the Instructional and Professional Development Needs of K-12
"Meeting the Instructional and Professional Development Needs of K-12 Science Educators"
Sample from the K-5 Resource CD:
New Science Standards Planning
Ohio's New Science Standards
"Properties of Materials and Motion"
The following is a description of a possible first grade unit, "Properties of Materials and Motion". This is only one suggestion for teaching a standards-based unit on physical science.
Click on the Instructional Component for the Unit that you would like to view:
Observing Materials and Their Properties Changing the Properties of Materials Materials and Motion Energy Around Us
Instructional Components of the Unit
Students will expand their understanding of properties of materials which they learned in kindergarten. The teacher can assess the students' understanding of properties by having students classify objects according to the materials they are made of and their physical properties. (Indicator #1 - Physical Science) Once the students demonstrate this understanding, the next step is to have students explore how the properties of materials can change. The most common method is to investigate that water can change form a liquid to a solid or solid to a liquid. (Indicator #2 - Physical Science) By observing these changes in the properties of water firsthand, students are introduced to the fact that a material can change its properties.
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Next, students can explore and observe that things can be done to materials to change their properties (e.g., heating, freezing, mixing, cutting, wetting, dissolving, bending, exposing to light). (Indicator #3 - Physical Science) Students should be given multiple opportunities to investigate the various ways that the properties of materials can be changed. The more experiences the students have, the deeper their understanding will be about this concept.
Students should also explore changes that greatly change the properties of an object (e.g., burning paper) and changes that leave the properties largely unchanged (e.g., tearing paper). (Indicator #4 - Physical Science) By introducing students to this idea, students are gaining the conceptual foundation for understanding physical and chemical changes later. Again, the more their experiences are reinforced, the better the understanding for this important concept.
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At the completion of kindergarten, students should have been introduced to how objects are put into motion. In first grade this concept is reinforced by allowing students to investigate a variety of ways to make things move and what causes them to change speed, direction and/or stop. (Indicator #6 - Physical Science) Students should be given the freedom to explore all of these various components of motion in a variety of unique ways. There are many activities which allow students to explore this concept. This introductory understanding of force and motion is essential to the future conceptual understanding dealing with force and how it relates to motion.
A very engaging way for students to investigate force and motion is to explore the effects of some objects on others even when the two objects might not touch (e.g., magnets). (Indicator #5 - Physical Science) Students can explore how magnets can move each other by pushing each other away at their like poles. They can also move magnets can move each other by putting one on the top of the desk and one on the bottom or just separate them by a sheet of paper. By exploring this motion caused by the the magnets attracting each other, students can see how one magnet is pulling the other to make it move.
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Once students have a basic understanding of how objects can move, they can begin to explore energy. First graders do not need to understand the complexities of energy. They need to begin to recognize what energy is and what forms that energy can be found. There will be a natural transition from exploring motion to understanding what is required to make something move or create a force.
To begin exploring energy, students can discuss how the sun is a source of energy for us. Students can draw pictures of how they think the sun provides energy for us and the things on the earth. After they do this, the class can share the pictures and discuss some students drawings. The teacher should also be sure to focus them on what is expected to be understood about the sun's energy. Students need to understand that the sun's energy warms the land, air and water. (Indicator #8 - Physical Science) This concept can be investigated by measuring the temperature of a puddle or glass of water in the sun or the temperature of the ground as the sun shines on it.
Once the sun is understood as an energy source, students can move on to explore other sources of energy. Here students can draw or find pictures of things that move or do something (i.e., toys, cars, people) and either write or tell what makes each thing "run" or "work." They should focus on things which they are familiar with such as food, batteries, electricity, and gasoline. (Indicator #9 - Physical Science)
Lastly, students can make the connection of how energy makes things work. This by no means expects students to understand the complexities of how energy makes things work, it just expects them to explore examples of how energy can make things work in different ways. Such as, batteries in a toy car make the wheels go around and make the car move or electricity makes the blades of a fan turn and make a breeze. This can be an informal discussion within the class and may not be a formal lesson. (Indicator #7 - Physical Science)
Primarily Physics - AIMS Manual
Activity Title What is Energy (Fact Sheet) Web Links
Solar Heat Experiment
Materials that Absorb Solar Energy
Energy and Science Projects For Students
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