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JMU Elementary Education Program

The following information should be included in the header of the lesson plan:
Samantha Boyd
Mike Rice, John Wayland Elementary School
11/5/14 1-2:15pm
10/29/14 (Plan must be initialed and dated by the teacher when it is reviewedat least one day in
(Include the title of each of the following sections in your written plan.)
Why does matter matter?
In order to see where the students are in respect to their prior knowledge of matter, I will have
a discussion with them using the following questions:
-What do you know about matter?
-Can anyone name the three states of matter and give some examples of each?
-What are physical properties?
-What physical properties do solids have? Liquids? Gases?
-How do you feel about learning about matter?
-What is your favorite activity outside of school?
I chose to use a discussion because the class community is strong enough to handle a discussion where
students may not answer correctly. They are very open with discussion and few of them are afraid to
answer in fear of being wrong. This will also help me come up with examples that will be of interest
to them. This assessment will tell me what the students already know and where their misconceptions
lie. That will enable me to tweak my lesson plan to fit their needs.
This lesson fits into the unit after the parts of objects have been discussed. This includes the
idea that matter is made up of objects that take up space and is made up of one or more materials.
With regards to previous grades, students have the building blocks for understanding matter at this
level. In kindergarten they begin to talk about physical properties and how water has different states
(K.4, K.5). In first grade they begin to explore how materials interact with water through mixing and
dissolving (1.3). Second grade matter instruction includes investigations of the basic properties of
solids, liquids, and gases as well as the changes in the phases of water (2.3). Following third grade
instruction they will talk about matter again in the fifth grade where they discuss atoms, molecules,
compounds, mixtures, and solutions (5.4).
We know that students learn from concrete to abstract and simple to complex, and it is clear
that the curriculum framework does follow that learning progression. This lesson is being careful to
follow that knowledge. We also know that students are motivated by their interest, the usefulness of it
in their lives, and their self-confidence and self-efficacy (Cox-Petereson, 2012). To motivate students
to learn in this lesson I use interest and self-confidence. I will begin my lesson with a discrepant event
and will allow them to work hands-on with the lesson. They will be doing science, not just reading
about it. In order to boost their self-confidence I will make sure to provide opportunities in which all
students can succeed. If they are going to fail at every aspect of the lesson, they are likely not going to
participate or learn.


Grade Level and Content Area: 3rd Grade Science/Matter
Standard(s) and Indicators (Listed by Number Only): 3.3 a-c
Concepts (Nouns):
Physical properties
Individual object
Entire material
Skills (Verbs): [Blooms Taxonomy level]
Explain [2 Understanding]
Differentiate [4 Analyzing]
Infer [4 Analyzing]
Observe [1 Remembering]
Compare [4 Analyzing]
Conclude [2 Understanding]
Design [6 Create]
Determine [1 Remembering]

Understand what are the broad
Know what are the facts, rules,
generalizations the students should
specific data the students will gain
begin to develop? (These are
through this lesson? (These knows
typically difficult to assess in one
must be assessed in your lesson.)
Students will:
Students will:
U1-Understand that physical
K1-Know that color, texture, state,
properties remain the same even if
temperature, and ability to dissolve in
the visible material is reduced in size. water remain the same regardless of
the size of the material.
K2-Know the three states of matter.
K3-Know the physical properties of
solids, liquids, and gases.
A-Solids: hard, visible, do not
conform to the container they are in,
take up space, and have weight.
B-Liquids: they are poured, visible,
do not keep their shape, conform to
the container they are in, take up
space, and have weight.
C-Gases: invisible, conform to the
container they are in, take up space,
and have weight.

Do what are the specific thinking

behaviors students will be able to do
through this lesson? (These will also
be assessed in your lesson.)
Students will:
D1-Compare the physical properties
of smaller sizes to the physical
properties of the whole material.
D2-Investigate objects physical
properties to classify them by their
state of matter.




D2, K3

Oobleck discussion

U1, K1, K3, D1

The note-taking sheet for solids,

liquids, and gases, and the discussion
at the end of class.

K2, K3

Give Me Five FACT

Data Collected
They will tell me how they classify
oobleck and why they classify it in
that way. It will enable me to see if
they understand the characteristics of
I will be able to see their thinking in
writing. They will also discuss with
me their thoughts and I will jot down
their misconceptions.
They should write down that they at
least know the three states of matter
and what they are, hopefully some
characteristics of each as well.

Paper materials
o Grouping cards
o Note-taking sheets
Discrepant Event:
o Empty 2-liter bottle
o A balloon
o Sheets of paper (1 per student)
o Ice (2 pieces per student)
o Pieces of fabric (a small square per student)
o Scissors (3 per table)
o Water for the table to use
o Vinegar for the table to use
o Applesauce for the table to use
o Ladles for the table to use
o Tubes for the table to use
o Bowls for the table to use
o Empty plastic water bottle
o Funnel
o About 1-2 inches of white/distilled vinegar in the bottom of the bottle (a bottle)
o 2 tablespoons of baking soda for each group (6 tablespoons total)
o 1 balloon for each group (3 total)
o Cornstarch (3 spoonfuls per student)
o Water (2 spoonfuls per student)
o Plastic spoons (1 per student)
o Plastic cups (1 per student)
o Plastic plates (1 per student)
o Ziploc bags (1 per student to take home the oobleck)
o Give Me Five response papers


Matter can be a confusing part of science, so there are many misconceptions about it. Some
misconceptions that may come up are: there is a normal state of matter for everything, non-rigid solids
do not fit in the solids state of matter, gas is invisible, when matter disappears from sight it is no
longer there, the weight of the matter is different when it is in different properties, and some states of
matter cannot be reversed (Kind, 2004).
These misconceptions show that children rely on their senses to understand if something is
there, so making sure to use those senses to convince them of the different states of matter is vital. I
think students will have difficulty believing some of the facts about matter because they are abstract.
In teaching my lesson I will be sure to move from concrete to abstract and simple to complex as
discussed in class numerous times. First showing them something concrete, like that mass stays the
same regardless of its state, is something they can see and will come to believe because I can prove it
to them. Moving to something like non-rigid solids is more abstract and a little more confusing, so
being sure to allow them to interact with a non-rigid solid like oobleck may help them in understand it
better. I think it is important to allow students to be confused for a bit. That leads to better
observation and more interest in the subject if the confusion is tapped into correctly. Allowing them to
work through their misconceptions with hands-on, minds-on learning will help me in proving the facts
to them.
Preparation of the Learning Environment (5 minutes walking to the lab)
This lesson will take place in JWES Engineering Lab. While we are not doing engineering
necessarily, it is a space where we can get a little messy and work with materials in a much
larger space than the classroom allows.
I will gather the necessary materials and lay them on the tables. There will be solid, liquid and
gas stations.
In this lab students will be working with small groups of 6-7 (3 groups in total for the class) to
interact with solids, liquids, and gases in order to understand their properties. Groups will be
divided up using grouping cards that include a state of matter.
Groups will be put together with a variety of levels of students in each group. All of the
challenge kids wont be in one group, etc.
The tables will be labeled with a state of matter.
When we get to the Engineering Lab I will hand out their experiment note-taking form. The
purpose for this sheet is so they are able to organize their thoughts on paper. That way the
students will remember their thoughts in the later discussion.
The essential question: Can you walk on water? Ice? Air?
Engage -Introduction of the Lesson; How will you prepare students to engage in the lesson? (5
minutes for discrepant event, 3 minutes for discussion, 2 minutes for expectations)
I will begin with a discrepant event to show that all matter takes up space. The students will
make predictions about what they think will happen if I try to blow up a balloon inside of a 2liter bottle. The balloon will not blow up because the air inside the bottle is already taking up
space. I will then poke a hole in the bottle and try to blow it up again. This time it will blow up.
This will engage the students because they will have to think about why the balloon wouldnt
blow up the first time, but would after I poked a hole in the bottle. I will allow them to turn and
talk with a partner about why this happened the way it did.
I will ask for a few volunteers to tell me what they talked about in their turn and talk. This will
lead to a discussion. If no one has an answer, I will allow them to first do their lab and we will
discuss the reason at the end of class after they have had time to experiment with the states of
I will introduce the lab by first explaining that we will be learning about matter and the
interesting things about matter during our labs.

I will explain the following expectations for our lab: handle equipment carefully, pay attention to
the procedures/directions at each station, record notes on your note-taking form to be able to
discuss your findings later, work with your group cooperatively, and to think hard about why
matter works the way it does.
I will show the students the note-taking form and explain to them that their answers do not need
to be in complete sentences. They are allowed to put a few words or draw a picture if theyd
Implementation of the Lesson (specific procedures and directions for teacher and students)
Solids station: (8 minutes)
Students will break apart three different materials in order to see that the physical
properties (color, temperature, texture, and ability to dissolve) dont change if the
material is smaller than the original.
o Paper
o Ice
o Fabric
Once 7 minutes has passed, I will ask students to turn and talk with a partner about
their findings in this experiment. I will give them 1 minute to do so before moving on
to the next activity.
Liquids station: (8 minutes)
Have students pour water, vegetable oil, and applesauce into different containers to
show that the liquids take the shape of whatever they are poured into.
Once 7 minutes has passed, I will ask students to turn and talk with a partner about
their findings in this experiment. I will give them 1 minute to do so before moving on
to the next activity.
Gases station: (8 minutes)
Have students watch a teacher inflate a balloon using vinegar and baking soda.
Discuss with the students:
o Where is the gas in this experiment?
o Who has a hypothesis about how the gas got there? (Chemical reaction)
o Did the gas take the shape of the balloon? How do you know?
o Does the gas in this experiment take up space? How do you know?
Have students fill out their note-taking form from their observations of the
Once 7 minutes has passed, I will ask students to turn and talk with a partner about
their findings in this experiment. I will give them 1 minute to do so before moving on
to the next activity.
Before moving on to the oobleck experiment we will have a short discussion about each of the
Solids: I will ask what the students found.
o Did any of the properties change when the solids changed in size? If someone
thinks one did change, show them that they should not change by quickly
performing the experiment.
o Explain that the physical properties of solids do not change based on their
size. This is true for liquids and gases as well.
Liquids: I will ask the students for their observations.
o Did all of the liquids look the same?
o Then why did they all take the shape of whatever object they were being
poured into?
o I will explain that no matter the liquid, they will all take the shape of what
they are being poured into.
o Did the gas take up space?

o Did the gas take the shape of the object it was put into?
o How are gases and liquids similar?
Oobleck experiment: (20 minutes)
To transition from the group work and discussion to the oobleck experiment, I will
explain that now we know so much about solids, liquids, and gases, we are going to
work with a tricky piece of matter.
We will do this experiment as a class.
Students will make oobleck by mixing 3 spoonfuls of cornstarch with 2 spoonfuls of
water in their plastic cup. They will stir it using their plastic spoons.
Once the oobleck is stirred, the students will be asked to fill in their note-taking form,
which has directions on it.
We will have a class discussion about what students think the state of matter of
oobleck is. I expect there to be some disagreements, so we will create a concept map
describing the physical properties of oobleck and categorizing them into solids,
liquids, and gases. I will write their responses on the board when they shout them out.
Once we have discussed how difficult it is to decide what oobleck is, I will explain to
them that oobleck is a non-rigid solid. I will explain that every piece of matter does
not fit perfectly into a state, but there are some oddballs like oobleck.
The reason I put oobleck last as a class is because they will have already had the
opportunity to explore solids, liquids and gases. This will give them some
background knowledge to work with when we are discussing the properties.
Closure (5 minutes)
Before our final activity I will ask students to think again about the discrepant event at the
beginning of the lesson.
I will explain to them that the reason the balloon will not blow up the first time is because there
is already air in the bottle that does not let the balloon blow up. Once a hole is put in the bottle,
the air has somewhere to go so it can be blown up.
I will have students complete a FACT to show me that they know the properties of solids,
liquids, and gases. While there was no direct, these are the properties, I hope they will be able
to think critically about what they did in their experiments to come up with the properties listed
in the objectives.
The FACT the students will use is #22 in Keeleys Science Formative Assessment, Give Me
Five. They will answer the following question in no more than a few sentences:
How did this lesson help you understand the states of matter?
I will have five students answer the question verbally.
Clean-Up (if required) (5 minutes to clean up, 5 minutes to walk back to the classroom)
Have students wash their hands.
Throw away all oobleck.
Put the other materials back in the bags they were originally in.





The experiments at each

table are different enough for
students to interact with
them in different ways.

Many intelligences are

tapped into: bodykinesthetic, linguistic,
interpersonal, and

Students have the option to

draw or write their responses
depending on their interest
and comfort level.

Since they are working in

mixed level groups the
students at lower levels will

They will have lots of

hands on materials to
suit the needs of my

Students may draw their

responses instead of write
them in order to meet the


benefit by having the more

gifted students with them in
order to help them through
the exercises and reading.


needs of those struggling

with English/writing.

My biggest fear is that we will not have enough time to complete all of the experiment stations
in the lab. I do have an hour and 15 minutes to work on this and my teacher said it would be fine if I
ran over a little, but I want to make sure it all gets in. I will make sure to keep a timer going so I do
not forget to ask students to turn and talk and then to move on to the next station. If we absolutely
have to stop before oobleck, I can make it myself and we can pass it around rather than everyone
making their own. It wouldnt be quite as fun, but they would still be able to enjoy the oobleck while
learning. I am also nervous about having enough materials. In order to make sure this does not go
wrong, I will bring a lot of extra materials just in case. Finally, I am worried about the ice melting
throughout the day before we get to the experiment for solids. Hopefully there is a freezer that I can
use somewhere, but if not I will find a cooler to keep it in.

States of Matter Lab

Follow the following instructions during the solids experiment:
1) Take a piece of paper and record your observations of the solids physical properties.
a. For color, write the color.
b. For temperature, write if it is hot, warm, cold, or freezing.
c. For texture, write if it is soft, smooth, bumpy, rough, or any other texture you can think of.
d. For will it dissolve, put the piece of paper in the water to see if it dissolves. Just watch the
paper for a few seconds to see if it dissolves at all.
2) Rip a small piece of paper off of the whole sheet. Record your observations about the smaller solids
3) Do the same procedures for the ice and the fabric.
a. To break the ice, use your hands to smash it against the table.
b. To break the fabric, use the scissors provided.
4) Circle any changes you saw in the physical properties between the whole solid and the smaller solid
if you have any.


Whole solid

Smaller solid





Will it dissolve?:

Will it dissolve?:








Will it dissolve?:

Will it dissolve?:







Will it dissolve?:

Will it dissolve?:

1) Using the three liquids on your table, experiment to see if they will take the shape of whatever they
are poured into.
2) Write notes about each liquid here:


Do all of the liquids look the same?

Do they all take the shape of the object they are poured into? Why?


After watching the teacher do the experiment, jot down a few notes about what you saw and the discussion
questions you answered with the teacher.


Facts you know



While experimenting with oobleck, please record your results for the following tests:
1) What state of matter does it look like?

2) Poke it quickly and poke it slowly, is there a difference in how it looks and feels? Explain.

3) Stir it quickly and stir it slowly, is there a difference in how it looks and feels? Explain.

4) Pour it onto your plate. How does it look and feel?

5) Roll it into a ball. How does it look and feel?

6) Based on these tests, do you think oobleck is a solid, a liquid, or a gas?


Give Me Five Response
How did this lesson help you understand the states of matter?

Lesson Implementation Reflection

As soon as possible after teaching your lesson, think about the experience. Use the questions/prompts below to
guide your thinking. Be thorough in your reflection and use specific examples to support your insights.
I. How did your actual teaching of the lesson differ from your plans? Describe the changes and explain
why you made them.
My lesson went really well and I was so excited. I pretty much stuck to my plan, but a few things were
changed during the lesson. I was lucky enough to be able to enlist the help of a grandparent, which I think was a great
help. I think the students would have been fine doing the solids and liquids station independently, but since this is one
of their first times doing a lab, it was helpful to have her there.
My cooperating teacher is very much a micromanager and I tried really hard to make sure he wasnt
micromanaging my lesson like he did for social studies. Unfortunately my plan failed and he did try to change things
and add things in at the very last minute. It was very frustrating and stressful for me to have to tweak my plans
because he just now decided to tell me something less than an hour before the lesson began, especially because my
practicum supervisor was observing me. I think he was trying to be helpful, but it was far from being helpful. He
constantly would jump in and say something about the science that I was just about to say or try to control the class
when frankly they listen better when I ask them to do something because they dont see me as often. He really wanted
me to sit at the liquids table and help the students there, so I did because he mentioned it multiple times. My plan was
to have the students doing individual work at the solids table, have the grandma at the liquids table, and have Mr. Rice
at the gasses table so that I could walk around and engage the students. Although this was a change I was hoping
wouldnt happen, he wasnt going to be comfortable without me helping them.
The last part of my lesson that changed was the oobleck section. We made oobleck, but my cooperating
teacher wouldnt allow the students to measure out the spoonfuls of cornstarch or water. While I was doing the
discussion portion he just started handing out the oobleck he had already made, which took away from the
mathematics measurement integration in the lesson. I did not even know he was doing that until he just decided to
start doing it. Once again, I think he was trying to be helpful, but I put the measurement part in for a reason, which I
see he must not have understood.
II. Describe at least one way you could incorporate developmentally appropriate practice in a better or
more thorough way if you were to teach this lesson again.
Doing this lesson again, I would be sure to let one table be an independent table. The students will not learn
how to be independent if they are not given the opportunity. Having an independent table would be very low risk and
it would allow me to wander and take note of the students learning. I also realized that trying to experiment with
oobleck and take notes on it was difficult for the students, so teaching them how to do that would be a great lead in for
this lab. I would also allow more experimentation time rather than have them answer only the questions on the page.
Some inquiry would be good.
III. Based on the assessment data you collected, what would you do/teach next if you were the classroom
Based on the assessment data, I would be sure to change my lab note taking form because I used the word
dissolve and Im not sure that was the best. I had most students saying that ice does not dissolve, and they may be
right. Looking at the definition for dissolve, I think ice actually just melts, not dissolves. That was my fault that most
of them got that wrong, so I did not take that into account above in the student work sample analysis. My wording was
not clear, so that is my fault and not theirs. Having a lesson on ice, water, and water vapor may benefit them and fix
any confusion I may have caused.
I also noticed that some of the assessments featured some misconceptions. Some students did not fully
understand what oobleck is, which is to be expected to an extent, but answering their questions about oobleck may be a
good follow up lesson. Some students also did not understand that solids do not take the shape of what theyre put

into. Addressing these and other common misconceptions about matter will help make sure they do not get the ideas
stuck in their head for the long term.
IV. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about
young children as learners?
This lesson showed me just how excited children get about experiments and doing new things. They never get
to go to the engineering lab, so that was a big excitement for them, and they had only done very few experimenting in
their past as students. When I first told them we were going to do experiments in the engineering lab they looked at
me like I was a saint. They talked about it for weeks before we actually got to go. It was nice to know they were
excited, but also showed me that anticipation can be a great thing. While I think some of them struggled with the notetaking form, overall they enjoyed the lab and were engaged the entire time. Being that they were so engaged, they
were well behaved.
I also learned that third graders are still struggling to multitask. I thought that they would be able to do so at
this age, but that was false for the most part. Some students did great with completing tasks and taking notes, but most
did not. That is also probably due to the fact that they had not been exposed to this kind of learning before, so it was
something new. New is often difficult, but being that I modeled it helped them understand the expectations I had for
V. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about
Modeling is key to understanding. I really recognized that when I was explaining the tasks to the students they
were just staring at me, but when I modeled the tasks they checked back in and understood the assignment. I was also
sure to ask if anyone had questions after each part of the lab so they were able to get their confusions out of the way
immediately rather than holding onto it and having it possibly become a misconception. Knowing these
misconceptions is helpful as a teacher. Since I wasnt aware of what the students may have thought before the lesson,
it would be helpful in the future to really dig into their knowledge to see what they know, what they do not know, and
what misconceptions they have. Addressing these misconceptions off the bat will make sure they dont make those
same mistakes in thought during the lab.
VI. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about
This lesson helped reinforce that I am very comfortable in the classroom and with students. I really enjoyed
this lesson and the kids seemed to as well. I also learned that co-teaching may be a struggle for me since I did not
work well with my cooperating teacher jumping in all the time. Maybe if I knew he was going to make comments it
would be a different story, but random jumping in was frustrating. Finally, this lesson reinforced that I am really
comfortable getting messy with the kids. I think this comes somewhat from my summers working as a camp counselor
and constantly getting messy and exploring with the kids, but Im glad to see that didnt disappear in the classroom. I
really believe that exploring and experimenting with the students will help foster a stronger classroom community and
thus better teacher-student relationships.