Instructional Design Unit

Jennifer Dawson, Kelly McMahan, & Dana Poe

Design Team Introduction

The instructional design team was made up of three different backgrounds. The team consists of almost twenty years of experience. All three team members have experience of teaching at different grade levels and are currently teaching third, fourth, or fifth grade. Currently all of the team members are pursuing a Masters Degree in Library Media. The goal of the design team was to create a unit to meet the third grade Science Course of Study Objective requiring students to describe the position of the Earth, the moon and the sun during the course of a day or month while also describing forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon. This was a collaborative project among the design team and third grade teachers. The team prioritized the needs and developed this unit of study to increase student knowledge of the Solar System.

Instructional Unit Background

This five day unit on the Solar System was designed based on the steps of instructional design in collaboration between the design team and third grade teachers in an effort to meet objectives from the Alabama Science Course of Study. The purpose of this unit was for students to be able to describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month while also identifying various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon. It was the desire of the design team to utilize a variety of instructional methods and library resources along with the literacy research model Super3 to implement an effective unit of instruction.

Instructional Design Steps

Instructional Design Steps

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Evaluation of the Steps in the Instructional Design Process

Needs Assessment

The instructional design team identified a need to increase the knowledge students have of the Alabama Course of Study Standard for space in the third grade. As a team we created a pretest that assessed the information covered in the Course of Study Standard as well as additional informational goals that we felt were important for the students to know. The results from the pretest concluded that students were not knowledgeable on this course of study standard, and additional instruction was needed in this area. With these results the design team developed a unit that focused on teaching in depth knowledge of this particular course of study standard as well as increasing the knowledge of additional content the team determined the students were lacking in.

Learner Analysis

In the beginning of this unit each student was instructed to take a learning styles inventory before any instruction began. Students completed this learning styles inventory on ads checked out from the library in the classroom. By providing an iPad for each student we were able to complete this valuable learning style inventory via internet access. Using the iPads also increased the students’ interest in the task which allowed for greater participation and results from the students. The use of this learning styles inventory proved to be very valuable in the research portion of this unit. With this inventory the team was able to create groups with similar learning styles that we believe attributed to the 100% mastery of the research portion of this unit.

Instructional Objectives

At the end of this unit, students have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated. The students have also completed an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of the provided rubric. Our instructional objective was met and surpassed based on the results of the students’ posttest. The research aspect of the unit allowed for expansion of the students’ knowledge on the subject of material that was not covered by the teacher.

Assessment of Student Performance

A strength of our assessment process was having the same pretest and posttest to assess the students’ knowledge of the unit. Having the same assessments allowed us to directly compare the two tests. The Educreations presentations proved to be a very effective way to assess the students’ knowledge of their research skills.

Strategies and Activities Development

The teaching strategies used in this unit were developed to address the various learning styles of the students that were discovered after completing the learning styles inventory. The research aspect of this unit required more one on one assistance from the teacher and media specialist to assist with and monitor the research aspect of the unit.

Materials Selection

The materials that were selected for this unit were adequate and met the goals and objectives. One weakness of the unit was the lack of updated printed materials available in the library on the research topics. This weakness was overcome by most students relying heavily on the internet to conduct most of their group’s research.

Implementation

The implementation of this unit was a success. It would have been a more beneficial unit if there had been more time allowed in the daily schedule for teaching of the unit; however, the time allotted for the unit was adequate to teach the objectives of the units.

Summary

Overall this unit was really enjoyed by the students. The team concluded that this unit was not only enjoyed by the students, but that it was a very educational unit.


The objective of this unit was to have the students master with 80% accuracy or better their knowledge of the phases of the moon, and the technology that we use to observe the moon and the earth. Students were also expected during this lesson to practice their researching skills. The majority of the students showed significant growth in their knowledge of the subject when comparing their pre and post assessments. Out of a class of 17 students 15 mastered the post test assessment which gave the class 90% mastery.


The research assessment was the Educreations presentations the class did in groups. 80% mastery was expected from the research presented in the presentations. The groups had to refer to the presentation rubric to complete this assignment. The groups did very well with this project. The learning styles inventory that was completed on the first day of the unit was used to group students with similar learning styles. This proved effective as the groups worked very well together to complete their presentations. The class was able to achieve 100% mastery of their research presentations.


The students achieved at a much higher level on this unit than they have on other units throughout the year. This high level of achievement by the students can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of the media specialist and the teacher. The team concluded that future lessons should be planned and implemented to result in this high level of student achievement.

Assessment Procedures

Educational Goal: Alabama Science 3rd Grade Course of Study

3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon

Instructional Objective:

At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Enabling Objectives:

  • Students will be able to identify 5 out of the 8 phases of the Earth’s moon, and be able to describe the season that correlates with them.
  • Students will be able to identify at least three pieces of technology used to observe the Moon and the Earth.

Pre-Assessment:

Prior to any class discussions of space, students will be given a pre-assessment to determine their current knowledge of the planets, The Sun, and Earth’s moon, seasons and the technology that is used to observe them. The pre-assessment will be given in the classroom.

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Formative Assessment:

Day 1

Activities: Students will complete a learning styles inventory, unit pre-assessment, and KWL chart to introduce the unit.

Formative Assessment: Observation, evaluation of pre-assessment and KWL chart discussion.

Day 2

Activities: Students will read Lesson 1 in the science book and discuss position of the sun in relation to the time of day or month.

Formative Assessment: Observation of partner talk and oral open-ended questioning.

Day 3

Activities: Students will read Lesson 2 in the science book and discuss how the Earth revolves around the sun and how this creates seasons.

Formative Assessment: Observation and oral open-ended questioning, and evaluation of students’ journal entries.

Day 4

Activities: Students will read Lesson 3 in the science book and discuss the phases and positions of the moon. Students will complete a moon phase journal entry.

Formative Assessment: Observation, oral open-ended questioning, and evaluation of students’ journal entries.

Day 5

Activities: Students will continue research and work on Educreations presentations. Students will share their Educreations presentations. Students will complete the end of the unit assessment.

Formative Assessment: Observation /evaluation of assessment and presentations when complete.

Summative Assessment:

The summative assessment will be based on the following instructional objective:

At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Summative Assessment Activity

The summative assessment will be a posttest that contains the same questions as the pretest. This will allow for comparative purposes to ensure accurate determination of student growth. This will also indicate whether further lessons will be needed on the skills addressed in the unit. In addition to the posttest, the Educreations project will be included in the summative assessment. The Educreations project will be evaluated using a rubric and will indicate knowledge attained beyond that of the formal posttest.

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Student Performance and Evaluation:

Student performance and evaluation will be observed throughout the unit by the teacher and librarian. The teacher will be responsible for observing and evaluating students in daily activities including the pretest and posttest. The teacher and librarian will work together to observe and evaluate students throughout the research process. The teacher and librarian will also work together to provide support and feedback to the research groups as needed. A rubric will be used for the Educreations project. The teacher and librarian will work together to use the rubric to assess Educreations projects.

Rubric for Project:

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Correlation between Information Literacy Standards and Alabama Course of Study

Information Literacy Standards Correlation

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Correlation between Technology Standards and Alabama Course of Study

Technology Standards Correlation

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Day 1 Lesson Plan: Earth’s Moon and Technology Used to Observe the Moon and Earth

Course of Study:

SCOS 3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon.

ELACOS 3.28 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

ELACOS 3.31 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Educational Goal: Complete unit with 80% mastery.

Instructional Objective: At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Materials Needed: Computers and Ipads with internet access, Scott Foresman Science, Pencils, Science Journals , Projector, Additional resources selected by Librarian

Before (10 min):

Explain to students that they will be learning about Earth’s moon. Have students complete a learning styles inventory by going to

http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-assessment.

During (25 min):

Students will be given the pre-assessment. The pre-assessments will be taken up and graded by the teacher. Begin a discussion about the Moon, have students discuss what they already know about the Moon. Complete a KWL chart with the students on the Moon. Discuss any misconceptions.

Share the BrainPOP Jr. video - https://jr.brainpop.com/science/space/moon/

After (10 min):

The students are told that they will be divided into groups to research information on the technology that is used to observe the Moon and the Earth. The groups will compile their information to create an Educreations presentation that tells about the type of technology they researched.

At this stage of the lesson the students will independently look at the resources that the Media Specialist has assembled. These resources include books, magazines, iPads and computers that include information needed to research the types of techhnology. The students will also be to have discussions. This will give the students time and resources to decide on a topic that interests them.

Choices:

Telescope

Hubble Telescope

Galileo

Satellites

International Space Station

The students are introduced to the Super 3 model of research. The first day the students will complete Step 1 – “Plan” of the model. They will be given project instructions, have time to look through the information provided, discuss what topic they want and decide on a topic.


A portion of The Super 3 research model was used for this lesson. A list of steps completed on Day 1 for this activity has been included below.

Step 1 – Plan

Students prepare for the decision of selecting a topic and organizing their thoughts before research.

Step 1 – with the Teacher and the Media Specialist

The students are told that they will be divided into groups to research information on the solar system. The groups will compile their information to create an Educreations presentation that tells about the technology related area the group researched.

At this stage of the lesson the students will independently look at the resources that the Media Specialist has assembled. These resources include books, magazines, iPads and computers. The students are also given a few minutes to discuss with one another. This initial step gives the students time to think about the project that has been assigned to them and what steps they need to take to complete it successfully.

Choices:

Telescope

Hubble Telescope

Galileo

Satellites

International Space Station

Day 2 Lesson Plan: The Sun, The Rotation of Earth and How the Rotation Causes Daytime and Nighttime

Course of Study:

SCOS 3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon.

ELACOS 3.28 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

ELACOS 3.29 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

ELACOS 3.31 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

TCOS 3.8 Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

Educational Goal: Complete unit with 80% mastery.

Instructional Objective: At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Materials Needed: Computers and Ipads with internet access, Scott Foresman Science, Pencils, Science Journals, Projector, Additional resources selected by Librarian, Model of the Solar System

Before (10 min):

Explain to students that today we will be focusing on the position of the sun in relation to the time of day or month. We will begin by reviewing what we discussed when we created our KWL chart.

During (20 min):

The students will read Lesson 1 in the Scott Foresman science book. The teacher will facilitate a discussion about what was read. The students will discuss the sun, how the Earth rotates, and how this rotation affects daytime and nighttime. The teacher will use a solar system model to demonstrate how the Earth rotates for the students. The teacher will pause after discussion of each topic for students to engage in partner talk about what they found most interesting.

After (15 min):

Students will divide back into their groups from the previous day. They will continue their research using the Super 3 model completing Step 2 - “Do” by reading through the information gathered the previous day and illustrating how they will compile this information.


The Super 3 research model was used for this lesson. A list of steps completed on Day 2 for this activity has been included below.

Step 2 – Do

Students conduct their research and work on a finished product.

Step 2 - with the Teacher and the Media Specialist

The students are placed into groups depending on the topics that they chose. The students will discuss in their groups the outcomes of their topic as well as the sources they should use to research. The groups will also consult with the Teacher and Media Specialist to create a plan for research. During this step students will read and view their sources.

Day 3 Lesson Plan: How the Earth Revolves around the Sun and How This Creates Seasons

Course of Study:

SCOS 3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon.

ELACOS 3.28 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

ELACOS 3.29 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

ELACOS 3.31 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

TCOS 3.8 Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

Educational Goal: Complete unit with 80% mastery.

Instructional Objective: At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Materials Needed: Computers and Ipads with internet access, Scott Foresman Science, Pencils, Science Journals , Projector, Additional resources selected by Librarian, Model of the Solar System.

Before (5 min)

Review what was learned in the previous lessons. Add information to the KWL chart if needed. Explain to students that they will be learning how the Earth revolves around the Sun and how this creates our seasons.

During (20 min)

The students will read Lesson 2 in the Scott Foresman science book. The teacher will facilitate a discussion with students about the information. The teacher will demonstrate on the Solar System model how the Earth revolves around the Sun. The teacher will pause after discussion of each topic for students to engage in partner talk about what they found most interesting.

After (20 min)

Students will divide back into their groups from the previous day. They will continue their research using the Super 3 model completing Step 3 - “Review” by reading through the research they have conducted and determining if they need to make any changes to it.


The Super 3 research model was used for this lesson. A list of steps completed on Day 3 for this activity has been included below.

Step 3 – Review

Students evaluate the work they have completed and make revisions if necessary

Step 3 - with the Teacher and the Media Specialist

The students will work to evaluate what has been done thus far. The students will determine if anything else needs to be done.

Day 4 Lesson Plan: The Phases of the Moon

Course of Study:

SCOS 3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon.

ELACOS 3.28 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

ELACOS 3.29 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

ELACOS 3.31 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

TCOS 3-5.12 Create a product using digital tools.

TCOS 3.8 Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

Educational Goal: Complete unit with 80% mastery.

Instructional Objective: At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Materials Needed: Computers and Ipads with internet access, Scott Foresman Science, Pencils, Science Journals , Projector, Additional resources selected by Librarian, Model of the Solar System.

Before (5 min)

Review what was learned in the previous lessons. Add information to the KWL chart if needed. Explain to students that they will be learning about the phases of the moon.

During (10 min)

The students will read Lesson 3 in the Scott Foresman science book. The teacher will facilitate a discussion with students about the information. The teacher will demonstrate on the Solar System model how the Earth blocks part of the Moon creating the phases. The teacher will pause after discussion of each topic for students to engage in partner talk about what they found most interesting.

After (30 min)

Students will create a science journal entry on the Moon phases. The students will be instructed that this entry will be evaluated. Students will divide back into their groups from the previous day. They will continue their research using the Super 3 model. The groups will meet with the teacher or Librarian before class is over to get feedback before completion of the research. Students will complete research and begin work on Educreations presentations.


The Super 3 research model was used for this lesson. A list of steps completed on Day 4 for this activity has been included below.

Step 3 – Review

Students evaluate the work they have completed and make revisions if necessary.

Step 3 - with the Teacher and the Media Specialist

The Teacher and Media Specialist will work with the students to evaluate the work the students have done and ensure that the task was completed correctly and there is not anything else the students need to do before turning it in. The students will also compile their information to begin creating presentation.

Day 5 Lesson Plan: Technology Used to Observe the Moon and Earth

Course of Study:

SCOS 3.14 Describe the position of Earth, the moon, and the sun during the course of a day or month. Describing various forms of technology used in observing Earth and its moon.

ELACOS 3.31 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

ELACOS 3.34 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

TCOS 3-5.12 Create a product using digital tools.

Educational Goal: Complete unit with 80% mastery.

Instructional Objective: At the end of five 45 minute class periods, students will have learned the eight phases of the moon and the season that the phases are associated with to 80% accuracy and will complete an informational Educreations project about a chosen piece of technology that can be used to observe the Earth and Moon according to the specifications of a provided rubric.

Material Needed: Post Test, research from previous days, pencils, computer with Internet access

Before (20 min)

Explain to the students that today they will take a test on the information learned at the end of the class period. After they take their test they will divide back into their groups to complete their Educreations projects.

During (20 min)

Students will present their presentations to the class. The teacher will facilitate a discussion about the different types of technology presented.

After (5 min)

The teacher will review the information previously added to the KWL chart and will add any new information learned. The students will complete their assessment.

Feedback and Evaluation

The teacher and media specialist will conduct the unit evaluation together. They will meet for about 30 minutes within a week of completing the unit to note strengths and weaknesses and evaluate the unit for future use. Throughout the unit, they will both takes notes on any strengths or weaknesses they see throughout each lesson. The following questions will be used to evaluate the unit.


1. Was the unit organized in a logical progression for the students?

2. Could the unit be more creative or engaging for the students?

3. Was the unit detailed enough?

4. Were the objectives met through the lessons used?

5. Were the handouts clear and direct for the students?

6. Did the students have a chance to apply the skills they learned?

7. Did the unit include all the materials needed to teach it?

8. Was the timeline appropriate? Does the timeline need to be adjusted?

9. Were the students engaged at all times?

10. Did students work in groups well together?

11. Was the pre-assessment and post-assessment accurate? Do any changes need to be made?

12. Were all learning styles met? How could the lessons be adjusted to better meet all learning styles?

Summary of Instruction

Overall this unit was really enjoyed by the students. The team concluded that this unit was not only enjoyed by the students, but that it was a very educational unit.


The objective of this unit was to have the students master with 80% accuracy or better their knowledge of the phases of the moon, and the technology that we use to observe the moon and the earth. Students were also expected during this lesson to practice their researching skills. The majority of the students showed significant growth in their knowledge of the subject when comparing their pre and post assessments. Out of a class of 17 students 15 mastered the post test assessment which gave the class 90% mastery.


The research assessment was the Educreations presentations the class did in groups. 80% mastery was expected from the research presented in the presentations. The groups had to refer to the presentation rubric to complete this assignment. The groups did very well with this project. The learning styles inventory that was completed on the first day of the unit was used to group students with similar learning styles. This proved effective as the groups worked very well together to complete their presentations. The class was able to achieve 100% mastery of their research presentations.


The students achieved at a much higher level on this unit than they have on other units throughout the year. This high level of achievement by the students can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of the media specialist and the teacher. The team concluded that future lessons should be planned and implemented to result in this high level of student achievement.

Content Analysis Cluster

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Explanation of Content Analysis Cluster

For our content analysis, the design team chose the cluster format. We began by deciding on the topic of Solar System with an emphasis on Earth, the Sun, Earth’s moon, moon phases, and technology uesd to observe the Moon. The emphasized parts were chosen based on the Alabama Science Course of Study for third grade. Use of the content analysis cluster provides for a visual breakdown of the skills/concepts that will be addressed in the unit.

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