I LOVE this standard! Georgia has changed this standard slightly this school year, but for the most part it is still the same.
Day 1, I introduce the standard and talk about the achievement level descriptors so students know what they need to learn in order to get a 3 on the standard. Then I give them some vocabulary! The vocabulary packet I use can be found here. I also use Quizlet to help them study. This set of words can be found here. After that, I do a short activity with paper. I give each student a plan piece of white paper. I ask them to tell me the attributes, or characteristics of the paper. Then I ask them to cut the paper. We talk about what the substance is…it’s still paper. Then I have them tear the paper. What is it? Paper! I have them crumple the paper. Guess what it is still…PAPER. I think you get the point. We do a bunch of physical changes to the paper and talk about at the end of the day it is still paper.
On day 2, we do 4 rotations. I give five minutes per rotation. I have four different mixtures for the kids to sort. One bucket has toys (Lincoln Logs, LEGOS, and K’Nex), another has coloring supplies (markers, colored pencils, and crayons), the third has Chex Mix, and the last has baking soda mixed with iron filings.
At the baking soda and iron filings rotation, I give them magnet wands to help them sort after they suffer for thirty seconds trying to figure out what to do. TIP: put the magnet wands inside zip loc bags for easy clean up. Before each group moves to the next rotation they have to remix their mixtures! At the end of class I did pull out a fresh bag of Chex mix to snack on as a class (food makes everything more fun)!
Day 3 was a longer lesson. I normally only have 30 minutes for science, but we did an hour. I could have split the lesson, but chose not to because I knew I had a shorter math lesson that day. On day 3, we set up our states of matter bags! Groups got to pick a name and design their bag. Here is a picture of mine:
Then I put a cup of ice and they placed a thermometer in the bag. They zipped the bag mostly closed, blew some air in it to fill the bag, and then closed it up! After a few minutes they recorded observations, temperature readings, and the date and time on the table below:
They continued to keep data into the next school day. On the third school day, I had placed the bags in front of a space heater. In a warmer season of the year, simply placing the bags outside in the sun would do the same thing. What you want students to connect is that with the change in the states of matter, the temperature changed also.
On the same day we set up the states of matter bags, we did a solution experiment. Now I must admit before moving any further that when I did this next activity last year it was a disaster. This year it was perfect though! I used a hot plate in the classroom to bring a pot of water to boiling (I did 200mL of water). Then I put about two tablespoons of table salt into the boiling water and stirred. I allowed the science groups to come observe throughout the dissolving and boiling. While doing this I showed a fun youtube video about how heat moves. I boiled all of the water out of the solution and am left with the salt.
I then take two petri dishes and put some salt that has not been boiled into a solution in one, and some salt from our solution in the other. We look at them under a microscope and talk about the differences, which one was a part of the solution, how can you tell, the uniformity
Next we started observing actual chemical changes. I found most of these activities on this website and modified them up for my students. This first one is a HUGE favorite because the kids think they know what is going to happen. It is vinegar in the graduated cylinder and baking soda in the balloon. Then you hold the balloon up so the baking soda drops down and you get see hear the fizz, see the bubbles, but also the balloons expands with the gas that is released!
We also watched a temperature change with some yeast and hydrogen peroxide. This one fascinated the kids and caused for some fun gasps in the classroom.
We also do elephant toothpaste and a color change, but I forgot to get pictures. Sorry 😦
Below is the table from my state of matter bag. The kids enjoyed this one and realized that as the temperature rose the state of matter changed. The especially liked the condensation at the top of the bag when the bags were hot (we used a space heater, but setting in the in the sunlight will do the same thing).
Some things I learned for next year:
- Let them measure the ingredients that cannot hurt them. It gives them good practice and makes less prep work for me.
- Print them a copy of all of the lab instructions. Even though I had them posted on the ActivBoard, it is good for them to have an up close copy and read, hold, check off. (I hope to get these prepped and in my TPT store soon)
- It is okay to get messy! The kids loved it, and we had a blast! Keep doing the hands-on lessons.
I hope some of this has helped you! My kiddos loved this unit and want to do more of these chemical reaction lessons after state testing!