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JMU Elementary Education Program

Courtney Williams
Teaching date: 3/21-22 from 2:00-2:50pm
Submitted to CT: 3/14


Inquiry into Observing Matter

This lesson came directly after a lesson about what matter is. Students reviewed and learned about
how matter is everything, and went over solids, liquids, and gasses. This lesson was towards the
beginning of the matter unit. My students really like interactive and hands on lessons, especially when
they are like labs in science, so I wanted to have something that they would enjoy like that. This lesson
is mostly about observing matter, and also begins to touch on classifying matter as well. This lesson is
developmentally appropriate because it has students actually making their own observations about
matter and classifying it themselves instead of just teaching them about matter.


SOL 3.3- The student will investigate and understand that objects are made of one or more materials
that can be described by their physical elements.
a) Objects are made of one or more materials
NGSS: 2-PS1 Matter and its Interactions:
2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials
by their observable properties.

D. Objectives
Understand – what are the broad Know – what are the facts, rules, Do – what are the specific success
generalizations the students should specific data the students will gain criteria for the lesson? Each
begin to develop? These are through this lesson? These “knows” objective will be assessed in your
typically difficult to assess in one must be assessed in your lesson. lesson. One objective should be a
lesson. These should be written in These should be written in the form language objective. These should be
the form of “I understand” of “I know that” statements. written in the form of “I can”
statements. statements.
I understand…that objects have I know… I can…
different observable properties, and -that matter can be observed -record my observations about
can be classified by those properties. -matter can be classified based on objects
observations -decide on categories to classify
matter into, and tell why I chose
those categories.
-sort/classify objects based on
categories and observations.
What will your students do and say, specifically, that indicate every student has achieved your
objectives? Remember – every objective must be assessed for every student!

Objectives (I can) Opportunities to Respond Evidence

I can observe different Grab Bag activity (part 1) Students will fill out the graphic
characteristics of matter. organizer for each object.
I can come up with Grab Bag activity (part 2) Students will share ideas in their
classifications based on the table groups, and then share out
properties I have observed to the whole class, as well as
writing their categories on their
white boards. Examples include:
hard vs. soft, smooth vs. bumpy,
color, etc.
I can sort objects based on Grab bag activity (part 3) Students will sort the objects
observable characteristics. from their grab bags into the
categories they have chosen.

• Matter grab bag with 5 objects in each (I will provide)
• Graphic organizer (I will provide)
• Pencil (Students will provide)
• White board and dry erase marker (Classroom supplies)


Anticipate how your students will respond to the tasks and activities of the lesson. Identify the
possible misconceptions or alternative conceptions about the lesson content. Where do you think
students will have difficulty? What questions will you pose or changes will you make to help nurture
student thinking and understanding of the content?
My students already make a lot of observations about matter, but they don’t seem to know it. They
also seem to think that matter is only solids, but that should be cleared up in the previous lesson that
reviews solids liquids and gasses. My students are going to love this lesson because they really like
when they get to do labs and experiments in science class. Students may have difficulty with the
classifications, so I will be ready to give them categories to classify into.

Do not observe objects by putting them in your mouth!


Procedures and management

Step-by step procedures including questions and Students
main points – visualize what you are going to say Describe what the students
to the students. It might be helpful to script out will be doing as a result of
& Time (in
what you are going to say, although during the your instructions
lesson you do not need to use this language
“I know that last time you were all in Science, you
talked about matter with Ms. Corsi. Today, we are
going to keep talking about matter, and looking at
some matter, too! What can you tell me that you
Engage – already know about matter?” …after share out: Students will share and have a
Introduction “All of those things are great about matter. mini-review of what they
(5 minutes) Another really cool thing about matter is that you already know about matter.
can observe it. Observe is just a fancy name for
looking for characteristics about something. Let’s
look at our graphic organizer to see how we can
make some observations.”

“Today, we are going to be observing 4 different

characteristics: texture, color, hardness, and
flexibility. Let’s talk about what each of these
categories are while we do an example observation
with the pen I’m using. Texture means how
something feels. When you are talking about Students will listen and ask
texture you would use words such as smooth, questions if they have them.
bumpy, hairy, sharp, or other words about how Students will follow along
Event 1: Teach
something feels when you touch it. [Go through and do the example with me
(5 minutes)
each category like that. Color: colors are obvious, on their graphic organizer.
but something might be bright blue or light pink
instead of just blue or pink. Hardness: hard or soft.
Flexibility: How flexible is it? Rigid means it does
not bend at all. Then, very flexible, sort of flexible,
a little flexible, etc.] Does anyone have any
questions?” Do the example with the doc cam.
“Now, you can see that each table has a grab bag
that is full of objects for you to observe.”
“Open your bag and take out the objects inside.
You can either work as a group or by yourself, but
Event 2: you have to stay at your table. Go through and Students will observe objects
Observe observe each object based on the characteristics and complete the graphic
(15 minutes) we talked about, and fill out your graphic organizer.
organizer as you go, just like how we did with the
“Class, class…let’s come back together and talk Students will finish working
about what we’re going to do next.” and come back as a group.
“Once you observe objects and their
characteristics, you can come up with different
categories you want to classify them into. Classify
Event 3: is another word for sort. Now, I want you to get Students will come up with
Classify out your white boards and come up with some classifications and sort objects
(15 minutes) classifications. For example: (give an example based on that.
based on color at a table near me). Try to work on
this as a table and have everyone write a different
classification on their white board.”
Students will finish
“Class, class…let’s share our classifications with each
working, choose a
Transition other. Take a moment to decide which classification
you want to share with the class from your table.”
classification and come
back as a group.
Each table will share out a classification they came up
with. “Okay, so when you leave today, I want you to
remember that all day, every day, any time you notice Students will share their
Conclusion: anything about an object, you are making an classifications, and ask any
(5 minutes) observation. If you need to classify (or sort) objects, final questions that they have.
you should look at what you observe about the objects,
and start your classifications there. Does anyone have
any questions before we pack up?”
Describe how you have planned to meet the needs of all students in your classroom with varied
interest and learning readiness, English language proficiency, health, physical ability, etc. How will
you extend and enrich the learning of students who finish early? How will you support the learning of
children struggling with your objectives?
Group = English Language Learners/Students with a Learning Disability/Students with A Severe

Group: English Language Learners

Activity Element Justification Support

Teach: Go over what observations

Review vocabulary, note examples
are, doing the example of
(ex: “Words we use for texture are
observations Vocabulary heavy
smooth, like glass, or furry, like a

Let students work with a partner or

Observe: Make and record Writing can be difficult for
table group, help them write if
observations of your own some of my ELL students

Classify Have students work as a table

Writing and vocabulary


Students could come up with “silly categories”, so I could redirect them by giving them the categories to
work with (which would be the 4 categories from the observations).
Students might not work well in their groups or be off task, so I could bring everyone back together and
work as 1 whole group.

Lesson Implementation Reflection

I. How did your actual teaching of the lesson differ from your plans? Describe the changes and explain why
you made them.
In my actual lesson plan, I only had to change one thing. I decided to have them write one classification because I
realized I needed to have an assessment for that part as well. I just told them to flip their papers over and write one of
the classifications on the back of their observation chart paper. This worked really well and I am glad I did it.

II. Student Work Sample Analysis: Based on the assessment you created, what can you conclude about your
impact on student learning? Did they learn? Who learned? What did they learn? What evidence can you
offer that your conclusions are valid?

Gets it Has some good ideas, but… Does not get it

Student A(Lu) Student B(J) Student C(D) Student D(V) Student E(Li) Student F
a. Texture really Vocabulary Describing Describing How to make Color
Understands… well. for texture. color. Ex: texture Ex: observations, observations.
Branched out Ex: “slimy”, “neon pink”, “smooth”, used degrees. Ex: “dark
into “bumpy”, “fuzzy” “light green” “slimy” Ex: “kind of yellow”,
“squishy”, flexible” “blue, see
“sticky”, etc. through”
b. Confused Vocabulary Vocabulary Texture vs. Hardness vs. If something Flexibility
about… for flexibility for hardness. hardness flexibility is “not hard” Ex. “light”,
(ex: “not Ex: used that means it’s “heavy”,
flexible” “soft” for the soft. “Not “bumpy”
instead of texture of the flexible” =
“rigid”) flowers. rigid. Etc.
c. Questions to “What is “What “What is the “If something “What do you “What does
ask to clarify another word category can difference is hard, can it observe that flexible
what I know for “not ‘soft’ fit into between still bend?” the objects mean?”
flexible”? better?” something ARE, instead “What are
having texture of what they some ways
and are not?” that you can
something tell is
having something is
hardness?” flexible?”
d. Ideas to Specific Specific Hard vs. Giving How to focus Talk about
work on next vocabulary vocabulary texture examples on on the details how to tell if
hard objects of something something is
that can bend. without flexible or
saying what not. Give
it’s not. obvious
examples of
things that
are flexible
vs. rigid.
III. 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.
If I taught this lesson again, I would consider using technology, such as the SmartBoard or an app to help them
with classification. I thought about doing this for this go around, but I felt like it was too much to have all of the
grab bags and have them use new technology (they don’t use the SmartBoard like a SmartBoard), so I decided
against it. I hope I get to have a SmartBoard or Promethean Board in my own classroom, because I want to try to
really utilize it, and I feel like this lesson would have been a really great way to do that. By having the students
interact directly with the technology, they will be more engaged and therefore learn even more. I could tell that
they did not fully grasp the classification aspect, so I would also potentially help them with categories for the first
time they are being introduced to it.

IV. Based on the assessment data you collected, what would you do/teach next if you were the classroom
Next, I would move more into getting the hang of classification. I would probably spend another day focusing
on just that.

V. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about young
children as learners?
This lesson really reinforced that when students are given hands on activities, they are more engaged and learn
more, and are more excited about the lesson.

VI. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about teaching?
Teaching this lesson helped me look at planning science lessons from a more dynamic way, instead of just
throwing worksheets at them.

VII. As a result of planning and teaching this lesson, what have you learned or had reinforced about yourself?
I saw how I am okay with letting go and letting the students lead themselves, instead of me having to lead
them the whole time. I already knew I was capable of this, but this lesson really brought that to the forefront
and it went really well!


Unwrap VA SOL. For each Big Idea found in the standard, write an essential question.
Unwrapped Concept Unwrapped Skill Taxonomy Level
(nouns) (verb) (Bloom’s)
Investigate and understand Analyze, understand
Objects, materials
• Ex: Toys
• Shoes
• Furniture

Describe, explain, conclude Understand, analyze, evaluate
Physical properties
• Ex: Color
• Texture
• Phase
• Temperature
• Ability to dissolve in

Big Idea Essential Question

What can I tell about an object from using my
Investigate and describe objects senses?