Now You See it Now, Now You Don't ...Dissolving Matter

Contributor
Carrie Boyden
Type Category
Instructional Materials Assessment Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
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 explore mixtures and solutions in this 5E lesson. Students add soil to water, stir it and repeat the procedure with salt, then compare the two. Students then collaborate to explain differences in changes between the mixtures, built on experiences in modeling from previous lessons. The resource includes examples of students work to support a teacher's implementation of this lesson.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 5
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

5-PS1-1 Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, and evaporating salt water.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation or defining the unseen particles.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Having students weigh the substances before they are are added to water and after being added to the water would provide empirical evidence students can use to construct models and explanations that the salt is still there even though they cannot see it. A class-wide record of student thinking as they move through this lesson would support all students as they identify evidence and develop reasons to support their claims and encourage students to build their thinking upon the thinking of others.

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
Paragraph frames are an appropriate instructional support and scaffold for many students, English language learners in particular. Teachers will need to modify sentence starters for the appropriate level of scaffolding to meet their students needs. After students have written the compare/contrast paragraphs the teacher might review and then provide specific feedback to students. Students will then use the feedback to improve their first or second drafts and achieve proficiency in a less scaffolded way. Students might make a claim about matter being made of particles too small to be seen and support their claim with evidence from the investigations.

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students should develop multiple models, both physical and in notebooks or on chart paper, of existing matter made of particles too small to be seen. Students should develop their own independent model first, then partner up and share their models with a peer in order to compare/contrast the models and identify the limitations or inconsistencies of the model. They might then bring the differences to the whole class to discuss.

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

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The activity provides probing questions for the teacher to ask : “What happened when soil was added to the water? What happened when salt was added to the water? Where did it go?” etc. Teachers should encourage students to generate their own questions and wonderings during the observation period that can drive the student discourse later in the lesson. If students fail to generate driving questions then the teacher can scaffold. These teacher questions can be heard when watching the video.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students might find the weight of a certain amount of salt and soil and use that information as evidence to help them explain whether or not the matter still exists in the mixture, even when it has "disappeared."

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
When the salt is added to the water, it will be important for the teacher to lead a science discussion that helps students understand that although they can't see the salt there is still matter in the water. The solution of salt water that the students created is a model of matter particles dissolving but not disappearing. Teachers might ask students how they might produce evidence that matter is still in the water even though they can’t see it. Students might suggest allowing the water to evaporate or adding heat . The teacher might then collect the salt solutions from the students,boil the water and show students that although the water was removed, the salt was still there. Weighing the substances before and after mixing would also provide evidence that salt is still in the solution.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
In the lesson write-up cause and effect is explicitly identified as a Crosscutting Concept but there is no direction about including explicit instruction on cause and effect. One suggestion might be as students were completing their tasks, they could illustrate changes that occurred in their materials, (Ex. "before" and "after" pictures) providing evidence for their observations in written form. Another tip would be to include discussion around this concept when students are talking about what happened in their investigations. For example, a teacher might ask, How can you explain what happened to the water when soil was added in terms of cause and effect? A possible response might be “Adding soil to the water caused the water to look dirty and the soil seemed to sink to the bottom when I stirred it.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Implementation of the tips provides students the opportunity to developing a model when they are using pictures and words to explain their understanding that matter is sometimes made particles too small to be seen. The lesson synopsis incorrectly identifies structure and function as the underlying Crosscutting Concept. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity on Cause and Effect as outlined in this review more closely align with the learning goals of this resource. Science is engaging, and makes the learning of reading and writing skills meaningful to students. While it is commendable that this teacher aims to integrate the disciplines in a meaningful way, the structure of the integration through the use of paragraph frames seems to interfere with student’s ability to explain their learning in the science investigations. One alternative may be to have students use a more loose, but scaffolded Claim-Evidence-Reasoning approach to investigating the mixtures.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson is written using a 5E format. It includes classroom management considerations. There is a lesson synopsis which lays out the standards being addressed . Another excellent piece is the Classroom Management Considerations. Including opportunities for students to talk with each other, such as collaborative group work will make the learning more accessible for all students.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: There is little explicit discussion of how the lesson is being assessed. The use of the Give Me Five strategy is being used a formative assessment although not explicitly addressed in this manner. One might assume that science notebooks were another way student were formatively assessed. Having students being summatively assessed on a homework assignment raises some equity flags. It is recommended teachers make time to assess student learning in an alternative way during class time.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technological component to this resource.