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Melissa Faz

5E Lesson Plan

Teacher: Ms. Faz

Date: 11/22/15
Subject / grade level: Science 5th grade
Lesson objective(s):
Must be student centered and aligned with TEKS. Students will.

The students will be able to examine how fossils are formed and understand how fossils provide evidence of
plants and animals that lived in the past as well as the environmental conditions at that time.

Student Objective: By the end of this lesson, you will be able to examine and form your own fossil,
understand how fossils provide evidence of the past and where these plants and animals use to live. (Teacher
tells the student this, so that they understand what they are responsible for learning).

Must be written out. Be sure to include inquiry process TEKS and appropriate content specific

Inquiry Process TEKS:

(TEKS 5.3.C) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific
problem solving to make informed decisions. The student is expected to: (C) draw or develop a model that
represents how something works or looks that cannot be seen.

Content Specific TEKS:

(TEKS 5.7.D) Earth and space. The student knows that Earth consists of natural resources and its surface is
constantly changing. The student is expected to: (D) identify fossils as evidence of past living organisms
and the nature of the environments at the time using models.

Rationale (why should students learn this content or process):

Describe the idea of the inquiry assignment. Why are they learning the material in this method and
what are the benefits?

Students are learning this material because fossils are among one of the most valuable sources of
information about the Earths history. By doing this inquiry activity, students will better understand how
fossils are formed and will be able to identify in what types of environments these fossils can be found in.
By learning about fossils student will be able to identify how fossils look like and will be able to identify
the creatures and plants on those fossils. This will give the students the background information they need to
learn future information about fossils such as fossil fuels and other information in the upcoming grades.

Today you will be learning about fossils! Fossils are a very important because they reveal fascinating facts
about our past. They tell us about the organisms that lived on Earth from the time of the oldest fossils, about
3.8 billion years ago, to the present. By studying fossils, we will learn not only about the creatures and
plants of the past, but how they grew, what they ate, how they interacted and many aspects of their
In land animal fossil (engagement)
Melissa Faz
5E Lesson Plan
Aquatic fossil (engagement)
Plant fossil (engagement)
Toy dinosaurs
Fake leaves
Blow dryer
A small cup of instant coffee
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup flour
6 table spoons of salt
Bowl for mixing
Science notebook
Fish Dig worksheet (extension)
Becoming a Fossil QuickTime Video
Describe any prep needed for inquiry lab investigation

For the engagement activity, the teacher should have all three types of fossils laid out on the front of the
room so that each group can come up and grab one fossil for their table in order to get the chance to observe
the fossils. For the exploration the teacher will begin the preparation by telling the students that they are
going to make models of fossils. If any of the students are not familiar with the modeling process, the
teacher will have to discuss the process with them prior to the beginning of the lesson. The teacher will also
make sure that the students have an understanding of how modeling is similar to and different from the
actual process of fossilization. Lastly, the teacher will make sure that all materials are out and ready to use
for the students.
Background Knowledge:
Describe what the students should know going into this lesson (not what they will learn, what they
know). Describe what the teacher should know going into this inquiry lab.

Students have learned in third grade how to represent the natural world using models such as fossils and are
able to identify their limitations, including accuracy and size.

The teacher should know going into this inquiry lab that fossils can be found in different environments such
as in the ocean and in land. The teacher is also expected to know all of the vocabulary words that will be
taught so that he or she can explain the vocabulary words to the students throughout the lesson. Before
going into the lesson it is also important that the teacher knows the levels of knowledge each student has of
fossils and making models. This way the teacher knows how to accommodate to those students who may
need extra help during the inquiry lab.
Safety Issues:
Safety issues during this inquiry lab are as followed,
Student may be allergic to any of the mixtures that will be used.

Melissa Faz
5E Lesson Plan
Create Interest:
Describe how the teacher will capture students interest.
What kind of questions should the students ask themselves after the engagement?
How will you pull the students in to get them thinking about possible research questions to setup the
entire inquiry investigation?

The teacher will have different types of fossils to show the students such as, plant fossils, aquatic fossils,
and in land animal fossils. The students will be able to touch them and hypothesize how they were formed,
what the organism in the fossil may be and in what environment might the organism have lived in.

We are first going to begin our lesson by examining real life fossils! These are examples of three different
types of fossils that can be found in the ocean and on land. Today we will be looking at how these fossils are
formed and in what type of environments they lived in.

After this activity the students should be asking themselves:

How are fossils formed?
What is inside those fossils?
Where can fossils be found?
Why are these fossils hard?

Raise Questions:
Bold the questions; give 4 examples of questions the teacher could ask to drive student engagement.

What are some characteristics you notice about these fossils?

Do these fossils remind you of any animals or plants that you have seen before?
How do you think that these fossils were formed?
In what kind of environments might these animals have lived in?

Provide Instructions and Modeling:

Teacher Scaffolding for Immersion Teacher scaffolding will be a paragraph about what the teacher
should be doing during the immersion, while the students are doing the activity.
For scaffolding for immersion, while the students are studying the three different types of fossils the teacher
will be moving around observing, listening, and asking questions concerning individual methods and
reasoning. Some questions the teacher will ask will be as followed:

Why do you think that the bones in this fossil are so well preserved?

What about the plant? Why is it that a plant that does not have any bones is able to preserve for
many years?

While the students are working on the lab portion of this lesson, students will be asked to reveal their
conceptions and beliefs by what they do and say. As a teacher it is also important to avoid judging students
ideas, and instead pose questions that mentally engage students in the content. Some questions that the
teacher will ask will be as followed:

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5E Lesson Plan
What difficulties do you expect with the procedure you have developed?

How is your model different than an actual fossil and how is it the same?

Facilitating investigation plan:
Describe what hands-on/minds-on activities students will be doing.
List big idea conceptual questions the teacher will use to encourage and/or focus students

The students will create their own fossils using different food ingredients, toy dinosaurs and fake leaves.

Now that we have seen several types of fossils, we are going to create our own fossils with dough and
other mixtures! On your table there is a bowl with different mixtures next to them. I will show you how you
should mix all of these ingredients together (model the way they should use the mixtures and objects on the
table and the expectations before letting the students work on their fossils). Using your toy dinosaurs and
fake leaves you will be able to imprint either of these objects onto your platform (mixed dough). First you
will mix the instant coffee, flour, salt and water together to make a dough inside your mixing bowl. The
dough needs to be wet, but not so wet that it sticks to your fingers. You will then grab a small amount of
dough to use as an imprint. Now you try the rest by yourself or with the help of a friend and see if you can
create a fossil with the materials that are around you. Remember to whisper while you are working on this.

What are 2 example problems the students may come up with following the immersion. Follow up
with two predictions, one for each problem.

1. A possible question the students may have is:

Why is the platform (dough) we are using wet and the fossil we saw earlier was not?
The fossil has been a fossil for many years and therefore it has been able to slowly harden into a
sedimentary rock over the years.
At this point the teacher should urge them to investigate that.
Why do you think that is? How long did you think it took for that fossil to get hard?

2. Another problem the students may come up with following the immersion is:
Wondering if other objects can become fossils.
Maybe other objects can become fossils other than plants and animals.
At this point, the teacher should ask students questions such as:
Have you tried imprinting different objects around the room? What can you do to find out if these
objects can become fossils too?

Investigation Plan: Give two different sample investigation plans that correlate to the questions above.
These will be step-by-step processes like we did on the discussion board. They are intended to be student
derived, so put these in the context of what you expect your students to come up with. Remember in an
inquiry you are not giving them the steps to do, they are developing them.

1. Students will keep on working with the platform (dough). The teacher may also offer to the students

Melissa Faz
5E Lesson Plan
a blow dryer. The students will want to explore and see what they can do with the blow dryer in
order to make their fossil look more closely to the one they saw earlier.

2. Students will keep on imprinting the materials that were given to them. The teacher may scaffold by
hinting to the students to use other objects such as liquids in the room (water, juice) to see if these
objects imprint on their platform.

Supervising Groups:
How will the teacher supervise and check for understanding during investigation phase?

The teacher will walk around each table and ask students to write down the questions in their science
notebook that they asked during the explore portion of the lesson.
What similarities do you see between your fossil and the fossils we saw earlier?
What differences do you see?
In what ways do you think you can make your fossil look more like the fossils we saw at the
beginning of the lesson?
What can become a fossil?

Managing materials:

The teacher will keep all materials on each group table. The teacher will set expectations from the students
of not touching any of the materials until instructed to do so. Each student at each table will have a leader
who will be in charge on mixing, each student will later get their own turn to participate in this lab.
How will students present/share results?:
Student explanations should precede introduction of terms or explanations by the teacher. What
questions or techniques will the teacher use to help students connect their exploration to the concept
under examination?
List higher order thinking questions which teachers will use to solicit student explanations and help
them to justify their explanations.
What further teaching will you do? Describe in detail any information you will teach to the student
at this time. It could be a clarification, it could be more in-depth or something new (like a twist), but
a no further teaching will not be accepted.
How will students record observations, results & analyze? Describe how students will record
observations, present results or findings of their investigation. Share with class, posters, pair-share,
etc. (Be descriptive Students will share results on posters. Is not sufficient. Why are they
presenting this way?

After the students are done making their own fossils, the teacher will then hold a whole class discussion
where the students will discuss what they observed and how they formed their fossils. The teacher will ask
each group to present their fossil and explain difficulties they had while creating this fossil. This will be
followed by a series of questions to assess their comprehension.
Questions to guide focus/ comprehension:
In this instance you mixed the ingredients to form fossils, in nature what helps create fossils?
What do you think this plant or animal looked like when it was alive?
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5E Lesson Plan
Where do you think fossils are formed? Under what conditions?

*The students will be writing down their answers in their science notebooks.

The students then will share their responses with the class so that they are able to understand each others
thinking. They will also be asked to explain why they came up with those answers so that they get practice
explaining their thoughts and answers. If the answers differ from group to group, the teacher will be able to
explain how different experiments may come up with different answer.

Those are all very good answers! Now we are going to watch a short video on fossils. Called Becoming a
Fossil that will explain these questions.

At the end of the video I will explain to the students the video they just watched.
Fossils are known as remains of the vast majority of organisms that die. These remains are eaten by
scavengers or decompose beyond recognition before they can be preserved just as you saw in the video. The
conditions under which fossils can successfully form are unusual. However, it is important to recognize that
fossils give evidence of what animals of the past ate and what ate them, how they cared for their young, and
how they moved around.
Application to other situations:
How does it relate to the real world?
The extension lesson relates to the real word by helping students recognize that other organisms other than
dinosaurs and plants can become fossils.

It is important that while doing Fish Dig that we think about other forms of organisms with bones such
as cats, dogs, whales, and even humans! All of these organisms are organisms that can one day too become
fossils if preserved correctly.

Alternative explanations:
The fossil record provides evidence about the history of life. The fossil record shows that different types of
living things have changed over time. Fossils occur in a particular order. Older rocks contain fossils of
simpler organisms. Younger rocks contain fossils of more complex organisms. Fish can be one type of
fossils, they are something that have been around for many years and therefore it can be easier for us to
study these organisms as fossils.
Possible extension lesson:
What could be done as a follow up lab to this lesson? Could it be tied into another unit? How could
you review this topic for the end of the year exam?
The extension activity is called Fish Dig worksheet where students are able to create their own fish by
piercing together fish bones that they discover on their own fish dig. As part of this activity the teacher
should ask them to identify what other items in the class have bones. This will serve as an introduction to
the discussion about what other organisms around our world can become fossils. (Application to other

We are now going to be focusing on organisms with bones and those organisms are fish! With the
worksheet that I am about to pass out I want you all to cut the pieces and create your own fossil with the
bones. Think about how a fish looks and where each bone would belong. Think: What are other items in
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5E Lesson Plan
the outside world that have bones other than fish? Humans? Animals like dogs and cats? Water
animals like whales? (these questions could be used to review this topic and make sure students really
understand different types of fossils)
How will students assess and reflect?:
How will students demonstrate that they have achieved the lesson objective?
This should be embedded throughout the lesson as well as at the end of the lesson
Consequential Task How will you measure a single students level of comprehension? How will
they show what they learned through a consequential task? This should be a challenge, a
demonstration of knowledge they gained during the inquiry.

The students will demonstrate that they have achieved the lesson objective by going to the front of the class
after doing some online research about extinct fossils and presenting to the class as a group of one extinct
species that is now a fossil. The students will be expected to explain why this object became a fossil, under
what conditions was it able to stay a fossil, how was it formed, and what type of environment did this fossil
live in. Every group member is expected to say one thing about the fossil.

Now we are going to see how well you know fossils. As a group you will be assigned to a computer where
all of you will be able to research an extinct fossil and present to the classroom where this fossil lived, what
it ate, how long it has been a fossil for, under what conditions was it able to stay a fossil and how was it
formed. Every group member is expected to say one thing about this fossil.

Assessment Rubric:
Rubric for consequential task (this will most likely be completed as a table imbedded into the word
document. This is critical because it gives the person reading the lesson plan what the teacher should
expect from the students and to what degree.

Assessment Rubric:
Criteria Check if applicable (30 points total)

Students identify an extinct fossil (5 points)

Students present where the fossil (5 points)

Students present what the fossil ate (5 points)

Students present about how many (5 points)

years this organism has been a fossil
Students present under what (5 points)
conditions was the fossil able to stay
a fossil
Students are able to explain how the (5 points)
fossil was formed
ESL: All of the worksheets have pictures of all of the objects along with names on the bottom of them.
GT: If they finish the explore activity first, they can start on the extension activity by cutting out the fish
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5E Lesson Plan
and putting the bones together.
SE: For students with learning disabilities such as a visual disability, I will have the bones for the extension
activity at a bigger font and I will also cut the bones out for this student before the class starts.
Specific Key Questions (Bloom):
What are at least 3 High Level Blooms questions you want them to be able to do at the end of the
Remembering- Describe the definition of a fossil?
Student answers: They are dead organisms.
Can they be form in a day?- No, they were living things from long ago that were formed over the
Understanding- Explain how fossils are formed?
Student answers: They are dead remains on a rock.
What type of rock?- The rock is sedimentary rock that preservers the dead remains of an organism.
Analyzing- Compare and contrast an animal fossil and a plant fossil.
Student answer: Animal fossils have bones and plants do not.

Personal reflection: writing an inquiry lesson:

Provide a 5 sentence (min.) reflection of lesson.
Creating an inquiry lesson was much harder than I expected. It by far is one of the hardest types of
lessons that I have done. As a future educator it is expected of us to provide a structures lessons with
step-by-step instructions on what the students will be doing. However, this lesson taught me a
different way to help my students learn while they are technically exploring the material own their
own. The hardest part of this lesson plan was trying not to say what I wanted my students to do but
rather come up with ways that they can answer the question own their own. Other than that I really
liked doing this type of lesson because it has helped me grow in my science teaching skills and it
also has helped me understand other ways of student learning. Overall, this is definitely a lesson
plan I will be using as a future science teacher to help my students explore the material own their

Horizontal Alignment within the Grade chosen for the 5E lesson

What other TEKS can be aligned to this lesson (what will this lesson build upon and build for)?

The other TEKS that can be aligned to this lesson is TEKS 4.3.D. This TEKS states, scientific investigation and
reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions. The
student is expected to: (D) connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science, science
careers, and contributions of scientists. This is an introduction to the history of science. Fossils play a major part
of science history because through fossils scientist are able to see what kinds of organisms lived many years
ago. This lesson will build upon their background knowledge on different ways that fossils have been able to
help scientist throughout the years since they have been discovered.

Vertical Alignment within the Grade Chosen for the 5E lesson

Prior Grade
What other TEKS can be aligned to this lesson (what will this lesson build upon and build for)?
How would you integrate this foundational knowledge for developed 5E lesson?

The prior TEKS that can be aligned to this lesson is 4.3.C for fourth grade. The TEKS is, scientific investigation
and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions.
Melissa Faz
5E Lesson Plan
The student is expected to: (C) represent the natural world using models such as rivers, stream tables, or fossils
and identify their limitations, including accuracy and size. In fourth grade the students are expected to
represent the natural world by using models of fossils while also identifying their limitations, accuracy and
sizes. This lesson builds upon the next grade by introducing different types of limitations and sizes of natural
models to students. Here they are able to learn that fossils are part of our natural world and they know how they
look and what sizes they can be. As a future teacher I would integrate this foundational knowledge for
developed 5E lesson in the engagement. Here I would ask the students if they remember last year how they
studied fossils and the different models of them. Then I would explain that fossils can be formed by animals,
plants, and other types of organisms.

Next Grade
What other TEKS can be aligned to this lesson (what will this lesson build upon and build for)?
How would this aid their knowledge in future grades?

For the next grade, the TEKS that can be aligned to this lesson is TEKS 6.7.A. This TEKS states that, the
student knows that some of Earth's energy resources are available on a nearly perpetual basis, while others can
be renewed over a relatively short period of time. Some energy resources, once depleted, are essentially
nonrenewable. The student is expected to: (A) research and debate the advantages and disadvantages of using
coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and solar resources. In this lesson
the students are expected to research advantages and disadvantages of oils and other resources. In the previous
year the students had learned that fossils can be used for fossil fuels which are other forms of energy. This
lesson will aid their knowledge in the future grades by helping the students understand the different ways that
fossils can be beneficial to our society.