|Photo credit Getty Images
I have a Science lesson your grade 5s are sure to love! It involves some simple, but fun experiments that help your students learn the difference between physical and chemical changes, and appeal to those with limited attention spans because there is so much going on in the lesson. I’ve given you a summary of the lesson and you can access the full lesson details at the bottom of the page.
In groups, students will go through a series of change stations. At each of these stations the matter will undergo either a physical or chemical change. It is up to your students to identify which is which and explain their reasoning in a reflection worksheet at the end of the stations. The lesson allows students to do many experiments in one day, thus keeping things interesting and they get to work on their teamwork and collaboration as they go through the activity.
Ontario Science Curriculum Expectations
2. Conduct investigations that explore the properties of matter and changes in matter
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the properties of matter, changes of state, and physical and chemical change
2.3. use scientific inquiry/experimentation skills to investigate changes of state and changes in matter
2.5. use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including mass, volume, properties, matter, physical and chemical changes, in oral and written communication
3.4. describe physical changes in matter as changes that are reversible
3.5. describe chemical changes in matter as changes that are irreversible
3.8 distinguish between a physical change and a chemical change
How does this promote meaningful Science learning?
-gives students opportunity to collect data from multiple experiments and communicate their thoughts on those findings
-the experiments show physical and chemical changes in a variety of ways, showing students how physical changes and chemical reactions are always happening all around them
-short duration of experiments help keep students motivated and engaged
-working initially in groups and then individually allow students to discuss their thoughts with others, potentially clarifying their views before going on to the written component (that will be formally assessed)
You can access the lesson and the corresponding worksheet and rubric here!
|Raphael. “School of Athens.” 1509-1511. Apostolic Palace,
Have I got a treat for you! As our final assignment for the Social Studies course at Brock University, my group members and I have compiled a 12 lesson unit plan for the Grade 4 Early Societies strand. Most of these lessons are longer than one hour, so will provide your students with weeks, even a couple months (depending on how you organize the class schedule) of fun and exploration of world civilizations. You can access the unit plan and the links to the individual lessons here.
The Big Idea for the unit is: how has the environment impacted the development of societies? This unit plan is strongly influenced by the ideas of Jared Diamond from Guns, Germs, and Steel fame. For those unfamiliar with Diamond’s work, the Reader’s Digest version of his thesis is that gaps in power and technology between civilizations is influenced by environmental differences. Students will have opportunities to explore this idea through a variety of assignments that involve collaboration, technology, integrate other subjects such as Language or the Arts, and allow students to choose their own adventure through inquiry projects.
There are so many fascinating civilizations to study that our group tried to pick societies from multiple continents so students would not have a purely Eurocentric exposure to early societies. We chose to do lessons on Egypt, Greece, Mayans, Medieval England, and Medieval China.
Our culminating assignment will also knock yours (and hopefully your students’) socks off. Students get to create their own civilization!! Based on everything they’ve learned about ancient and medieval societies, they can take the best and leave out the worst of these societies. So many fun questions they’ll get to consider! What continent will their civilization be on? How important will art, culture, or trade be to the civilization? What sort of government will it have? I kind of want to do one for fun!
|Will your students choose to make a democracy or become a
Please feel free to contact me if you use any of the lessons or if you make any changes to the lessons for your own classroom. I am always learning and on the hunt for ways to be a better teacher and give students a better learning experience!
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
–Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
This has been a very eventful semester for me as I’ve been working like a madwoman to get my ducks in a row before my son was born on the 12th. By and large I accomplished my goal of getting all the major assignments done ahead of time, it’s just small things such as this blog post/course reflection that I have to take care of now. My ability to get things done ahead of time was helped quite a bit by the blended learning of this and some of my other courses.
Since Cooper was born, I’ve been thinking a lot about accessibility. Armed with a stroller, I have a newfound appreciation for any store or establishment that has a ramp! Blended learning and a tech-friendly classroom is my academic ramp because it allows me to participate when my health and familial responsibilities make it difficult for me to physically be in class. I think blended learning could serve the same purpose in a Junior/Intermediate classroom.
Now, it is unlikely that any student in a J/I class is going to have a baby to take care of, but there are many other reasons why a student may need to video conference into class or do their learning at their own pace online. Maybe they get injured while playing sports or have to get their appendix removed. A classroom where the teacher uploads assignments and course material online would give those students the opportunity to keep up with their homework.
For students that struggle with participating in class, perhaps due to shyness or because it takes them longer than average to collect their thoughts, having a forum set up where they can add their thoughts gives those students a chance to make their voice heard, but in a way that might be more comfortable for them because they can save their responses, edit them, or completely rewrite them until they’re perfect.