#72 Intermediate Lentil Science (grades 3-6)

Regular price $51.25

Perfect-bound 136-page book with 58 job cards, PLUS intermediate support kit.
Integrated science, math, art, language and social studies, further deepen concepts and skills in a box of lentils. An entire year of learning through imagination and play. Children gain understanding as they are developmentally able. With our book you also receive our complete support kit: WE SUPPLY a job box with all assorted plastic vials cut to correct sizes (you apply labels), baby food jars, sifting screens, bottle connector, magnets, bottle caps, BBs, craft sticks, test tube, counting grid and scoop. YOU SUPPLY lentils, bean mix, assorted containers, liter bottles, plus other recyclables and simple materials.

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Click here for a complete list of materials and convenient shopping. Key: When stated, quantities estimate amounts you need to supply a single learning station set up in the corner of your classroom or home. Click here for a printable pdf Quick Start Guide which lists materials and set up needed for each chapter.


Items included in support kit:

Baby food jars: small (2 1/2 oz), medium (4 oz), and large (6 oz) sizes. These are also labeled 1st, 2nd and 3rd foods, respectively, under the Gerber's brand.
8 oz. mayonnaise jar
Assorted plastic vials (see Quick Start Guide for sizes, can also be ordered separately - see below)
40 bottle caps
6x6 inch piece of 1/4 inch hardware cloth (wire screen)
6x6 inch piece of 1/8 inch hardware cloth (wire screen)
4 magnets
30 BB's
60 craft sticks
Double lid or bottle connector
Test tube
One Job Box: a corrugated cardboard box, about 19 x 14 x 3 inches, commonly supplied by nurseries to carry potted plants. Seamless bottom is highly desirable. Other trays or containers with similar dimensions also work.
Counting grid
Scoop (made out of a quart or pint milk carton)


Recyclables and special materials not included in support kit. Starred* items may be purchased individually (see below).:

4 pounds lentils
4 pounds lentils
Bag of pinto beans or sort 75 pintos out of bean mix
Bag of bean mix (15 or 16 bean variety soup mix)
Medium can (15-16 oz.)
Quart milk carton
2 half-liter bottles with lids
5 one-liter bottles with lids
3 one pound margarine tubs
Medium jar lid, like you can find on a quart mayonnaise jar
2 paper towel tube or other cardboard tube about 11 inches long
10 pennies
Straight pin
Hand lens
Butcher paper, 3 feet by 5 feet
Funnel made from a 1- or 2-liter plastic beverage bottle
Two wood blocks (2x4's cut to 15 inches long, or substitute with 4 bricks or other prop)
Three rocks and cardboard templates
* 12 clear plastic cups (10 oz, tall, tapered cups)
* 10 clothespins
* Paper plate
* Canning ring
* Film canister
Optional items:
A box and a brick. (Serves as an optional storage cabinet for student folders.)
* 3 film canisters with snap-on lids, or equivalent. (used for storage of smaller items)
Quart jar (used for storing bean mix)
5 one-gallon jugs (used for storage)
Lab coats (recycle old white shirts)


Teacher student supplies to have on hand. (Most of these are used in preparing student materials) Starred* items may be purchased individually (see below):

Blank paper (recycle the back sides unused photocopies)
Index cards (4 x 6 inches)
A paper punch tool
A pair of quality scissors
A pair of blunt student scissors
A stapler
A bottle of white glue
Crayons, colored markers, and colored pencils
Clear 2-inch packaging tape
* Electrical tape
* Clear tape
* A roll of masking tape
* Box of paper clips
* 30 Medium rubber bands
Assorted tools needed for those who purchase only the book without the support kit: hacksaw; toenail scissors with a curved pointed blade; wire cutters or shears.
  • job card 1: To experimentally compare volumes by pouring lentils from one container into another. To order containers by size from largest to smallest.
  • job card 2: To draw containers, both top and side views, to actual size. To compare diameters and heights.
  • job card 3: To compare volumes by pouring lentils. To express inequalities as written equations.
  • job card 4: To decide by experiment if various combinations of containers hold more, less, or equal volumes. To discover and record equalities involving addition and subtraction.
  • job card 5: To understand addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in terms of pouring lentils. To discover and record equalities.
  • job card 6: To explore relationships between 4 containers that have been redefined in terms of a unit volume. To discover and record simple algebraic sums.
  • job card 7: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about comparing volumes. To encourage creativity (like writing a symbol story).
  • B/ SEARCH:
  • job card 1: To catch "pinto fish' by hand and by net over ten-second intervals. To record the characteristic decline of a nonrenewed resource.
  • job card 2: To understand the dynamics of a renewable resource. To maximize fish catches with wise management.
  • job card 3: To design 10 rabbits well suited to survive in a lentil habitat. To test your design against natural selection.
  • job card 4: To sort a mix of seeds by size using a screen.
  • job card 5: To search for BB's among the lentils in creative and inventive ways.
  • job card 6: To fish for paper clips buried in a coordinate grid. To practice plotting ordered pairs.
  • job card 7: To develop basic orienteering skills.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about searching through lentils (like finding odd looking seeds).
  • job card 1: To fill the same volume with different amounts of lentils. To recognize that lentils compress.
  • job card 2: To pour lentils between 6 different measuring containers. To express equivalent volumes as equations.
  • job card 3: To mark and label a liter bottle with six kinds of measure: quarts, tubs, pints, cups, half cups and third cups.
  • job card 4: To measure the length, width and height of a job box in centimeters, inches, and lentils.
  • job card 5: To measure the area of the inside surfaces of a job box, in square centimeters, square lentils, and square inches.
  • job card 6: To measure the volume of boxes in cubic centimeters, cubic lentils and cubic inches.
  • job card 7: To graph the distribution of lentils dropped on a target. To see a relationship between variables.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about measuring (like creating a new set of volumes).
  • D/ DESIGN:
  • job card 1: To model a variety of geographic features in a lentil box.
  • job card 2: To model, draw and write about a wonderful wilderness landscape. To exercise creativity and imagination.
  • job card 3: To model and map a landscape with geographic reference points.
  • job card 4: To lay out a city grid in logical order. To practice giving directions in terms of right and left, cardinal points and street names.
  • job card 5: To lay out Lentilville beyond the walls of the job box. To understand the logic of street addresses, and complete a city map.
  • job card 6: To plan and map an unincorporated area near Lentilville to scale. To cooperate, compromise, negotiate, balance competing interests, experience trade-offs, and problem solve.
  • job card 7: To develop a series of drawings that represent incremental change over time. To sequence these drawings into a flip-chart movie.
  • job card 8: To explore the properties of an hourglass. To develop a sense of time measured in seconds.
  • job card 9: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about design. To encourage creativity (like creating lentil patterns).
  • E/ DIVIDE:
  • job card 1: To discover simple multiple relationships within "families" of fractions. To experience equality between reduced and unreduced fractions.
  • job card 2: To multiply and add fractions by pouring lentils. To solve equations by thinking with brains and hands.
  • job card 3: To test for equalities, inequalities, and unknowns by pouring and comparing volumes. To problem-solve mentally and experimentally.
  • job card 4: To review and consolidate a knowledge of fractions. To observe carefully.
  • job card 5: To label divisions on a ruler in fractions with different denominators. To use these rulers to estimate volumes and divide lengths.
  • job card 6: To pour fractional portions of lentils into a whole cup and record the levels. To notice patterns.
  • job card 7: To represent fractions by dividing circles with a protractor, and shading some of the parts. To extend the concept of fractions to area.
  • job card 8: To create fractions, predict sums, verify by pouring them together, and record the resulting equation.
  • job card 9: To measure fractional portions of lentils in a whole cup by height and by volume.
  • job card 10: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about dividing (like relabeling volumes with common denominators).
  • job card 1: To create calibrated rulers that divide a liter bottle into fractional parts.
  • job card 2: To create calibrated rulers that divide a half-liter bottle into fractional parts.
  • job card 3: To calibrate a liter bottle in cups and half cups. To design an attractive label.
  • job card 4: To calibrate and graph a liter bottle in baby-food-jar increments of different size.
  • job card 5: To calibrate and graph a half-liter bottle in baby-food-jars and fraction cups of different size.
  • job card 6: To generate data tables, plot ordered pairs, and graph results.
  • job card 7: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about calibrating and graphing volumes (like calibrating a measuring cup).
  • job card 1: To count the number of lentils in a bottle cap by forming an array on a wire grid. To find the mode, median, or mean in a group of numbers.
  • job card 2: To estimate number by sampling a constant volume. To experience experimental uncertainty and work to minimize it.
  • job card 3: To calibrate 1/6 cup in 100-lentil increments. To confirm the accuracy of these calibrations by different methods of counting and estimating.
  • job card 4: To calculate the number of lentils in large and small volumes, based on an estimate of 500 lentils in 1/6 cup. To confirm the accuracy of these calculations in smaller volumes by actual count.
  • job card 5: To explore number patterns. To experience exponential doubling.
  • job card 6: To explore number patterns. To experience exponential halving.
  • job card 7: To estimate the number of lentils in a smaller volume, and extend that estimate to a larger volume.
  • job card 8: To construct a one-inch cube and estimate how many lentils it holds. To use this information to calculate the volume and lentil capacity of the Job Box.
  • job card 9: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about estimating (like estimating how many lentils fill a room).

How does Get a Grip (GG) compare with Lentil Science (LS)?

  • 1. You can use these programs in either order without repetition. However, we recommend that you start with GG, then expand into LS.
  • 2. Both programs employ a box of silky, swooshy lentils to inspire hands-on, sandbox-style learning. Lentils don't produce clouds of dust like rice does, they are easy to sweep up, and if escapees are encountered by bare feet, they don't hurt.
  • 3. GG is a more narrowly focused problem-solving program concentrating on math and science. LS has a broader scope and sequence, mixing in creative writing, art, social studies and invention, and using a broader range of manipulatives.
  • 4. GG is ready to go out of the box, while LS requires significant teacher preparation time.  Click here for a printable pdf Quick Start Guide which lists materials and set up needed for each chapter. 
  • 5. Both programs use similar sets of labeled containers for pouring and measuring. GG containers are calibrated for in-depth work with fractions and decimals. These do work in LS activities, but the uncalibrated LS containers won't work with GG puzzles.
  • 6. Both GG and LS accommodate K-6 skill levels. LS is further divided into primary (K-3) and intermediate (3-6) books.
  • 7. GG Puzzle Books are self-checking, allowing students to quickly become independent learners. LS Job Cards are more open-ended, creating divergent learning opportunities that require greater teacher management and supervision.
  • 8. GG and LS are both wonderful ways for kids to play and learn. Which is what they do anyway. So why not run with it?
National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996)

TEACHING Standards

These Job Cards promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: ...guide and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: ...design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)


CONTENT Standards

These Job Cards contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
• Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
• Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
• Have rich explanatory power.
• Guide fruitful investigations.
• Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
• Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
• Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.


Unifying Concepts and Processes

NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization • Evidence, models and explanation • Constancy, change, and measurement • Evolution and equilibrium • Form and function
Core Concepts/Processes: Abstract mathematical process and scientific explanation have concrete representation in a box of lentils. Mechanical manipulation and conceptual understandings mutually reinforce each other.


Science as Inquiry (content standard A)

NSES Framework: Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. • Design and conduct a scientific investigation. • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. • Think critically and logically to connect evidence and explanations. • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. • Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Core Inquiries: Open, playful inquiry into science, math, social studies, language and art inside a box of lentils.

Physical Science (content standard B)

NSES Framework: Properties of objects and materials • Position and motion of objects
Core Content: Comparing and computing with volumes.

Life Science (content standard C)

NSES Framework: Organisms and environments
Core Content: Camouflage, adaptation and resource management.

Science and Technology (content standard E)

NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design • Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: Imagination and invention in a box of lentils.

History and Nature of Science (content standard G)

NSES Framework: Science as a human endeavor • Nature of science • History of science
Core Content: Sidestep ego barriers to learning by allowing students to roleplay famous scientists of the past and present.