Sample Hands on Learning Cycle Lesson Overviews
Four Examples - three poor one better

NOT sequence or concept development like Sunal and Sunal Closer to Activity Lesson Plan like Renner and Marek

Poor Example of Learning Cycle Hands on Lesson

Topic: Parts of a Plant Grade level 2 Objective: Students will learn the parts of a plant.
Materials: live plant, plant parts chart, worksheet, various arts and crafts materials (colored construction paper, pipe cleaners, glue…)
Process skills
: observation, communication

Exploration phase: The teacher displays a live plant. The roots, stems and leaves are visible. The students use the plant chart to identify the three main parts of the plant. The teacher points to the top of the live plant and asks students what part it is. The teacher slowly moves his or her hand down the plant as the students discuss what part the teacher is pointing to at the time. The students use the chart to resolve any disagreements.

Concept introduction phase: Students turn to the pages in their textbook that discuss the three main parts of a plant and read and discuss it. They are next given a worksheet with a picture of a plant and blanks pointing to each of the three main parts. They are asked to identify each part by filling in the blanks.

Concept application: The students are asked to create a plant that has roots, stems, and leaves. The students are asked to identify each of the parts of their plant for the teacher. The plants are displayed in the classroom.

Poor Example of Learning Cycle Hands on Lesson

Topic: Electricity Grade level 5
Objective: Students will create a circuit that can be opened and closed with a switch from information provided by reading in their text and class discussion.
Materials: D-cell battery, battery holder, insulated wire, a flashlight bulb, and a switch

Exploration phase: Students read textbook entry on electric current, open and closed circuit, and electric switches.

Concept introduction phase: Teacher discusses what students read, reviews open and closed circuits by looking at pictures of different circuits with different arrangements of bulbs, batteries and switches. After this discussion he lectures on how the electrical systems in most homes work and safety issues about circuits and lightening being the number one killer of all natural weather related events.

Concept application: The teacher gives the students a d-cell battery, battery holder, insulated wire, a flashlight bulb, and a switch and asks them to build a closed circuit.

Poor Example of Learning Cycle Hands on Lesson

Topic: Electricity Grade level 5
Objective: Students will create a circuit that can be opened and closed with a switch from information provided by reading in their text and class discussion
Materials: circuit posters, textbook, d-cell battery, battery holder, insulated wire, a flashlight bulb, and a switch

Exploration phase: The teacher shows the students several posters with open and closed circuits and has them read the section in their text about electrical current. Then she discusses the reading with them and assigns them three investigation questions. 1. Make a circuit so that the bulb will light. 2. Make a circuit so that the bulb will can be turned on and off with the switch. And 3. Make a circuit that doesn’t work.

Concept introduction phase: Students work in groups and seek answers for each of the three questions.

Concept application: Students share their drawings and explain how they worked. The teacher records each circuit by drawing it with a schematic diagram using a computer program. When all students have presented she shares her diagrams and has the class sort them into the three categories and explain how they work.

Better Example of Learning Cycle Hands on Lesson

Topic: Electricity Grade level 5
Objective: Students will explore a variety of simple electrical circuits with a bulb, d-battery, and wire to create explanations on how electricity is transferred from a source through a receiver in different kinds of electrical circuits.
Materials: d-cell battery, insulated wire, and a flashlight bulb

Exploration phase: The teacher shows the materials to the students and asks them to draw a picture in their science log to show how they would try to light the bulb. The teacher walks around and looks at their diagrams, then she challenges them to work with their partner to find as many ways as they can to light the bulb. She also reminds them to make records of what doesn’t work as well as what works. Students work together making circuits and recording their answers.

Concept introduction phase: Students draw the various ways that they tried that lit the bulb and didn’t light the bulb on the board and explain how they worked. The teachers asks them to classify them as lit or not lit. Then she asks them to explain what is the same and different for all of their diagrams. Class discusses and questions until they feel confident that they have identified all possible ways to light the bulb in a circuit with three objects.

Concept application: The teacher asks them what else they know about electrical circuits. The teacher listens and records their answers. She works toward leading the students to additional explorations of more complicated circuits (circuits with switches multiple sources and receivers). Circuits that will help students conceptualize concepts of switches, parallel, and series circuits for sources and receivers.

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©