Next Generation Science Standards:
2-PS1-1-"Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials based on their observations." In the previous lesson, students learned about that matter is anything that takes up space and has weight. Also, they learn that solids, liquids, and gases are matter and they have properties (size, shape, texture,or color). In this lesson, students focus on solids by observing various kinds of crackers while discussing the properties of the crackers. I selected crackers because I can use a variety of crackers for students to observe.The lesson is important because students observe solids and their properties.
Science and Engineering Practice:
SP 5 addresses using mathematics and computational thinking. In K-2, students describe, measure, or compare attributes of different objects and display data on charts. In this lesson, the students observe various kinds of crackers by viewing the properties (size, shape, color, and texture). They use a chart to record data based on their observations. This lesson is essential to students because they can compare and contrast the crackers while using a chart to record their findings.
SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas. In this lesson, groups communicate with each other about the characteristics of the crackers. It is imperative that students are allowed to dialogue with each other so they can express their scientific findings.
Last year, students learned about matter. They understand that solids, liquids, and gases are forms of matter.
In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.
At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson. This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower students and make them dreamers and doers.
“I can” statement
I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can compare and contrast different properties of matter." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping. I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.
As a class, the students complete a K-W-H-L chart on matter. The K-W-H-L chart helps to determine what the students know, what they want to learn, how the students what to learn, and what they learn at the end of the unit or lesson. To assist students with completing the chart, I ask questions such as: What things are made up of matter? How can you describe matter? What do you want to learn about matter? How do you want to learn? The K-W-H-L chart helps to build background knowledge and determine how students want to learn which assists with student ownership. The chart is displayed in the classroom.
At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson. This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower them and encourage them to become dreamers and doers.
While students are sitting at their groups' tables, they assign their group roles such as: a person who records, manages, and reports. I permit the students to select these roles so they can capitalize on their strengths. This also boosts students' self esteem. I select the leader who is the student that demonstrates leadership qualities. The students are provided group labels and clothes pin clips. They are encouraged to wear their labels. I provide the students with the group labels to help them identify their roles. Also, it helps promote a positive classroom environment with little disruption.
They are provided with their lab sheet, crackers, and hand lens.
Groups are going to complete the investigation, Describing Objects. I tell the groups that they are going to observe various kinds of crackers. Groups observe the crackers by looking at the texture, shape, size, and color. I encourage the groups to use the hand lens. I inform them that they should not eat the crackers. Teacher note: I have some crackers after the lesson for them to eat. I invite groups to think about different ways to describe the crackers. What are some words that you can use to describe the crackers? Also, they should draw a picture of the crackers in the cracker column. My students enjoy drawing. Also, this helps my visual learners to draw an image of the cracker.
While the groups are working, I facilitate their learning by asking assessing questions such as: How are you describing the crackers? How can you determine how the crackers are alike and different? What is another way to sort the crackers? Could you add another category? Are the crackers a solid, liquid, or gas?
When the groups have completed the investigation, I have them report their findings to the class. I inform them that the cracker is matter. Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Mass is the amount of matter in an object. Also, you can describe matter by the way it looks, feels, smells, and tastes or sound. I ask the groups to add another category to their chart. They should add taste. I permit them to taste the crackers by providing the group with additional crackers for tasting. Teacher note: Make sure that students are not allergic to any ingredients in the crackers.
I take up the group's lab sheet to check for understanding. As I evaluate the lab sheet, I am making sure that groups completed the lab sheet successfully.
Students are asked to tell what they learned from the lesson so I can record it on the K-W-H-L chart. It is important to evaluate what students have learned after each lesson, so adjustments can be made.
Then I teach students a song about matter. The song helps to encourage and motivate students to learn about matter. We sing this song throughout the entire Matter unit, "What is Matter?."