Lesson: Lab: State Debate

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to (SWBAT) work in groups to complete a series of tests on given pieces of matter with ambiguous states (solid, liquid, gas). With results of tests, SWBAT argue that given objects (ooblek, glurch, shaving cream) are solids, liquids, or gases.

Lesson Plan

1. Do Now: Students enter class, pass in homework (pass down aisle), and begin Do Now (08 11 21 DN States of Matter) activity silently (~5 min.)

2. After 5 minutes of silent Do Now, review answers as a class.  Cold call or take hands.  This should be review from previous lesson, but not yet ingrained, so scaffold questions and have students build off each others' answers.

3. Pre Lab: Introduce Lab (08 11 21 Lab State Debate).  Have volunteers read individual paragraphs, including "Procedures" on first page.

4. Have a student read the description of each test (pick up, pour, shape) and then demonstrate each one in front of room while students are still in their individual seats.

5. Quickly review General Lab Safety Rules and then have students transition to lab group tables while Materials Managers retrieve necessary materials at a separate station. (Note: enforce a silent transition so that students arrive to groups focused on the lab work and not horseplay). 

6. Instruct students to put on gloves and turn packet to Part A: Penny.  Give 4 minutes to groups to complete Part A.

7. Stop and debrief Part A by taking a few volunteers to read descriptions of what happened for each test.  Lastly, take answers to "is penny solid or liquid--support your answer with evidence."  Scaffold.  Make sure students are writing in complete sentences and that their answers include evidence from their tests.

8. Repeat for Parts B, C, and D, giving more freedom and less scaffolding with each Part.  For these pieces of matter, different conclusions will arise.  As long as the students are using logical evidence to support their answers, do not hold to "one right answer."  Let moderated debate ensue.

9. Students clean up (depends on classroom setup -- I'd recommend having taped garbage bags at each table to facilitate clean up) with assigned clean up duties according to role.

10. Students return to seats after clean up.  If debate was not facilitated during lab, engage in discussion for each Part of the lab.  Encourage supporting evidence, and not a "right" answer. 

If time permits, watch Ooblek video to visualize solid and liquid characteristics of this piece of matter:




1. What went well?

 

2. What would you change?

 

3. What needs explanation?

 

Students love this lab because it's one of the first we do all year, and it's one of the quintessential "get your hands dirty" labs.  Manipulation of the pieces of matter involved is a requisite, so students get a true hands-on activity.  A well-scaffolded debate can lead to great, deep intellectual debates.



 

When students were finished cleaning up, they returned to their seats (while other students continued to clean up the table), which created a situation with students in 2 distinct areas of the room, creating a management challenge.  Next time, I want to add a "you're not finished until your whole team is finished" maxim as well as a transition activity for post-clean up between sitting down and watching the youtube video.  This way, there's never down time.

Lab team cohesion and "working together" skills are as important in 6th grade labs as the content of the lab.  Scaffolds are in place, therefore, from the work of a unit called "Cooperative Learning,"--check out my course page to find this,  Students have assigned roles within their groups--these were defined in the Cooperative Learning unit and used in this and future labs.


 



Lesson Resources

08 11 21 DN States of Matter Review   Other
1,667
08 11 21 HW States of Matter 1 13   Classwork
1,183
08 11 21 Lab State Debate   Starter / Do Now
2,153
08 11 21 SOM Reading   Project / Lab
1,108
How to make Ooblek
5977
Walking on Ooblek
5977

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