Big Idea:What do students already know about scientific practices in general, and controlled investigations in particular? Students take a pretest to demonstrate their knowledge in order to inform instruction, as well as set up their scientific notebooks.
Big Idea:What do scientists do, and how do they work? This engaging activity using chant, or rap, provides students with an overview of the eight essential Science Practices specified by the Next Generation Science Standards.
Big Idea:How do scientists use data to support a claim? Do some types of data provide more effective support than others? Students lend Plaid Pete a helping hand, as they collect evidence to make a claim about the identity of the Prize Potato.
Big Idea:What is a Scientific model? Why do scientists use models? Students engage in a guided exploration that helps them to understand that models are sophisticated tools that advance scientific understanding.
Big Idea:How do scientists use models to revise their thinking and understanding of phenomena? Students use their new knowledge about scientific models to make a claim and provide evidence to support it.
Big Idea:What types of scientific study do scientists engage in? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each. Students meet "mentor scientists" and learn about the different ways that scientists explore the world around them.
Big Idea:What are the parts of a controlled experiment? A funny book of failed experiments, a monster in charge of the laboratory over spring break, and a guidebook from Plaid Pete, help students to figure out the parts and have some fun along the way.
Big Idea:How do scientists analyze data in a controlled experiment, and communicate their findings? Students conduct their controlled experiment, analyze their data to write a four part conclusion, and have a little fun with a science induced soda-pop geyser.
Big Idea:How does the arrangement of particles in different states of matter affect their properties? Students work in pairs to further refine their understanding of the particle theory of matter by investigating the compression of a solid, a liquid, and a gas.
Big Idea:How does matter change? How are new substances created? Students get to meet Plaid Pete and Seth's Science Teacher , Mrs. Glaze, as she schools them on physical and chemical changes in matter.
Big Idea:What is a mixture? What is a solution? How do you tell the difference between the two? Students actively mix, filter, and evaporate, to add to their growing wealth of knowledge about the properties of matter.
Big Idea:How do scientists use the properties of matter to identify substances? Students identify the crystals that result from their evaporation test, and use their knowledge of the properties of matter to try to categorize a new substance.
Big Idea:How do you study for a test? What are some strategies that can be easily used and will lead to success on assessments? Students learn how to use a study guide and games to review for the unit assessment.
Big Idea:Students take a 3 part Unit Assessment,and apply their understanding of the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the Properties of Matter and the crosscutting concepts, as well as using their knowledge of vocabulary, and scientific models.