Monday, October 6, 2014

How Should I Teach MATTER? Hands-On Learning: Solids, Liquids and Gas

I was staring at my computer screen a few weeks ago thinking about ways I could teach MATTER. This was the kick start of Science for the year, so I needed it to be something good. 
What's an example that covers a solid, liquid and gas? Hmmm.... thinking.... thinking... COOKIES. DUH.  Solid- the cookie. Liquid- the milk. Gas- the hot air (heat) from the pan when you take the cookies out of the oven. Now we're onto something! This blog post is all about Matter! I just finished this with my students and it was a huge hit!

INTRODUCTION: What is Matter? This unit starts by discussing what matter actually is- Anything that has mass and takes up space! The introduction ends with an exit ticket- 3 Things I Learned About Matter: 

Starting to get the hang of it..... 

After the basics are covered, the unit describes position, motion and force. Use volunteers! "Person 1 is next to/behind/beside Person 2". Have the students change position and discuss. 
TIP: Get students up and moving! Students are in their desks for way too long. The more (educational) movement, the easier your life will be! 

During my break, I whipped up a quick station activity for my students. They measured solids and liquids in 4 different stations. They LOVED collecting data like real scientists! 

Here's what it looked like before when I was on the school computer rushing to finish: BORRRRING! Don't worry.. I wasn't going to upload the boring version to TpT. ;)
After: The difference a font makes, right?? Regardless, the kids still liked the "boring font" version!
Here's one of my smart cookies measuring liquids! The Matter Unit includes a teaching guide that lists materials needed. 

Now, for the all time FAVORITE part of the unit... 
That doesn't sound like fun... How can THAT be the best part? 
One word: CHOCOLATE. 

I found this AWESOME idea from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure's blog, but tweaked it just a bit. :) Here's what you need: 
1.  Chocolate Chips (not too many per person or this experiment could take a long time)  
2. Small plastic bags

Tip: Some students split their chocolate chips in half. They melted one side and kept the other side as a solid. This was a great comparison!

Simple enough! Put a little less than a handful of chocolate chips into each bag and give the solids (chocolate chips) out to each student. Tell them they they have to change the solid into another form of matter (liquid) by MELTING THE SOLID using HEAT. They can blow hot air on the chocolate and use their hands for heat. The students record their findings- (draw a picture and circle if it is a solid, liquid or gas.) There is an option to put in the freezer to show changing back into the original form of matter, but we had time for just the melting! 

I can't even begin to describe how much fun they had with this. Of course, leave it to the 8 year olds to say, "Hey.. that looks like doo-doo." :P Kids will be kids! 

I hope you enjoyed reading all about my Matter Unit. I wanted to offer a quick freebie just for reading and showing support! Save this image and print for easy matter visuals to kick start your matter unit. Huge thanks to Krista Wallden @Creative Clips for the cute animations!

To view the Matter Products, click on the links below: 

 1. The FULL Matter Unit- This includes EVERYTHING seen above! 

2. Matter Introduction: Solids, Liquids, Gas, Force and Motion

3. Measuring Matter- This just includes the Measuring Matter Section. 

 photo 023bb102-7468-44c0-aedc-5696648f1b32.png


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