lesson consists of four segments: Launching the Lesson, Conducting the
Lesson, Assessing Student Understanding of the Lesson, and Extending
the Lesson. This is a two-day lesson. Activities each day should take
approximately 45 minutes.
Launching the Lesson
This segment of the lesson can be used to capture students' interest
and provide a preview of the main lesson. It is best conducted in a
community area, such as the class rug.
Start the lesson by displaying magazine photographs of people’s eyes.
Ask students to share ways that eyes are different from person to
person. Be prepared for students to share disabilities, such as blindness or a glass eye. Accept all appropriate responses.
Emphasize that no two people’s eyes are the same and that eye color is
one way eyes can differ. Ask if anyone knows what the colored part of
the eye is called iris.
Next, have the students brainstorm the different eye colors. Students
may give answers other than blue, brown, and green, such as black or
red. Explain that all eyes are a variant of blue, brown, or green
although they may reflect other colors (i.e. red-eye in photographs). List the three colors on chart paper for student reference.
Tell the students that they will be collecting data on eye color.
Encourage students to pose questions they might answer with this data.
Record all the questions students generate. For example, questions may
- What color is the most common among the class?
- What is the most common color for boys?
- What is the most common color for girls?
Eye Color Graph Overhead
Place the Eye Color Graph in the front of the classroom with glue
sticks. Inform students that they will use this graph to organize
information about their eye color. Distribute the Eye Color Activity Sheet.
Eye Color Activity Sheet
Instruct students to color in their eye color, cut out the eye,
and paste it in the correct row on the Eye Color Graph when they are
finished. Circulate around the classroom with the mirror so that
students can determine their eye color.
Share data with the class. Discuss which of the student-generated
questions can be answered with the data. Ask students if they could
reorganize the data to answer other questions. For example, to
answer the questions a)What is the most common color for boys? b)What
is the most common color for girls? the class could have made one graph
for boys and one graph for girls. Ask students if there are any other questions they could answer with the data. How many more students have brown eyes than green eyes?
Explain that each student will be matched up with another student
from a participating class of the same grade. They will be collecting
data on the eye color of that student. They will repeat the data
collection process used previously. Using the list of all the questions
formulated the day before, the class should decide on one question that
will be used to guide the collection of data. Solicit student input to
create a graph that organizes the data to answer the selected question.
You will have made prior arrangements with another class from your
grade to conduct this inquiry. Students will gather data on the eye
color of their partner and return to the classroom to color in the eye
color of the student they surveyed using the Eye Color Activity Sheet. After students color and cut out the eye representing
their partner, they organize their data on the appropriate graph.
Assessing Student Understanding
After everyone has had time to display the data collected, have the
students join together in a circle and discuss the data gathered from
the other class. Use the data to answer the question posed. Now you can
compare the two data sets and ask additional questions. Which class had more blue eyes? How many more did they have? Is the same eye color most common in both classes?
Ask students to summarize their findings to present, along with the
graphs from each class, to the “buddy” classroom. Use chart paper to
record the students’ summary in a class letter.