Reflection: Complex Tasks Day 1 - Salty Oceans and Fresh Water ... - Section 3: Writing a Hypothesis and Starting the Lab

 

Not all the objects cooperated with the mid lines that I drew, for instance the balls did not stay horizontal with the drawn line. Teams and I discussed what they saw, was most of the ball below or above the water line. The wooden block floated at an angle so the teams could not use the line drawn on the block to help them write their observation. Again they had to consider was most of the block below or above or about equal. 

Students struggled writing their observations. First, the line drawn around the object should be the line where the fresh water line is, not the mid line for the object. This will help you know if they are taking accurate measurements. The water line will be AT the object line for all fresh water objects. This can be an observation students make after taking their fresh water observations. 

With the fresh water line drawn on the objects, students have a base line to compare where the salt water line hits on the object; is the salt water line above, below or on the object line. Maybe it would be best to call the object line the 'drawn line' or draw the line in a color and call it the 'red line'.

Students need to include the phrase 'water line was ....' when writing their observations so that they consistently use the object line as the reference point.  I was really asking a lot from my 2nd graders to keep this all sorted out. (Me too!). They demonstrated perseverance and still enjoyed testing the items in the water. 

After reviewing the lab booklets, I see that most of my students were diligent about using the object line to reference how much of the object was floating!

  Complex Tasks: Student Observations
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Day 1 - Salty Oceans and Fresh Water ...

Unit 4: Unit 4 - Surface Water and Landform Interactions
Lesson 6 of 18

Objective: SWBAT unpack a science question to develop a hypothesis and specific observation vocabulary, while exploring the differences between fresh and salt water.

Big Idea: Students make observations on how objects float in fresh water. They use these observations in the next lesson to compare fresh and salt water.

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Subject(s):
Science, erosion, landforms, water cycle, water
  100 minutes
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