In this lesson students are introduced to the definition of matter, the various states of matter, how to classify matter, and changes in matter. Although this is content that students should remember from previous science classes I have found that I must review the concepts so students have a basis for higher level concepts in this course.
Students are simply taking notes in this lesson, but are doing so on a notes paper which includes a concept map and a foldable. I pre-make the foldable for students using my paper cutter which is much quicker than having students try to cut it themselves. See the reflection on foldables where I describe this in more detail.
This lesson aligns with two NGSS Performance Expectations for middle school:
This lesson also aligns with two NGSS Crosscutting Concepts.
In this first section students are doing an introduction paper which includes two sections. I usually have students start this paper when they are completing their Unit 1 exam at the end of the previous unit (Unit 1), and then revisit it at the beginning of this unit (Unit 2).
1. In the first section students define vocabulary that is important for the section. I choose words that are integral to understanding the concepts. This is the same vocabulary that it included on the word wall in the classroom.
2. In the second section students are answering a prompt that is aimed at getting at their misconceptions concerning the boiling of water. The prompt is adapted from NSTA's Uncovering Students' Ideas in Science Formative Assessment Probes.
When I introduce the material in this section I have students record information in three ways.
I have all of this organized on the PowerPoint that I present to students. They start on the notes (slides 2 and 3), then do the foldable (slides 4-8), then go back to the notes (slides 9-12), and finish with the concept map (slides 13-16).
This is an information rich set of notes; however, it should be review for students based on previous science classes. I have found that students do much better with having a way to organize the concepts of states of matter and how to classify matter so I use the concept map and foldable.
As a way to elaborate I have students watch this video from Siberia where this person takes boiling water and throws it outside in very cold temperature where it freezes.
I then have students answer questions at the bottom of their notes where they analyze what happens visually (water freezing), what happens at the molecular level (liquid to solid, decrease in kinetic energy, increase in intermolecular attractions), and whether this is a physical or chemical change (physical).
Here is a copy of one student's responses to the video at the bottom of the page.
For the evaluation section of this lesson I have students do bookwork that comes from the Study Guide that accompanies their textbook.
I find that giving bookwork is helpful for this section because it allows me to scaffold based on students' prior knowledge.
The textbook I use is Glencoe Chemistry Matter and Change. This bookwork is for sections 3.1 and 3.2 and is pages 13, 14, and 15 of the Study Guide. The bookwork covers the properties of matter and changes in matter. The properties of matter section includes the definition of matter, chemical vs. physical changes, and states of matter. The changes in matter section deals with physical and chemical changes.
If you do not use this textbook then I would suggest using your own textbook and having students read similar sections and either using a study guide or the questions at the end of the section. If you do not use a textbook or your text does not have similar sections on matter than there are also some resources available online. Just through a quick search these are some resources that I found: