SAVY 2019: Session 6, Day 2 – Matter Mysteries (Rising 1st/2nd)
Hello SAVY parents! Day 2 of Matter Mysteries was very engaging and exciting as we dived right into learning the roles and responsibilities of a scientist. We became scientists as we practiced the following scientific skills and processes:
*Design and conduct experiments.
*Tell others what was found.
We started the morning by discussing what students knew about the characteristics of a scientist. Students used the Frayer Model of Vocabulary Development to define the term scientist and apply their knowledge by generating examples and non-examples. Students were able to list the essential characteristics of a scientist and obtain a more in depth meaning of the term “scientist”. Students learned about the suffix “ist” and that this suffix means “a person who.” The students were eager to give me many examples of various types of scientist and what they studied. For example, students told me that a meteorologist is someone who studies the weather. I was impressed to see the list of names that the students provided of the different types of scientists as well as their ability to use scientific language to describe the subject matter that each scientist studied. Finally, we learned how to become scientist by listening to the book What is a Scientist, By Barbara Lehn.
Our next lesson was an introduction to matter. It began with the students taking several items provided to them and putting them into categories of their choice using their five senses. This allowed students to use the skills of observing, classifying, and analyzing. Every group developed very distinctive categories and were allowed to defend their categories by explaining how they decided group their items. Next, I placed a T-chart on the board with one column labeled “Made of Matter” and the other column labeled “Not Made of Matter.” The “Not Made of Matter” column was not as easy to complete so I gave students some non-examples of matter to assist them in their thinking.
A huge discussion about whether or not air was matter lead me right into one of my experiments for the day. In the first experiment, I took a paper towel and pushed it to the bottom of a glass so it wouldn’t fall out. Next, I asked students to make predictions about whether or not the paper towel would get wet if I completely submerged the glass under water? Most students predicted that the paper towel would be wet. I turned the glass upside down and to the student’s surprise they noticed the paper towel did not get wet at all. In this experiment I was able to demonstrate to students that air is everywhere even though we can not see it. The air within the glass produced air pressure and prevented the paper towel from getting wet. I loved seeing the looks on their faces when I conducted this experiment.
The second experiment I conducted to demonstrate that air is everywhere was by placing a balloon inside of a Gatorade bottle. I hooked the mouth of the balloon over the outside of the bottle and pushed the balloon to the inside of the bottle. Then I asked students whether or not I would be able to blow the balloon up while inside the Gatorade bottle. After several unsuccessful attempts to inflate the balloon while in the bottle I finally had a student to tell me air was taking up the space inside the bottle preventing the balloon from becoming inflated. When asked how to get air into the balloon one student was able to explain how I needed to puncture the bottle to allow the air to escape and provide a space for the balloon to inflate. What a way to think like a scientist!
Other activities included a sort activity where students discussed the properties of various items and sorted them into the columns: solid, liquid, and gas. Students also received three plastic mystery eggs where they had to use their senses to try and determine what type of matter was inside each egg.
I’m definitely proud of how the students used their scientific skills to investigate and how they wrote in their lab notebooks the things learned about matter today. Thank you for a great day here at summer SAVY! I look forward to another great day of becoming a scientist as we learn to apply the Wheel of Scientific Investigation and Reasoning.