Fail! When science lessons go wrong

As teachers we would like to think we always write good lessons that always go as planned, but that just isn't reality. Today we had a giant fail in science. The upside? Fails don't have to mean that time was wasted or that students didn't learn. 

See this picture? This is what failure looks like. Notice both cups look the same and are doing NOTHING!! That wasn't what was supposed to happen!!

We are learning about dental health and students have been making good connections about how to care for their teeth and why. Plaque is kind of abstract for them though. I found this activity on Pinterest that looked perfect for making it more concrete for them. (See pin here)

Well it was a big fat dud. Nothing happened. I started to go into panic mode that my nicely planned lesson was a flop. Then I realized that it could still be a learning experience. We began brainstorming about why it didn't work and what else we could try.

Sadly we were never able to make this experiment work, but it was nice to hear all of the ideas and see connections from past experiments. 

While I hope you never experience the failed lesson, if you do know that it can still be a great lesson on flexibility and the process of testing a hypothesis.

Have you done this experiment? I would love to hear if (and how!) you were able to get it to work.


1 comment

  1. love it!!! I've had SOOO many fails as a teacher, but every time, we came out with SOMETHING, even if it was just a good laugh!! :)