Walking Magic: An Inquiry Based Activity

 CLE 3210.5.2

This lesson engages students to discover that science is based on inquiry and discovery. Students are presented with a water strider, two containers with different solution and a tray with two compartments. Students will develop experiments to investigate and explain their observations. Through the investigations and guiding questions from the teacher, students will develop understanding of the relationship between form and functions of living things. This lesson plan allows students to make observations of water striders and helps build an understanding of the relationship between form and function in the natural environment. Extensions of the activity show how this form and function relationship can be used to develop new products (technology and engineering standards). Students will gain an introduction to way scientists think and work and will discover the excitement of science as they analyze how structures allow organisms to be successful in their environments.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3210.5.2
Analyze the relationship between form and function in living things.
GLE 0801.1.3
Understand and use correctly a variety of sentence structures.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 


  • Students will identify and develop a researchable question, collect data through conducting experiments, and formulate conclusions.
  • Students will apply the process of scientific method by developing a accurate and complete protocol. 
  • Students will be able to define liquid surface tension and the effects of decreasing it in nature

Helpful Hints


  • Water striders
  • Water
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) or any other detergent or liquid soap
  • Glass slides
  • Pipettes
  • Plastic cups, and rubber bands (Glass jars with tops that have center cut out could be
  • used as substitutes)
  • Meshes of different sizes cut to fit the tops or to cover the cups
  • Small rulers and protractors
  • Tubs, or large containers
  • Presentation materials