Firefly, Firefly

Contributor
Jennifer Mesa and Kristen Sorensen
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This 5-E lesson plan uses the backwards-design approach integrated with literacy to expand upon children's knowledge of fireflies and light.  Students will able to gather evidence to develop the understanding that at night objects can be seen only when illuminated and that light can also be used to communicate.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 1
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available by subscription - The right to view and/or download material, often for a set period of time, by way of a financial agreement between rights holders and authorized users.

Performance Expectations

K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Although it is not directly stated, components of K-2 engineering can be utilized during this lesson. For example, instead of making the light tubes in advance, the teacher can provide students with all of the materials (with the exception of the hot glue gun) and ask them to construct a light tube and a way to illuminate the tube. The teacher would not state to use the glow stick, but provide students with all of the materials allowing them to ask questions, make observations, gather information, and apply previous knowledge that they cannot see inside of the light tube without using the glow stick. Engineering is also suggested when students use the glow sticks to design their own form of communication.

1-PS4-2 Make observations to contruct an evidence-based account that objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated.

Clarification Statement: Examples of observations could include those made in a completely dark room, a pinhole box, and a video of a cave explorer with a flashlight. Illumination could be from an external light source or by an object giving off its own light.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This Performance Expectation requires students to use materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance. Students design a light tube, make observations, and explain that features inside of a light tube cannot be seen without the light provided by the glow stick. The article provides clear directions on how to create light tubes out of dark-colored card stock, stickers, and hot glue. After participating in a read-aloud about fireflies using the text, " Fireflies" by Mary R. Dunn students will use the glue sticks and devise a way to communicate with others.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students will use their observations from the light tubes and glow sticks to explain that light is needed for people and animals to see. Students will also participate in conversations and read-alouds to build their background knowledge and understand that fireflies, just like glow sticks, have chemicals that help them create light and that this light can be used to help communicate with others.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will observe: photos of glowing fireflies at night, that glow sticks give off light, and that features inside of a light tube can not be seen without the light provided by a glow stick.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students will carry out simple tests with the light tube and glow stick to confirm that light is needed to see the features inside of the light tube.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson addresses all three dimensions of learning as defined by the NGSS for first grade by having students carry out simple tests, make observations, and explain that features inside of a light tube cannot be seen without the light provided by a glow stick. Although it is not directly stated in the resource, teachers can easily add an engineering design activity to accompany this lesson.

  • Instructional Supports: This resource suggests texts such as, "Amy's Light" by Robert Nutt and "Fireflies" by Mary R. Dunn that the teacher can read to students to help build their background knowledge regarding fireflies and integrate science with literacy. The author provides sample discussion questions, sentence frames, and pinpointed specific illustrations from the text that teachers can use to deepen their discussions with their students. The article also includes images of students' work samples that teachers can use to gauge if their students understand that light is needed for sight.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Although the brainstorming sheets and graphic organizers were not included with this resource, images of student work samples are provided, and teachers can easily recreate them by typing them over. The author suggests using questioning and observations for the formative assessment to determine what students already know and monitor their thinking throughout the entire lesson. To help with the informative writing component, sentence frames were included as well.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource did not contain any technology integration. Teachers can show students videos of fireflies if they live in an area where they are not able to see fireflies at night.