Reflection: Relevance Measurement: Density - Section 1: Engage

When designing scientific investigations, there are plenty of resources draw from. One of the creative parts of curriculum design for me is how to take a classic investigation and "up" the relevance by retrofitting the investigation to make it more engaging. In this particular lesson, using density cubes is a classic, quick and easy way for students to: measure mass and volume; calculate density; and use density to identify matter. Students liked and were engaged in this investigation even when it was a simple procedure and data table. By changing the frame around the original investigation by adding a real-world connection (logging and environmentalism), a mystery (figure out what the objects are made of) and competition (prizes for groups who successfully identify the type of matter and whether it will float or sink), the relevance factor is "upped" for students. They are engaged by the real-world connection, intrigued by the mystery and enthused by the competition. Retrofitting a classic investigation or a "cookie-cutter" investigation can breathe new life into the experience and further excite students about scientific learning.

Retrofitting Investigations to "Up" the Relevance Factor
Relevance: Retrofitting Investigations to "Up" the Relevance Factor

Measurement: Density

Unit 4: Measuring Matter
Lesson 5 of 7

Big Idea: Density applies to real-world experiences such as sinking and floating that students relate to on a personal level.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Science, Matter and its Properties, triple beam balance, metric system (Science Skills), mass, characteristic property, intensive property, distance, matter, Forces
100 minutes

Erin Greenwood

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