- Fifth Grade
- 95 minutes
Eye love science! This lesson will help your students understand the parts of the eye that work together to make us visualize the different colors, shapes, and textures of objects around us.
Students will be able to identify and label the parts of the eye. Students will be able to define the role of each part of the eye.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- To begin the lesson, have your students close their eyes, and imagine a world without sight. Great discussion questions include: What would the world be like without sight? What would you miss seeing? What are some things that sight allows us to do?
- Explain that without our eyes, the world as we each knew it would seem like a very different place. Although our eyes are small, they each have different parts that work together to allow each of us to see.
- Tell your students that today, they will be learning about 7 important parts of the eye: pupil, iris, sclera, cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- To activate students' prior knowledge, ask some questions to gauge what they already know about parts of the eye. Great questions include: Which part determines the color of our eyes? What is the black dot at the center of our eyes called?
- Display a poster size picture of the eye on the whiteboard.
- Ask a few student volunteers to come to the front of the classroom and label the different parts of the eye. If you'd like to encourage your students to make educated guesses, you can use sticky notes to as "labels" that can be moved if necessary.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (30 minutes)
- Once students have made their guesses, correctly label the pupil, iris, sclera, cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve on the poster.
- Instruct your class to write down the parts of the eye in their notebooks or on a sheet of lined paper. They will be writing down notes during your class discussion about the different parts of the eye.
Discuss the roles of each part of the eye with your students. Be sure to give them a chance to make educated guesses about the function each part plays. Once your discussion is over, students should have been told the following information about parts of the eye:
- Pupil: The pupil is the black hole in the eye, which takes in light and allows a person to focus on an object in their line of vision.
- Iris: The iris is responsible for giving the eye its color. The iris also shrinks the pupil when it is bright, and widens the pupil when it is dark. Demonstrate how this works by turning on and off your classroom lights, and having students record how they feel their eyes change.
- Sclera: The sclera is the white part of the eye, which protects the inside of the eye and allows people to move their eyes to find objects.
- Cornea: The cornea is the outer covering of the eye, which protects and prevents harmful substances from entering the eye.
- Lens: The lens sits behind the pupil, and it allows the eye to change shape so it can focus on the object that the pupil takes in. Pass around a camera and ask students to focus on the black hole to take a picture. Explain that the lens is similar to the lens of the camera that we look at while taking a picture.
- Retina: The retina is in the back of the eye and contains rods and cones. The rods let us see black and white and the cones let us see color.
- Optic Nerve: The optic nerve transfers the visual information from the back of the eye to the brain.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Give each student seven index cards.
- Instruct your class to create "parts of the eye" flashcards, by putting the part and a picture of it on the front of the card, and the function and description of the eye part on the back of the card. to put the part and a picture of it on the front of the card. One card should be done for each part of the eye.
- Walk around the classroom to help students who may be struggling with creating their flashcards.
- Enrichment: Instruct your students to research why our eyes get puffy when we cry. Instruct your students to write a paragraph explaining what they found. Instruct your students to share their findings with the class.
- Support: Invite your students to the back of the class. Ask your students to draw two columns on a sheet of paper. Ask your students to write information about each part of the eye that they know in the first column. Skim through their work and re-explain concepts with examples that are not covered. Ask your students to write what they learned from the review in the second column. Skim through their work and explain any concepts that are missing.
Assessment (15 minutes)
- Pass out a copy of The Eye worksheet to each student.
- Instruct them to write the function of each part next to its number on The Eye worksheet.
Review and Closing (15 minutes)
- Instruct your students to write down at least five things that they would not be able to do without their vision.
- Ask each student to share at least one thing with the class.