Lesson 3
Part 1

Just Passing Through: Designing Model Membranes

Exploring Membranes (1) / Grade 4 / Fall River, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Just Passing Through: Designing Model Membranes, L3 Part 1

Students explore properties of natural membranes and test the performance of several model membrane materials.

Reflection Questions

In what ways do you see Jean relating the properties of membranes to students' prior knowledge?

Jean guides students to think about what they learned in the storybook, and discusses membranes students are familiar with in their own bodies. 

  • Jean asks if students remember what Juan Daniel learned about membranes. A student reminds his classmates that the membrane let air and water in, but kept dirt and harmful things out. (0:56)
  • After talking about how all living things have basic needs, Jean asks students to make some guesses about how their stomach membrane might help them meet basic needs. (1:41)
  • Jean tells students that today they're going to look at raisins and think about the outside of the raisins as a membrane "just like the frog skin or our stomach lining." Later, she links the tiny holes in membranes to the pores in our skin. (2:06 and 7:37)

At first, there is a high level of disagreement in the class about whether sand passed through the raisin membrane. How do you see Jean addressing this discord?

Jean ends up giving students time to conduct a second investigation to double check their results. 

  • Jean suggests students might want to do another experiment and wash the raisins very carefully before they cut into them. (12:28)
  • Some students do think they see sand inside the raisins. Abby's group shares that they do not think the sand would have gone through, since the sand wouldn't meet a basic need of the raisin. (10:42)
  • The next day Jean's class did an additional experiment, washing the sand off of the raisins and then cutting into them. More students were able to see that the sand did not pass through the membranes. (16:01)