Lesson: Does air have mass and volume?

David Kujawski Bird Middle East Walpole, MA
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Lesson Objective

YWBAT: Perform classroom activities to determine if air has mass and volume.

Lesson Plan

Does air have mass and volume?
1.)    Determine if air has mass and volume
DO NOW: Can something invisible have mass and volume? Explain.
Lesson overview:
Safety issues: Students should wear safety goggles and you should use latex-free balloons!
This lesson will introduce students to gases having mass and taking up space. Students will be placed in cooperative groups of 4 or 5 students. Each group will follow the procedure for both activities and reflect on their findings. The lesson will conclude with the entire class discussing their findings and completing an exit ticket. An exit ticket is a formative assessment to see if each student achieved the daily objective. It should not be graded—it is meant to assess the effectiveness of the lesson and see who specifically needs remediation/tutoring.
1.)    Have students complete Do Now and share their initial responses (4 minutes)
2.)    Break students in cooperative groups and assign roles. I usually have a leader (in charge of keeping order), social skills checker (makes sure everyone is being courteous), time keeper, and a reporter (they speak to me when I move around the room checking the progress of each group). (4 minutes)
3.)    Give procedures and read together with class. Answer questions. (4 minutes)
4.)    Activity 1: Does air have mass? Balloon and meter stick activity. Students should fill in worksheet as they go. Remind them to make their prediction before attempting the activity. Do not move on to activity 2 until all groups have finished activity one. (12-15 minutes)
5.)    Activity 2: Give students their bottles and balloons. Have them follow the procedure and fill in the worksheet. (12-15 minutes)
6.)    Clean-up (3 minutes)
7.)    Discuss findings: Does air have mass and volume? Yes and yes! (3 minutes)
8.)    Exit ticket (till the bell) If you don’t have time to complete this then assign as DO NOW for the following day. You should collect their responses or circulate and record who is struggling with the concept.


For activity one:I would suggest that you use meter sticks that have the holes on the ends.  This will encourage equal placement of the strings that hold the balloons.  In addition, make sure that the stings are the same lengths.  If they are different the varying masses will through off the results.

Activity 2: 
Prepunch the hole in the bottles for the students.

The purchase of an airzooka makes this activity so much fun.  Students are amazed that objects can be knocked over by the force created by the airzooka.  I've attached a link for where they can be purchased.

Model how to set up the meterstick and balloon activities.  This will minimize the same questions throughout the class.

Lesson Resources

Air has mass link for teacher
Ait takes up space--balloon in a bottle teach
Student worksheet   Activity


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