
Rationale: This lesson is done as an inquiry so that students can determine the roles of a variety of variables
and their influence on evaporation rate.
Learning Objective: Students identify the independent and dependent variable in their experiment. Students
make conclusions about the effect of surface area on evaporation.
Differentiation Strategies:
ELLs: Instructions will be provided in written and verbal form with visual supports. Key vocabulary will be
reviewed and recorded in science notebooks for review.
Visually Impaired: All instructions will be provided in Braille. The students aide and group members will assist
with setting up the tray. Struggling Students: Instructions will be provided in written and verbal form with visual
supports. Students will be put in groups with students who can provide peer support.
GATE/Fast Finishers: Students who finish quickly will support peers throughout this experiment.
Narrative / Background Information
Prior Student Knowledge: Students have already completed an inquiry on the effect of location on
evaporation rate and made inferences as to the influence of temperature.
Science & Engineering
Planning and Carrying Out
Planning and carrying out
investigations to answer questions
or test solutions to problems in 35
builds on K2 experiences and
progresses to include investigations
that control variables and provide
evidence to support explanations or
design solutions.

Conduct an investigation
collaboratively to produce
data to serve as the basis
for evidence, using fair
tests in which variables are
controlled and the number
of trials considered. (5-PS14)

Make observations and

measurements to produce
data to serve as the basis
for evidence for an
explanation of a
phenomenon. (5-PS1-3)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

PS2.B: Types of Interactions

Measurements of a variety
of properties can be used to
identify materials.
(Boundary: At this grade
level, mass and weight are
not distinguished, and no
attempt is made to define
the unseen particles or
explain the atomic-scale
mechanism of evaporation
and condensation.) (5-PS13)

Crosscutting Concepts:
Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect
relationships are routinely
identified, tested, and used
to explain change. (5-PS14)

Standard units are used to

measure and describe
physical quantities such as
weight, time, temperature,
and volume. (5-PS1-2),(5PS1-3)

Possible Preconceptions/Misconceptions: Students may not understand

ENGAGE (10 minutes): Opening Activity Access Prior Learning / Stimulate Interest / Generate

Prior to this lesson, we completed an inquiry on the effect of location on evaporation rate, and made
inferences about the influence of temperature. We will discuss our results from this inquiry.

Tell students: today we will start another investigation related to evaporation.

Show students the graduated cylinder, 100-mL beaker, dome lid, and flat lid. Tell them these four
objects can be used as containers for water.

Ask students: compare the size of the openings of each container.

Explain: when water is in each container, the area of the water touching the air is its surface area.
Inquiry question: In which container will water have the largest surface area? In which container do you
think water will evaporate the fastest?

EXPLORE (20 minutes each day): Lesson Description Probing or Clarifying Questions:

Review: Variable and Controlled experiment

Ask the students to plan a surface area experiment: If you want to find out if the surface area affects the
amount of evaporation, how would you set up the investigation?
o Students discuss design in groups (5 minutes). Groups identify the independent, dependent, and
controlled variables they will use.
o Students should identify the independent variable as the surface area of the water, the
dependent as the amount that evaporates, and the controlled: temperature, location, amount at
start of experiment.

Students will set up their tray in accordance with the Evaporation Place Mat. They will put 25 mL of
water into each container after the trays are at the evaporation location.

***Break for 2 days: move to Elaboration***

Reconvene: Distribute Surface-Area Chart. Ask students to fill in the first two rows on the chart before
measuring the water in their four containers.

Have one student from each group retrieve the containers. Ask each to measure and record the amount
of water remaining in each evaporation container, starting with the graduated cylinder, then using
the graduated cylinder to complete the measurements. Students can use a syringe to transfer water
from the containers to the cylinder. Students should record the volumes of water in the third row of the
chart, then calculate the amount of water lost to evaporation in the fourth row.
EXPLAIN (10 minutes): Concepts Explained and Vocabulary Defined:

Students state the relationship between surface area and evaporation: the greater the surface area, the
greater the rate of evaporation.

Have students line up the empty containers in order from the greatest amount of evaporation to the
least. Ask them to compare the amount of evaporation and surface area in each container. Students
rank each container in terms of its rate of evaporation on row 5 of their chart.


Surface area
ELABORATE (30 minutes total): Applications and Extensions:

Day 1: Students will Read Surface-Area Experiment on page 187-8 of their textbook and complete the
activity sheets in groups. We will discuss answers for this (20 minutes).

Day 2: Review the experiment (10 minutes):

o What did you keep the same in each container?
o What was the independent variable in your experiment?
o What was the dependent variable in your experiment?

Ask students to think about the wet paper towel and to describe the best way to dry it. Encourage use
of vocabulary in descriptions.
EVALUATE (15 minutes):
Formative Monitoring (Questioning / Discussion): Student understanding of each type of variable,
evaporation, and surface area will be evaluated through discussion in this investigation. I will circulate
throughout student discussion periods so that I can hear what students who may not participate in discussions
are contributing in their groups.
Summative Assessment (Quiz / Project / Report) (15 minutes): Students will complete a copy of Response
Sheet - Water Vapor and determine the fastest way to dry a t-shirt.
Elaborate Further / Reflect: Enrichment (3 minutes):

How can we apply this experiment to our lives?

Required Materials
For each group:

Science books

Graduated Cylinder

Dome Lid

Flat Lid

100 mL Beaker

50 mL Syringe

Liter Container


Evaporation Place Mat

For each student:

Surface Area Chart

Julie & Arts Experiment

Water Vapor Response Sheet