One area of 5th grade science is in the area of Physical Science. The NGSS science standards state that 5th graders should be able to do the following in this area:
- 5-PS1-1. Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
- 5PS1-2. 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.
- 5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
- 5-PS1-4. Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
- 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
The final standard included in our unit is an Engineering Design standard.
To start off our Matter Unit the 5th grade students designed and tested their own ideas to see if they could asnwer a question of separating a mixture. The students first were given the question of, “How can we separate the mixture?” The only other inforamtion they were given was the BIG IDEA of Matter can be described by its structure, properties, and fuctions. They had been given a set of vocabulary words to sort as a pre-test and explain as to why they grouped them together. The students then received a mixture with paper circles, iron shavings, poppy seeds, sand, salt and were asked to design a test to separate the matter back into groups.
This activity was designed to get to the science idea that all matter has properties. The students recorded their plan in a google doc and made changes as necessary. All groups ended up finding succes. We have a lot more to learn about Matter, and the students are excited to learn more.
When we revisitied the word sort from the beginning, the students were shocked to see how much they had learned from this one activity.
This unit combines Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and required students to work in colloaborative teams to problem solve and critical think.
Mrs. Tracy Jarrett