Virtual Labs Lesson Plan: Acidifying Salsa
Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
In this Virtual Labs lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students use an online interactive game to learn about food science lab equipment, proper sampling techniques, and how adjusting a food’s acidity can keep it safe.
Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Grade: 06, 07, 08
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Grade: 06, 07, 08
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Grade: 06, 07, 08
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
- Use an online lab module (virtual lab) to explore food science lab equipment.
- Identify standard techniques for sampling.
- Explain how adjusting a food's acidity can keep it safe.
Preparation:This lesson plan utilizes an NMSU interactive virtual lab called Acidifying Salsa. Through the virtual lab, students will explore proper sampling techniques and learn how adjusting a food’s acidity can keep it safe. Virtual Labs – Acidifying Salsa familiarizes students with food science lab equipment and teaches standard techniques for sampling. The interactive animation guides students through theory and practice of adjusting pH so they will have familiarity with the equipment and procedures when encountered in a real lab.
- Play the Acids and Bases or Food Safety movie for the class, depending on your learning objectives.
- Discuss how adding acidic ingredients affects food sources. Guide students to understand that doing so can protect food from dangerous toxins produced by organisms like C. botulinum, which is a common and harmless microbe in the environment but deadly when sealed with food in a jar.
- Project the Acidifying Salsa virtual lab for the class to see. Have student volunteers complete the first part of the interactive as you help them make connections to prior learning and learn how to utilize the interactive.
- Provide 10-15 minutes for students to complete the interactive on their own computer. Alternatively, you can have students work with a partner.
- If possible, allow students to conduct a similar chemistry investigation in the science lab.