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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

What's the Matter?

Project URL:
http://teachnet-lab.org/ps101/matter/index.htm
 

How it works:
What are we made of? What is the universe made of? Why is gold different than silver? How can water be ice, water, and steam, and still be water? These are questions children ask all the time. What's the Matter?  is a series of four lessons designed to explain to young students, grades 3-5, what "stuff" is made of. The lessons delve into what matter is, the states of matter, and how heat and cold cause it to change states. From there, students learn about atoms--the building blocks of elements and the basis of every kind of matter there is. They learn how to describe the properties of elements, and the differences between compounds, mixtures, solutions, and suspensions. Then they learn of the potential uses for atomic power. Students use the computer as a technological tool, researching, learning, quizzing, testing, and watching online movies. There is also a "hands-on" component to each lesson so children can investigate the world of matter.

Standards addressed:  
Students demonstrate an understanding of objects and materials, heat and cold, big ideas and unifying concepts. They demonstrate an understanding of the designed world, and of science as a human endeavor. They ask questions about natural phenomena, objects and organisms, and events and discoveries; identify problems; propose and implement solutions; and evaluate the accuracy, design, and outcomes of investigations. They work individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas, and use technology and tools to gather data and extend the senses. They demonstrate scientific competence by completing an experiment and also non-experimental research using print and electronic information, and use scientific notation for writing about
experiments.

Materials used: 
Required materials include a computer with Internet capabilities and Apple Works or another word processing program. Materials for experiments are listed under each activity.

The students:
The children are of average ability and from grades 3, 4, and 5. They need a basic understanding of the properties of substances, knowledge of how to conduct research using web sites, and skills to use a word processing program.

Overall value:
This unit's best feature is the use of the computer for Internet-based lessons, activities, and quizzes. There is an abundance of material on this topic that will keep any student occupied with something on his/her level. Another excellent feature is the hands-on activities for each lesson. This unit can be adapted to grades 3-5, using as much or as little as the children can handle. 

Tips: 
Make sure students are familiar with navigating web sites, and using the Internet for research. Screen all sites beforehand so you know what can be expected. Have all hands-on materials ready for each experiment.

About the teacher:
Bonnie Glasgold is a science enrichment teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She believes in hands-on lesson development. She also uses literature to enrich lessons. She has been teaching for 24 years, the last ten as a science teacher.

Email:
bmglas@aol.com

Subject Areas: 
Science
Technology

Grade Levels: 
3-5

 

 

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