Summer SAVY 2017, Session 5/Day 2- What’s the Matter (Rising 1st)
Today was a wonderful second day in our What’s the Matter course! We were very busy today with lots of hands-on investigations. We began our day reading two books, Ada Twist, Scientist and 14 Experiments That Failed. We reviewed some important things that scientists do and how important it is to never give up. Next, students recorded their findings from yesterday’s experiment and we talked about the conclusions. Students noticed that the oil, water and blue dye mixture looked the same as it did in the beginning of the experiment yesterday. This gave me an open opportunity to talk to students about the importance of doing the same experiment more than once, to validate the findings.
Next, students donned their” lab coats”, and we began to conduct two more experiments with the same ingredients, oil, water and food dye, to model variables and to guide students to recognize that oil and water don’t mix. We did experiment A using a blue ice cube that was placed in the layer of oil to observe what happened, and then we did experiment B without a blue ice cube, and we added droplets of blue dye to the oil layer. Students really enjoyed these experiments and at the conclusion of these extra experiments, they were able to compare all three experiments to realize that oil and water don’t stay mixed, but they separate.
Finally, we moved on to activities that were designed to lead students to understand what matter is and the three major states of matter (I left out plasma for now). The first activity had students working in two groups analyzing plastic eggs with unknown things in them. After I gave students the definition of matter (anything that has mass (also explained) and takes up space), students were given a task to sort the unknowns (using all senses except taste and sight), by Made of Matter, or Not Made of Matter. One of the eggs was empty on purpose and both groups placed this item under Not Made of Matter. After another sorting activity with other items (including liquids, solids and gases, but I didn’t identify them as states of matter or give any matter clues). Students again sorted by their own chosen attributes (which was amazing), once and then I asked them to sort different ways 2 more time. Finally, I intentionally handed out items to each student and asked if they could determine what they had in common. I got some perplexed looks, so I further guided students into the concepts of the three states of matter by showing them a Brain Pop short movie on the three states of matter, and then asked them to see if they could figure out what types I had given them, and then the lightbulbs went off! They realized they had solids, liquids and gases. It was wonderful to see the ah-hah moments!
Then we closed our morning by going back to the original T chart where students placed the “empty egg” on the Not Made of Matter side. I asked if they still liked this choice, and again, got a great ah-hah where students exclaimed, it has gas in it…air! We had such an invigorating morning! Vocabulary we’ve unpacked thus far includes: change, experiment, gas, hypothesis, infer, investigation, liquid, mass, matter, observation, predict, scientist, solid, and state. We are also learning how to record our experiments like a scientist. More exploration tomorrow