Changes : Addressing Students Misconceptions about Physical and Chemical Changes

Contributor
Anitra Jensen Kimberly Lott
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Unit
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Students investigate and describe multiple indicators of both physical and chemical changes over a 10 day unit. The learning opportunities students were provided specifically addressed misconceptions about the reversibility of changes and the conservation of matter during changes.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 5
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available by subscription - The right to view and/or download material, often for a set period of time, by way of a financial agreement between rights holders and authorized users.

Performance Expectations

5-PS1-4 Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students are provided multiple opportunities to develop understanding of physical and chemical changes through teacher-led demonstrations and investigations and investigation stations. By extending the learning and having students generate and test their own questions about what might occur when two substances are combined students would have the opportunity to conduct their own investigations and better meet the Performance Expectation.

5-PS1-2 Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.

Clarification Statement: Examples of reactions or changes could include phase changes, dissolving, and mixing that form new substances.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include distinguishing mass and weight.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students record the mass before heating and cooling of the sorbet and the soda bottle with balloon, baking soda and vinegar. Consider moving this learning experience closer to the performance expectation by asking students to create graphs as a visual representation of their data. The creation of a class graph of before and after data is also recommended.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Adding the opportunity for students to test and answer an investigable question of their own would bring the activity closer to meeting the practice.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
There are multiple opportunities to address cause and effect through explicit, planned , intentional discourse built around each of the learning opportunity. When discussing physical change in the paper cutting, the teacher might ask "What caused the physical change in the paper?" "What other examples are of cause and effect have we explored in this unit?" Another way might be to provide some beginning sentence frames for students such as “I know that baking bread is a chemical change because ___________”, then having students underline the cause and circle the effect. Another way might be to provide some beginning sentence frames for students " I know that baking bread is a chemical change _____________________" Underline the cause and circle the effect.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This article was written pre-NGSS but it does address the Framework of K-12 Science Education in the first paragraph of the article. Elements of the Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts worked together to support students in making sense of phenomena. Students were provided multiple opportunities to make observations and produce data that served as a basis for evidence of physical and chemical changes.The learning opportunities included students carrying out investigations that included real world connections. The lesson was made relevant to student lives through going on the walk in their community looking for evidence of physical or chemical changes.

  • Instructional Supports: Students were provided multiple opportunities for students to engage in the Practices, DCIs and CCCs to make sense of phenomena. Commonly held misconceptions about physical and chemical changes were also identified and addressed to deepen students’ understanding of the DCIs. Providing multiple opportunities for students to talk during the unit in many different formats, pairs, small groups, and whole groups will provide instructional support for all students. There was implicit support included in the work with the inclusion of class charts.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The unit explicitly mentions a pre-assessment and there are multiple opportunities for ongoing formative assessment. The concept cartoon also provided a lens into student learning. The Mystery Powders Investigation and having students individually return to the list of changes from the first day and sort these changes in their notebook (see page 61, paragraph 3) served as summative assessments.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -