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Emily McDougal

Lesson Title: Gravity

1. Background Information

a. Grade Level (K-12): 3rd grade

b. Name of Course or Content Area: Earth Science
c. Duration and location of lesson (# of days & length of class periods): 1 class for 45 minutes
d. # or % EL students: 6 students with hearing loss, all EL students
e. Description of EL students’ English language proficiency levels, first languages & nationalities: All the
students have some degree of hearing loss, most have some experience with ASL and English. 3 students
are level 2 English language proficiency (based on WIDA), 2 students are level 4 English language
proficiency, and 1 student is at a level 1 English language proficiency.
f. What have students covered before this lesson? (if relevant, reference your unit map!): The shape of the
Earth, Moon and Sun are round. The Earth orbits the Sun and the Moon orbits the Earth.
g. What will students cover after this lesson? (if relevant, reference your unit map!): The Sun is the main source
of heat and light for the Earth.

2. Learning Goals

Utah Core Standard(s) & Objective(s) OR other relevant standards for your discipline: Science, Grade 3 Standard 4:
Students will understand that objects near Earth are pulled toward Earth by gravity.
WIDA Standards (OPTIONAL – if not included, state why): Standard 4 – Language of Science:
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the
content area of science.

Take-Home Concepts/Big Ideas: Gravity is an invisible force which pulls everything towards the Earth. If we didn’t
have gravity pulling everything down, we would just fly away into space.

Essential Questions (OPTIONAL): What is gravity? Why is gravity important? What would happen if gravity suddenly
stopped working?

Performance Objectives for this Lesson in Teacher Language:

Content PO(s): SWBAT explain to a peer why gravity is important to life on Earth, during class.
Language PO(s) by level – based on setting, may combine levels as appropriate:
Level 1&2: SWBAT use the word “gravity” correctly in a sentence.
Level 4: SWBAT share their ideas using words like Earth, Sun, and gravity.

Performance Objectives written as “I can” statements for students:

Content PO(s): I can explain why gravity is important to life on Earth.
Language PO(s): I can share ideas using words like Earth, Sun and gravity.

Texts students will interpret: a video of someone skydiving and a video of astronauts living on the Space Station
Text students will produce: Explanations of what gravity does.

Formative Assessments: Students can explain to a partner why gravity is important to life on Earth.

3. Attending to the Learners

A. Anticipating student
knowledge & ideas: Students will already know that when they drop an object, it falls to the
ground. They will also have a basic understanding of the Solar System
Explain what you think will be from previous lessons. (For example, the Sun is very big and is in the
students’ prior knowledge
middle, the Earth and other planets orbit the Sun.) They will also be
about the content. Including
assets from students’ funds of aware that astronauts and other things “float” in Space rather than
knowledge and/or any moving like we do on Earth.

Emily McDougal

alternative ideas or
challenges you anticipate
students might face and how
you plan to work with each of
these challenges during the
B. Anticipating students’
language knowledge: Level 1&2: These students will be able to recognize the words Sun,
Moon and Earth because we will have discussed all of these during
Explain what you think will be multiple previous lessons.
students’ prior linguistic
knowledge related to the Level 4: I expect that these students will understand basic concepts
language objectives. You will about the solar system, and orbits because of previous lessons.
need to address this
according to the English
proficiency levels you are
anticipating in this lesson.

C. Supporting access,
participation, & interaction: Since my kids will be mainly visual learners (most kids are in general) I
will try to use that to their advantage by showing lots of pictures, doing
What will you do to support all demonstrations and showing videos. This will allow the students who
students to be able to (1) have very little language development to get a basic understanding of
access content, (2) participate what we are talking about.
and (3) interact? I will have the students do an activity to allow them to have a hands-on
 How will you use multiple experience of testing and playing with how different items fall.
representations and/or During the activity I will be walking around and ask thing students
manipulatives or other questions and encouraging them to discuss their findings with one
supplementary materials another. As they test one object compared to another, they will need to
to support access to the talk to each other about what they observe and why they think it
content? happened.
 How will work to support
ELs to participate in
 What opportunities have
you created for students
to interact with each other
and how will EL students
be supported in these
D. Supporting text
interpretation & production
After watching two videos (one of astronauts and one of people
What will you do to support all skydiving), I will ask them about what they observed and why they these
students to be able to two videos looked so different. Then try to link what they already know
interpret and produce texts in and have experienced (in regards to gravity), to the new concepts/
this lesson? lesson material.
 What strategies will you
use to scaffold text
 What strategies will you
use to scaffold text

Emily McDougal

4. Lesson Sequence/Narrative – Lesson Delivery

Use the codes below to streamline your lesson narrative.

T: Teacher statements/script
Q01: Question 1 (to pose to students)
Q02: Question 2 (to pose to students) – use the same numbering system for subsequent questions.
PSR: Possible student responses
(X min): Use this code to show how long you anticipate each phase of the lesson will take to complete.

(15 minutes)
Connect to/activate
students’ background Have students stand on a chair and drop a variety of different objects onto the
knowledge on this topic. floor.

Describe any Q01: Why do all of these objects fall and hit the ground instead of falling slowly or
supplemental materials flying away?
or modeling you will use
to help students make PSR: Because they are heavy.
T: That’s a good idea. But what about the sticky note? That isn’t heavy.
Introduce the
performance objectives PSR: This stuff can’t fly because it doesn’t have wings like birds and airplanes.
and if you are using
them, essential T: That is true too, they don’t have wings. Some of these things are heavy and
question(s) for the some are light but all of them are pulled down to the ground by a force called
lesson. This should gravity. Gravity is what pulls on everything and makes it stay on the ground
serve as a transition to instead of floating away.
the lesson tasks.

(15-20 minutes)
Explain what you will do
and say, and what T: Gravity is an invisible force that pulls things down toward the center of the
students will do and say Earth. That is why when you jump you always fall back down instead of just going
to complete the lesson up. Gravity keeps everything on the ground. Cars, animals, people, plants,
tasks you imagine. everything.
Q02: What would happen if we didn’t have gravity? Or if gravity suddenly stopped
 Explain when and working?
how you will model PSR: We would fly away! We could jump all the way to the moon!
instructions & tasks – T: That is exactly right! Nothing would stay down where it is supposed to be. It
keeping in mind the would all just float away.
points you made Q03: Now, do any other planets have gravity? Does the Sun?
previously about PSR: I think so.
supporting the T: Absolutely! The Sun has gravity and it pulls on the Earth, which is why the
participation of Earth keeps going in a circle around the Sun instead of flying off into Space.
diverse learners. Imagine that this Yo-yo is the Earth, I am the Sun and the string is gravity. When I
 Include questions you swing the yo-yo over my head, that is what it is like for the Earth to be spinning
will ask students (and around the Sun.
alternative phrasing) Q04: What would happen if I let go of the string?
and anticipated PSR: It would fling all the way over there!
student responses Q05: Precisely, so if the Sun suddenly stopped having gravity what would happen
and how you will to the Earth?
respond. PSR: It would zoom off into space!
T: That’s right. Gravity keeps the Earth going around the Sun and helps us stay
on the Earth instead of flying away.

Emily McDougal

What will you do, what (10 minutes)
will students do to apply
what they learned in the Show videos of people skydiving, followed by a video of astronauts in space.
through phase?
How will you revisit the Q06: Why did the people in the first video fall but the people in the second video
POs (and EQs) with didn’t?
students? Explain how
you will conclude the PSR: The second video didn’t have gravity?
Q07: Right. So, if they didn’t have gravity where were they?

PSR: Not on Earth? On the Moon?

T: Yes, they were in a space ship out in space! Now I want to get into groups and
talk about why you think gravity is important.

Have students discuss possible answers in small groups for the remainder of

5. Lesson Materials
Computer and TV or projector
Multiple objects of differing sizes and weight (ex: a ball, wad of paper, stick of gum, large boot, etc.) for students to
experiment dropping.
A Yo-yo for orbit demonstration

6. Assessments, Feedback & Next Steps

1. How will you assess student learning on the formative assessments you described above?
If the students are participating in the class discussion and if they can explain the importance of gravity to a
2. How will you use the information from this assessment to guide future (even next day) instruction?
Based on the class discussion, answers and questions, as well as how the students use the new vocabulary,
I can decide if I need to do another (or a more in depth) explanation and discussion. This will also help me
gauge the students’ ability to understand abstract concepts, which will be useful as we go into other topics.
3. How will the assessments from this lesson be included in your grading for the class? Why?
Not during this lesson. Later on, I will have the students do a presentation of different topics we have covered
in class and I will base their grade on the presentation as well as their in-class participation throughout the
4. Will students be able to re-do this assignment? Why or why not?
No, this is an in-class activity. They will have opportunities to make up the points in a different way.
5. What variability in content knowledge acquisition do you expect to see in student work?
I expect some students will remember more details and deeper concepts than other students. I also expect a
wide variety of answers and explanations during class discussions.
6. What variability in (English) language performance do you expect to see in student work?
There will certainly be a wide variety of grammar, punctuation, and spelling abilities. Although during this
particular class there won't be a lot of writing. (Since the class is in ASL there won’t be any spoken English
either. In future classes I will have them write during class but because this is more like an introductory lesson,
I thought I would keep it a little more hands-on and concept oriented.)
7. What type of feedback will you provide to students? Give at least one example.
I plan to engage the students in conversation about their findings during the activity and the end of class
discussion. As we talk, I’ll reiterate the main points of the lesson and the new vocabulary words.
8. Will you correct EL/language learner students’ grammar on this assessment, why or why not?

Emily McDougal

Not in written form since they won’t be writing anything during this lesson, although I would model correct ASL
grammar and make some corrections if there are major problems.
9. How will students know if they were successful in meeting the lesson’s content objectives?
If they understand the concepts we have discussed and can explain them to a peer.
10. How will students know if they were successful in meeting the lesson’s language objectives?
If they can correctly use the new vocabulary words in a conversation.
11. How, if at all, does this lesson accomplish the following – if it does not, when might you do the following in
future related lessons:
a. Require EL/language learner (and mainstream) students to compare their home language to English
OR peer language to academic language. (2 points) They will be reading some English words on the
powerpoint and participate in discussions using ASL.
b. Require EL/language learner (and mainstream) students to interact with adults and community
members outside of school to deepen their learning on this topic and validate students’
community/home expertise/knowledge. (2 points) They could explain what they have learned to other
students, friends or teachers.

7. References

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