How Things Fly

ClarisWorks Slideshow and Draw, NASM and Websites

The flight of modern aircraft utilizes forces that are studied by eighth grade students as part of the physical science curriculum. While these forces are usually studied in a ?stand alone? mode, the problem of ?How Things Fly? integrates the interplay among these forces into a more meaningful context. Each student, in groups of four, will identify one of the four major forces involved with flight - Lift, Weight, Thrust or Drag - and create a Slideshow page illustrating that force along with an explanation of its importance to flight. Students will access research materials for this project through the Smithsonian Institution?s National Air and Space Museum?s (NASM) website and its links to other relevant Internet URLs.

Bohr Models

ClarisWorks Drawing

Students will be assigned a research project on an element of their choice. Included in the research will be a cover sheet designed in the computer lab, a written report, a computerized Bohr Model using ClarisWorks Drawing Application and a bibliography. Students will be given two days in the library and two days in the computer lab.

The Great Scientists


It is important that students understand that science is not just about information, but also the people behind the information. This provides students with an opportunity to realize that scientific concepts come from the minds of people and not a machine or computer. Students are also able to see what may have prompted a scientist to come up with a certain theory or invention based upon their life experiences. This allows students to link themselves to a historical figure and get a better understanding of how the world has been affected through their exploits. This may also expose students to scientists of different ethnicities and show them how all cultures have made a significant impact on the world we live in.

Home Energy Inventory

ClairsWorks Spreadsheet

This activity is an extension of the electricity unit taught in the eighth grade. As the students study about energy conversions involved with electricity, they can also become involved in the usage of energy in their homes. After the students collect information on several home appliances, they create a spreadsheet to calculate the energy output of each individual appliance and the total energy output for all appliances. This information can then be converted from hourly usage to cost per kilowatt hour and then put into a daily or monthly cost analysis.

Black Scientists


Black scientists have played a vital role in the history of our country. However, little is known about many of them. This project is designed to give us more information about the contributions of these men and women. In order to research this topic, students will use the Internet as one of their sources.

Energy Flow in Ecosystems

ClarisWorks Drawing

Energy is defined as the ability to do work. The energy that is available to organisms in an ecosystem is trapped by plants during the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts and stores light energy from the sun in the form of a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is used by the plant to carry out its life processes. The rest of the energy is stored as carbohydrates or lipids, which are used by other organisms as food. It is important to remember that all food chains start with a producer that serves as food for herbivores. Herbivores are then eaten by carnivores or omnivores. These organisms use some of the available energy for life processes, but most of the energy is lost as body heat.

Light and Crystals
To use hydro-gel crystals in a hands-on activity to study light refraction through two media. Also, to stimulate critical thinking.

Weight & Velocity

ClarisWorks 4.0 & Assistants

In the Force, Work, and Energy Unit students learn about the factors which affect the motion of objects. This activity will help students to understand how increasing weight affects the velocity of a truck on an incline, which leads them into the study of acceleration, momentum, and Newton?s Second Law of Motion. Students will write their lab report on the computer using Claris 4.0 Word Processing and Assistants for their data table.

Friction and Newton's Three Laws of Motion

Computer with internet access, scanner, digital camera, and CD-ROM's

Students will choose a sport to communicate their understanding of friction and Newton's Three Laws of Motion. As a culminating activity, they will create a six page slide show that addresses the link between the sport to friction and the Laws of Motion.

? Eight Lunar Phases, Lunar Rotation and Revolutionary Periods

Computer with internet access and multimedia software

Students will create a slide show presentation in pairs to show their knowledge of the eight lunar phases and lunar rotation and revolutionary periods by creating a ten page (minimum) slide show document.

Investigating Motion, Forces, and Energy Lab Book

Computer and material appropriate to lab choice

The students will design their own experiment following the pattern of these two labs to measure the average speed of two different objects (i.e. two different cars, balls, trucks).

Acceleration, Drag, Gravity, Motion, Forces, and Friction

Video camera or desktop video camera, camera, ClarisWorks, Windows on Science or Glencoe videodisc(s),and student-made mousetrap cars

Students make and study mousetrap cars to facilitate and apply their understanding of acceleration, drag, gravity, motion, forces, and friction.

Heat of an Unknown Metal

Students will make a calorimeter to determine the specific heat of an unknown metal. Standard laboratory equipment will be used as well as a calculator based laboratory (CBL). This lab can be found in the Glencoe Laboratory Manual on pages 45-48.?

A MultiMedia Project: Minorities? and? Women In Science

Computer and internet access

Lunar Cycles

Computer with internet access

Students will access websites to research, collect and analyze information about Lunar Cycles.

Climate/Dust Bowl Cross-curricular with English)

Computer with internet access

Students will read the novel Out Of the Dust in English classes. They will select a topic pertaining to the Dust Bowl with a partner; research the topic on the Internet and save to a disc; prepare a slide show; and present their slide show with narrative to a selected group.

Student created topic review multimedia slide show

Inspiration software, ClarisWorks slide show, Review notebook concept and review sheets, review book "Concepts in ..." Glencoe Life Science and Physical Science CD-ROMs (Optional: Grolier's and Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Science)

Science Related Career

Internet, Virginia View, Career Center, Job-O dictionary

A written pamphlet and an oral presentation will be the culminating product of this project that involves student research of a sicence related career.

A Multimedia Presentation to Describe Newton's Laws of Motion

Glencoe Textbook Ch-3 and Ch-4 (prerequisite reading), Computer Lab, Scanner, Digital Camera, magazines to cut up, science references, and one of the following programs: Claris Works, HyperStudio, MS PowerPoint, or FileMaker HomePage

Students will create a multimedia presentation to clearly describe Newton's Laws of Motion.

Study of Gravity Scientists

Computer with internet access

Students will investigate the contributions of scientists to the modern understanding of gravity. Students will place major scientific contributions of scientists who studied gravity on a time line that they create.?

Motion Through the Ages

Computer with internet access

Three Classes of Levers

Students will create a slide show presentation depicting the three classes of levers.

Best Science Lesson Plans

The Internet has changed the way many science teachers teach their classes. There is such a large amount of information available right at your fingertips that coming up with new lesson plans for science is not difficult. Many teachers are willing to share what they have done, and many educational institutes have science lesson plans available for free. With a small amount of research science teachers can have a class that will keep both the students and the teacher interested and engaged.


Chemistry lesson plans can include everything from learning the periodic table of elements to learning the different properties of matter. There is an extremely wide range of experiments that can be used in class. The experiments can range from using everyday products that the students would find in their own homes, to using the Internet to help them make observations. Using science lessons that engage the kids will keep them wanting more.

Middle School Science Several chemistry lesson plans including an introduction to the scientific method, and graphing.

Chemistry Links to chemistry lesson plans. Activities include the study of matter, chemical reactions, and acids and bases.

Chemistry Lesson Plans A variety of lesson plans for all ages.

States of Matter Activities and lessons for teaching states of matter. Website also offers other chemistry lessons.

Chemistry Pages An extensive list of chemistry lesson plans.

Teachnology Chemistry lesson plans covering several different chemistry topics.

Middle School Chemistry A large list of chemistry lesson plans for middle school science students.

Chemistry Pages Chemistry experiments and lesson plans from start to finish.


Most middle school students think that oceanography is just about what is in the ocean, but a unit on oceanography will teach them that there is much more to it. Science lessons on oceanography can include a unit on El Nino, and tsunamis, along with life in the ocean. Science lessons plans for students who live near the ocean can include local issues. It may also be interesting for them to learn about what they can do to help various species in the ocean.

Oceanography Oceanography lessons for many ages including middle school science students.

National Geographic Lesson plans to show the life and habitats in the ocean.

Oceanography Lesson Plans A list of lesson plans for all ages including middle school. These cover many different aspects of oceanography and sea life.

Oceans Two lesson plans for oceans. One will show how ocean temperatures vary, and the other is about exploring currents.

Ocean Habitats Learn about the Intertidal Zone and the challenges for the organisms that live there.

Cool Classroom A group of Internet-based lessons to learn about oceanography.

Seaworld Classroom activities from Sea World.

Atmosphere and Weather

A unit on the weather can really test the student’s observation skills. It is easy to incorporate a science lesson plan on weather into their everyday lives. Learning about the atmosphere will also help them to see the different climates around the world, and how they may be different from where they live. This unit can also be tied in with a unit on oceanography.

Climate Discovery Lesson plans about the climate past and present along with how the sun affects the Earth.

Geology Lesson plans for teachers to show different weather concepts such as cloud formation, how to prepare for storms, and how lightning occurs.

Discovery Education Several lesson plans focusing on the weather, storms, and how to build a weather station.

The Atmosphere A detailed description of a lesson plan about the atmosphere.

Beyond Books A large list of lessons about earth sciences including several sections on the weather.

Atmospheric Science Lessons on how the sun and the atmosphere affect the climate on the earth.

Weather A lesson plan to learn general information about the weather.

Meteorology Middle school students find out the day in the life of a meteorologist.

Earth Storm Meteorology and weather lessons.


Since biology covers such a wide range of topics these science lessons can vary. Since student tend to learn better when they are using hands on activities, incorporating these types of lesson plans will ensure their success. Biology can be about our senses, making mold grow on Jell-O, and even dissecting a frog virtually using the Internet. Using a wide range of science lesson plans will help keep them engaged throughout the unit.

Biology Lesson Plans A list of biology lesson plans for several different grades including middle school.

Lesson Plans A list of lesson plans for teaching biology.

Biology Plant and animal biology lesson plans.

The Educators Reference Desk Biology lesson plans for several different age groups.

Teachers Network Lesson plans that cover a variety of different biology topics.

Biology Index An extensive list of lesson plans for several different age groups.

The Monarch Butterfly All about the monarch butterfly for several different age groups.


Science lessons in Astronomy can give the students an opportunity to use the Internet to observe the solar system. It can also give them an opportunity to observe the sky at home and bring the information back to school. NASA is a great resource for astronomy lessons. Incorporating real life observations with virtual lessons will give them a good base of knowledge.

Science Class Astronomy lesson plans from a former science teacher.

Amazing Space Tools and lessons for teaching everything about space and the planets.

Astronomy Classroom Activities A list of links to astronomy lesson plans along with many other astronomy resources.

Astronomy Lesson Plans Earth and space science lesson plans developed by teachers. These cover several different age groups with several targeted to middle school students.

The Science Queen This site includes a large number of resources for all aspects of science including a list of resources that can be used for astronomy.

Astro Education Activities and lesson plans from the Cornell University Astronomy Department.

Astronomy with A Stick Tracking shadows and how it relates to the Sun and the Earth.