Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Claim-Evidence-Reasoning: Air Has Mass and This is How We Know! - Section 2: Using Graphic Organizers to Promote Learning

 

To help students determine what is "evidence" from their observations, I use the example of the vacuum-sealed storage bags.

I state: Everyone has seen the bags on TV that are used to store clothing, right?  You know, the ones that you hook a vacuum to, turn it on and the air magically disappears!  Is it magic?  No, we can use that as evidence (observations) to support our claim that air is matter.  Let me show you how.

It is important to remember that in the evidence portion of a C-E-R, we are only presenting observations or data--we are NOT explaining!  So, I will use the fact that the bag gets smaller when the vacuum is turned on as a piece of evidence.

I now have to explain how this piece of evidence supports our claim, so I can say something like, "Since the bag gets smaller when the vacuum is turned on must mean that there was something in the bag, other than clothes.  That must mean that this "something" was taking up space, even though we couldn't see it.  That supports our claim that air is matter because if it wasn't matter then the bag would not get smaller when the vacuum was turned on.  Since matter is anything that takes up space and has mass, then air must be taking up space (volume) in the bag.  We cannot measure the mass of the air in the bag, but since it takes up space it must also have mass, otherwise it would not exist in our universe."

  Model C-E-R for My Students
  Writing Across the Disciplines: Model C-E-R for My Students
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Claim-Evidence-Reasoning: Air Has Mass and This is How We Know!

Unit 3: Matter
Lesson 8 of 8

Objective: SWBAT use their observations from a prior lesson and from life to support the claim that air is made of matter.

Big Idea: While analyzing the outcome of each station activity, students will develop a deeper understanding of matter that can be argued using evidence.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Science, solids, mass, matter, molecule
  55 minutes
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