What's the World Made Of?

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Objective

Students will be able to actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

Big Idea

Working with their peers while going through magazines to select items to put on posters, helps students comprehend how everything around them is made of matter.

Introduction

15 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I tell the students they can get up and move around to the song Matter Chatter, by Harry Kindergarten.

 When the song is over I have the students sit back down on the rug and I ask them if anyone can recall the three states of matter.

“Who can tell me one of the three states of matter mentioned in the video?”

I will use the fair sticks to help me select a student to respond to the question. I will use the fair sticks to select enough students until the three states of matter have been mentioned.

 Fair Sticks

Once the three states of matter have been mentioned I will hold up the book for the day. 

Activity

40 minutes

“The book for today is called What is the World Made of? All About Solids, Liquids and Gases, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and illustrated by Paul Meisel. Looking at the title of the book, can anyone tell  me if this is a telling sentence or an asking sentence?”

I will select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“Yes Kara you are right it is an asking sentence. How do you know it is an asking sentence?”

I will select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“Well done Connor. It does have a question mark at the end of it.”

“Can anyone else tell me another way they know it is an asking sentence?”

Once again I select a student who is following the proper protocol.

“Nice one Owen. The sentence starts with one of our asking words; in this case the word “What.””

“Can anyone tell me another asking word?”

This time I use the fair sticks to select a student to make sure everyone has an opportunity to answer a question and take part in the conversation.

“Those were all wonderful asking words: why, when, who, how, where and can. Now that we know we have been asked a question, let’s go ahead and read the book to see if we can answer it.”

 

I take advantage of the questions asked on the first few pages to get my students thinking about the world around them. We briefly discuss the questions and responses our peers come up with.

During reading we will also discuss new vocabulary words as they come in the text. We will try to decode them using the labels, the picture clues, in the context of the sentence and sounding out. We will not do this with every new word as there are too many and it would take too long. I would end up losing my audiences interest and have behavior issues.

While reading I make sure to stop and point out the properties of each state of matter as we come across it. This reinforces the concept to the students so they will more easily recall the information when prompted too.

 

When the book is over, I ask the students, “So who can tell me one of the three states of matter?”

I use the fair sticks to ensure each one of my students has had a chance to take part in the conversation.

“Now who can tell me one of the properties of a solid?”

“You are right Landon; a solid holds its shape.”

“What is a property of a liquid?”

“Yes, a liquid can be poured Kallee.”

“Now how about a property of a gas?”

“Bryan got it. A gas is usually invisible, can take the shape of its container and fill it up. That was impressive to remember all that.”

 “Today at one of the stations you are going to go through many different magazines and select items to put on our posters. One of the posters is labeled “Solid,” one is labeled “Liquid,” and the final poster is labeled…?”

The students will most likely call out the final state of matter which of course is “Gas.”

“That’s right team; it is “Gas.” It will be your job to take the item you have cut out from the magazine and glue it onto the correct state of matter poster. You will need to take a marker with you because your next job is to label the item.”

“Tell me team, what resources could I use to label my item?”

I will select enough student responses to cover the many resources available to students to assist them with the labeling process.

“Great. Emily said I could use the magazine words. Abby said I could use the book area. Justin said I could use the word wall to get my letter sounds to sound it out. Jonathan said I could use my nametag which has the alphabet on it to help me sound it out, and Ryan said I could ask a friend or a teacher. Those are all great resources to use.”

“Does anyone have any questions?”  

Once I feel the group has a good grasp of the instructions I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one let’s go have some poster making fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”

Group reading activities.

Allow the students 15 minutes to work on this activity. Set a visual timer and remind the students to look at the timer so they will use their time wisely.

 

Students working on posters 1     Students working on posters 2     Students working on posters 3     Students working on posters 4

Closure

15 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above.

“When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”

Students know to put completed work in the finished work bin. Any work that is not completed goes into the under construction bin and can be completed throughout the day whenever the student finds he/she has spare time or it will be completed during free choice center time.

 

Once all of the students are seated on the rug I hold up each poster for the students to see and I select a couple of items to discuss.

Solid poster     Liquid poster     Gas poster

“I see someone put a cup of juice on the liquids poster. Why do you think they put that there?”

“I agree Adam you can pour juice. I like the way they labeled the word juice.”

Student sample 1     Student sample 2      Student sample 3      Student sample 4    

After reviewing one or two items I tell the students their exit slip for the day is to tell me an item they know and state whether it is a solid, a liquid or a gas.

“Boys and girls your exit slip today is to tell me an item you know and then you will need to tell me if your item is either a solid, a liquid or a gas. Before we do that let’s review a basic property of each state of matter.”

“Can someone tell me a property of a solid?”

I select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“That’s right Finn; a solid holds its shape.”

“How about a liquid, can someone tell me a property of a liquid?”

Once again I select a student who is following the proper protocol of raising their hand to respond to the question.

“Well done Rachel. A liquid can be poured.”

“Last but not least, what about a property of a gas?”

I select one more student to respond.

“Great memory Carson; a gas takes the shape and volume of its container. That is a hard one to remember so kudos to you for remembering both features.”

“Okay. I am going to give you 10 seconds to think of an item and decide which state of matter it is. You might want to think of two or three because once someone has used a particular item, it is off the menu.” By telling the students that an item which has already been mentioned is “off the menu,” it takes away the opportunity for students who just like to repeat what others have said before them. Now they have to think for themselves.  

  

When the time is up I use the fair sticks to select the order in which the students respond to the request.

After a student has told me his/her item and successfully declared its state of matter, they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go get their snack. If a student is unable to give me an answer, they know they can do one of two things.

  1. They can ask a friend to help, or
  2. They can wait until everyone else has gone and then we will work together on coming up with an item and its state of matter together. 

Assessment

For this lesson I will pay close attention to the student’s exit slip responses. Those students who do not give the correct state of matter will wait on the rug with me to review their item and state of matter selection. I will use the book and Matter Property Posters from the Sparkle Box website to help review the properties of matter. When a student is able to verbally give me a response to the question they are confirming their understanding of the text read aloud by answering a specific question (SL.K.2).  

Extensions

At the math station we will use clay, a soft solid, to explore how we can change it from one shape to another but it will hold that shape until we change it.

Student showing clay shapes     Clay shape sample 

At another station we will play the game “Race to Melt and Ice Cube.” This helps the students see how we can explore a variety of methods to change a solid to a liquid.

Directions to "Race to Melt and Ice Cube" game     Students playing game

At another station we will do a science experiment showing how gas takes up space. This will be done by using a paper towel, a jar, and a see through container filled 2/3 full of water. I ask the students what they think will happen when I put the paper towel in the jar and then place the jar upside down in the water, and why.

Once we have recorded our predictions, I put the paper towel in the jar and place it upside down in the container of water. We draw what we observe and rationalize why. Napkin in a glass experiment recording sheet

Next I very slowly tip the jar so the air slips out and water goes in. The students are able to see as the air exits the water enters to take up the space vacated by the air. Eventually the paper towel gets wet and falls out.  

Picture of experiment