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Help Students Meet NGSS Performance Expectations

Discover the Power of One Step’s Climate Science 5E Lesson Plans

Take a look at how all One Step lessons, projects, and experiments employ all 5Es and help teachers address NGSS performance expectations.

One Step lessons include student-led experiments, projects, and research tailored for grades 4–12.

Within each lesson, students may be asked to design an experiment testing a claim, analyze data, and then debate the implications with their peers. To further deepen their learning, they may also be asked to create a model to understand a scientific phenomena, research a scientific premise, make a presentation about the environmental impacts of an industry, or engineer a device to solve a problem in their community—among many other instructional prompts! One Step lessons include embedded teacher supports, such as “To Prepare” notes that include a list of materials and steps for teachers to complete before beginning the lesson. Instructional notes are also embedded throughout each lesson plan and include potential student responses, misconceptions, and guidance.

One Step Focus Skills Embedded Within NGSS Performance Expectations

  • Asking Questions & Defining Problems
  • Using Mathematics & Computational Thinking
  • Developing & Using Models
  • Constructing Explanations & Designing Solutions
  • Planning & Carrying Out Investigations
  • Engaging in Arguments from Evidence
  • Analyzing & Interpreting Data
  • Obtaining, Evaluating & Communicating Information

One Step Lesson Plans Follow the 5E Instructional Flow









One Step lessons assess students’ prior knowledge and engage their curiosity about a topic through short learning activities. These learning activities focus on an event, phenomenon, object, or situation. They will also help organize student thinking towards the desired learning outcomes and can often uncover student misconceptions that should be addressed in later parts of the lesson. By the end of this section, students’ interests should be piqued, and they should be actively invested in producing a thoughtful response that answers the questions posed by the event, phenomenon, object, or situation.


Example: Students observe a plastic bottle that has a large water balloon inside and discuss this “science mystery” in small groups: “How do you think it’s possible to get a water balloon inside the bottle without breaking the balloon? Write or draw an explanation for how you think it happened.”











One Step lessons provide time for students to investigate, explore, and make meaning of the topic at hand. These activities, including research challenges and experiments, provide common, concrete experiences for students, which will give them a solid foundation of understanding. The teacher plays the role of a facilitator; by the end of this section students should be ready to share observations and patterns with their peers as practice in making meaning and constructing explanations.

OCEANS, Grades 4–5

Example: After students observe how carbon dioxide impacts the pH of water, students are asked to set up an experiment to determine how the altered water impacts organisms that have calcium carbonate shells. Students use vinegar, water, and chicken eggshells in their experiment, record their findings in a provided lab notebook, then infer what the results tell them about marine organisms with shells.










One Step lessons build understanding through challenging students to explain their findings and observations. This section provides an opportunity for teachers to directly introduce scientific concepts students may have grappled with in the engagement and exploration activities, and to address any misconceptions. By the end of this section, students should be able to explain how scientific concepts influence these activities.

FOSSIL FUELS, Grades 6–8

Example: After watching a One Step video about fossil fuels, students debate the meaning and relevance of the following quote from Van Jones: “If we keep pulling death from the ground, we will reap death from the skies.” Students then explore an interactive map of coal fields to understand more about the distribution of fossil fuels.










One Step lessons challenge students to extend their learning goals by applying what they’ve learned in a new situation or context. By the end of this section, students will have deepened their understanding of learning goals and can demonstrate the ability to generalize concepts and/or skills.


Example: After engineering a product that utilizes plastic waste, students are challenged to create a “pitch” for their product that they might present to future investors, including a demo of their product prototype.










One Step lessons include ways to evaluate students’ progress towards their learning goals, and methods to help students reflect on their learning. Learning activities in this section might include a poster presentation, a classroom debate, or a written explanation of a concept or model. One Step provides suggested rubrics to support teachers in evaluating learning.


Example: After creating a greenhouse effect model and analyzing data about atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, solar irradiance, and fossil fuel emissions, students write a claim with evidence and reasoning that answers the question “Is the greenhouse effect mostly due to human activities or nature?”

Ready-Made Climate Education Lesson Plans

One Step is a video-based program for grades 4–12 focused on climate science, environmental issues, and sustainability, and is correlated to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Interested in learning more about how One Step can support your school or district? Schedule a Demo!