Thursday, April 15, 2010

States of Matter Exploration

Moses really wanted his students to learn inquiry skills.  This lesson allowed them to do that!

Part 1: He brought in ice cubes and asked: What are some things we can do with this ice cube?

Students responded with:
- look at it
- break it
- melt it
- put it in a glass
- hold it
- we can call it a solid

Moses doubled check that it was a solid using the Finger Test achor chart:

Part 2: He introduced the question for exploration:

What's the fastest way to melt an ice cube?

Students had to stay inside the classroom and work with a partner.  They had 10 minutes (more like 7 actually but they don't know that!)

Before sending this off, Moses had a pair model to make a plan together and listen to each other's ideas.

Some students tried to take it out of the bag so an annoucement had to be made:

The ice cube must stay in the bag!

What do you predict most students try to do?  You got it!

Most of them tried to hit it again a hard object.  Moses had to remind them to try to 'melt' it!  Some figured out that smaller pieces melt really quickly!

Part 3: Once time was up, students were gathered on the carpet and Moses asked the following questions:

What are some ways you tried to melt the ice cube?

What did you notice happen to the ice cube when it melted?
When you rub your hands together, how does your hand feel? (hot)
What if you squeezed your hand, how do they feel? (hotter)
How do you feel in the sun? (hot)

He ended with this question to get them thinking about the big idea of the lesson:

If you want to melt a solid, what do you have to do?  (make it hotter)

Next Steps: The class will leave a bag of ice cubes by the window in the sun and observe what happens.

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