Reflection: Student Ownership Day 1-Is It Really There?... Proving Salt Is In The Water - Section 3: Elaborate


In this lesson, my students had the opportunity to work with the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: #3- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations.  Prior to this lesson, my students had learned how certain materials, like salt can dissolve in water. With this knowledge, this lesson had my students plan an investigation that would prove the salt was really in the water. Students had the chance to design three possible tests to prove salt existed in the water. They worked in collaborative teams and took what they have learned out the properties of matter and about different processes.  They described salt as small, grainy particles, and took boiling, evaporation as ways to prove salt is in the water. They also considered using measurement as a way to detect if salt was in the water by considering mass and volume. Using their previous knowledge allowed them to conduct this scientific investigation as it gave them the chance to apply their knowledge and skills to it in order to draw an evidence-based conclusion to proving salt is really there. This method gave more responsibility and accountability throughout this process.  They were responsible for creating three test designs, then selecting one based on their knowledge, interest, and materials followed by writing out a step by step plan.  This first hand experience fostered their inquiry skills to collect data, analyze it, and draw conclusions about proving salt was in the water. The data produced from the investigation served as evidence when it came time for them to write and support a claim.

The investigations my students came up with impressed me. Each group tried to be unique by deciding upon a way to prove salt was in the water that another group was not doing. These tests included boiling the solution until all evaporated, evaporation overnight, using volume to measure if adding salt increasing the height of the water, and using mass to determine if the weight of the water changes when salt is added. I had one group who water to create their own unique way, which I was amazed at their inquisitive pursuit. They designed a filter system to determine the salt was in the water.  This test proved to be very successful and their enthusiasm and determination throughout the process was remarkable. I realized the importance and value of giving students a chance to explore their thinking as that is what science is all about.

Providing students the opportunity to design an investigation is an effective way of helping students develop conceptual understanding and inquiry skills. Engaging them in this kind of experience gives them the chance to interact with the scientific method process, collaborate with peers, and take part in critical thinking. Overtime with ongoing inquiry opportunities, students obtain skills to conduct investigations on their own and begin to think independently.

  Designing An Investigation
  Student Ownership: Designing An Investigation
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Day 1-Is It Really There?... Proving Salt Is In The Water

Unit 2: Structure, Function, and Properties of Matter
Lesson 12 of 19

Objective: SWBAT plan and carry out an investigation to prove salts presence in water.

Big Idea: Students will collect evidence to prove salt is really in the water

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2 teachers like this lesson
dissolving, Science, Claims and Evidence, matter, structure, function
  60 minutes
filter test
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