Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Severe Weather- Snowflake Formation-Blizzard of Oz - Section 3: Small Group Instruction


Designing an experiment, and testing it, is a big step with any student, particularly ones of this age.  Part of the beauty here was the opportunity to choose a familiar material tool (like salt), give it the scientific context (like crystal), apply it to a familiar source (like snow), and tie it up with an appreciated delivery (like ‘Frozen’).  Ultimately, this process worked to create an authentic intrinsic motivation for the experiment.  When their interests have some part of the process, the product becomes much more meaningful.  The pair of lessons using the context of the movie ‘Frozen’ is a perfect example.  I knew from experience that’s it’s always better to connect the material to something that matters to the students.  I work hard to keep up with cartoons, games, music, and movies that are relevant to them so I can later use them in lessons (as an added bonus, it makes me seem like the coolest teacher ever!).  Whenever we can incorporate appropriate, timely, and relevant pop culture into our instruction, the engagement makes all the effort worth it.  And sometimes, you even discover a new form of entertainment (I mean, who knew Sponge Bob was so funny?!?!).

  Experiment Context is Elementary
  Intrinsic Motivation: Experiment Context is Elementary
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Severe Weather- Snowflake Formation-Blizzard of Oz

Unit 7: Severe Weather-Wonderful Wizard
Lesson 6 of 7

Objective: Students will observe how crystals form by conducting an investigation with 3 different kinds of salt.

Big Idea: How do ice crystals form?

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Science, Science Skills, Weather and Atmospheric Science, thunderstorms, questioning strategy, lightning, storm
  40 minutes
crystal lesson image
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