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Develop a Model

Develop a Model

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to draw or develop a model that represents how something works or looks that cannot be seen such as how a soap dispensing machine works.

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Essential Understanding

The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions.

Science Background

A Closer Look, Scientific Models: Annenberg Learner (website) - Important information about scientific models, what they are, how they are developed, how and why they change over time, and what their limitations are.

A Closer Look, Scientific Models
Annenberg Learner,

Models are the Building Blocks of Science: The University of Texas (website) - Online article discusses different types of models, and explains their purpose and importance in the scientific world and other disciplines.

Models are the Building Blocks of Science
The University of Texas,

Models in Science: Genesis (PDF) - Most students like to work with models (cars, Tinker Toys, etc.), and most scientists interact with models as part of their professions. Learn about different types of scientific models and their importance to research.

Models in Science

Signature Lesson

Breathing Machine: BioEd Online (website) - Students develop a model that represents an internal human system they cannot see (lungs, chest and diaphragm) and demonstrates how that system works.

Breathing Machine
BioEd Online,

Supporting Lessons

Make a Model Cell: Science NetLinks (website) - Students review and compare plant and animal cells, and then build a model of an animal cell.

Make a Model Cell
Science NetLinks,

The Drought Stopper: FOSS Models and Designs (website) - The “Drought Stopper” is a physical model set up by the teacher before class. The activity focuses on the concepts of water pressure and siphoning, but its primary objective is to teach students about scientific models. For instructions on how to make a drought stopper, click the link below. Then, under “Investigation 1 - Black Boxes,” click on Part 3. (If you do not have the kit box shown in the video, a simple box large enough to hold a one-liter container will be a suitable replacement.)

The Drought Stopper
FOSS Models and Designs,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Insect Models: Science NetLinks (website) - Students learn about insects and gain an understanding of the usefulness of scientific models by observing a variety of insects and building their own insect models.

Insect Models
Science NetLinks,

Assessment Ideas

Have students bring recycling materials from home and use the materials to build animal models (something other than insects).

Literature Connections

Kids’ Paper Airplane Book. Blackburrn, Ken (ISBN-13: 978-0761104780)

The LEGO Ideas Book. Lipkowitz, Daniel (ISBN-13: 978-0756686062)

Dragonology: The Frost Dragon Book and Model Set. Drake, Ernest (ISBN-13: 978-0763634261)

Temperature: Heating Up and Cooling Down. Stille, Darlene (ISBN-13: 978-1404803459)

Related Science TEKS

(5.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations.

(5.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the conservation, disposal, and recycling of materials.

(5.2A) Design/Conduct Experiment with One Variable
The student is expected describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable.

(5.2B) Ask Questions, Formulate a Hypothesis
The student is expected to ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology.

(5.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect information by detailed observations and accurate measuring.

(5.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence.

(5.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms.

(5.2G) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

Related Math TEKS

5.12B    The student is expected to use experimental results to make predictions.

5.14D    The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

5.15A    The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

Earth Science Week: American Geosciences Institute. Find a variety of activities that model earth science processes and structures on this website.

Earth Science Week
American Geosciences Institute,

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