Changes that Matter: Physical and Chemical Change

Nicole Fraser, Fifth Grade, Davidson Elementary School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

Teaching science should be filled with magical experiences for your students! This unit teaches students how to identify physical and chemical changes through hands on experi-ences. The main objectives are identifying the three states of matter, comparing the mass of an object before and after a change, and identifying physical and chemical changes. The background information in this unit includes common misconceptions students have on the topic of matter. If this topic is new to your teaching standards it may be useful to read this information. Students keep an interactive notebook throughout the unit to record their thoughts, explanations, and lab reports. To begin the unit, two options are offered to activate prior knowledge with your students. Four demonstrations are included which cover the objectives of this unit. These magical demonstrations will allow teachers to have a meaningful experience to refer back to when emphasizing scientific points in their teaching. An experiment for students to conduct in groups is also included which gives students a chance to explore what happens to the mass and temperature of water as it melts. Lastly, an 8 rotation exploration is included which gives students a chance to think critically about physical and chemical change.