Key Elementary Year One
Ortiz – Jen Weisphal
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
Students will be able to identify physical and chemical changes, as well as articulate why an example given is correct or incorrect.
S5P1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the differences between a physical change and a chemical change.
- Plan and carry out investigations of physical changes by manipulating, separating and mixing dry and liquid materials.
- Construct an argument based on observations to support a claim that the physical changes in the state of water are due to temperature changes, which cause small particles that cannot be seen to move differently.
- Plan and carry out an investigation to determine if a chemical change occurred based on observable evidence (color, gas, temperature change, odor, new substance produced).
ELAGSE5W4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
ELAGSE5SL1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
- Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
- Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
ELAGSE5SL4: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Science & ELA
- Scrap paper in two different colors of similar size
The PAIR Specialist explained how to play the game of Snowball, telling the students to feel free to write down something they had a question about that they may have been questioning since learning about physical and chemical changes. Perhaps someone was cooking in the kitchen and they witnessed what they thought could be a chemical change or they wondered if a browning leaf was merely a physical change; this game was the time to ask the question without fear of feeling silly for asking it.
First, passing out a white sheet of paper, students wrote an example of a physical change on their snowball. As tables were finished writing their example, they would hold up their snowball above their head silently to signal they were ready to move forward. The PAIR Specialist collected all of the Physical Change snowballs.
Then the PAIR Specialist passed out yellow sheets of paper and each student wrote an example of a Chemical Change. As before, students held up their snowballs silently when ready to move forward. The PAIR Specialist collected all Chemical Change snowballs.
Then, the PAIR Specialist walked around the class having each student pull out two snowballs, a Physical change white snowball and a Chemical change yellow snowball. If a student pulled their own snowball, they would throw it back into the box the get one that was not theirs.
The Specialist went around the room having students share first their Physical Snowball, and then their Chemical snowball, asking the entire group to give thumbs up or thumbs down to the example. If there was large disagreement, the Specialist would call on students to explain their point of view, allowing a discussion to occur and then asking the teacher to confirm the idea that was correct and explain why if further explanation was needed.
One of my favorite moments within this snowball activity was a student’s answer, which merely stated the word “soda” as a chemical change. A great debate naturally occurred where one student claimed it was not a chemical change because soda is just soda and, if it’s in a cup, it’s not changing. Another student then expressed that is was a chemical change based on how it was created, because carbon was combined with water and syrup to create a totally new product. In both instances, the ideas were technically correct, though it depended solely on whether was being produced or was a finished product.