Matter – Atoms, Elements & Molecules

Here students use candy to build molecules and gain experience using microscopes.  Here students have made water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen peroxide, propane and salt molecules.

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

Earth's Systems

Exploring the water cycle is just one of our many activities we have to explore how the different earth systems interact.  Can you come up with an argument to support the water cycle interacting with all of the other earth systems?  

5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Engineering Design

The cup stack challenge is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the engineering design process and encourage students that they can all become engineers.  Students learn valuable teamwork and communication skills needed to solve complex tasks and problems.

Teamwork and group projects help students develop both individual and collaborative efforts which opens the doors for students to; tackle more intricate problems or tasks, allot roles and responsibilities, collaborate and exchange different perspectives, combine knowledge and skills, peer-to-peer accountability, resolve personal differences, emulate successful peers, develop stronger communication skills, manage time, etc.

3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

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.

From Molecules to Organisms

Atmosphere in a bag is a great way to isolate factors that contribute to plant growth.  We are able to place plants in different parts of the room and collect growth data to determine what factors contribute most to plant growth.  By weighing the soil and measuring the amount of water used, we are able to determine where the plant matter is coming from.

Transition to this lesson after germination and parts of a plant.  Students should understand what is happening inside seed as it absorbs water from the soil.

5-LS1-1. Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.