Okay, teachers, it’s time to stop wasting precious time on boring science lessons. Teach science with quick hands-on lessons!
Science is fun! Shouldn’t we teach it that way?
Hurricane Florence kept my students and me out of school for 6 weeks. When we finally came back, I was dying to do some fun lessons. I promised myself that we would do something fun that first week. We all needed it! I made it happen by doing a fun and memorable STEM challenge.
We made a messy, fascinating, and fun substance called Oobleck!
It has both properties of solids and liquids. When you first touch it, it feels like a solid, but it melts and drips like a liquid as you hold it. Oobleck is so much fun! It can have several different forms. You’ll see that students can have fun experimenting and mixing different substances to create different types.
The students made it with small cups of cornstarch, flour, salt, glue, and water. Once they had the materials, they could mix whichever ingredient they chose inside a larger cup.
This lesson goes great with states of matter books like Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss and Matter: Physical Science for Kids by Andi Diehn.
We discussed the different properties using the books. I gave examples around the room, and we completed some states of matter sorts.
This STEM challenge is messy, but I promise it is one of the most memorable challenges your kids will do. This STEM challenge is a hit every year!
Here are a few tips for making Oobleck with your students:
- Have your students clear their desk because it does get messy!
- Use baby wipes and paper towels for cleanup. You may want to consider having the students place their cups on a small tray to keep the powders off their desks.
- Add a little green food coloring to the water to create REAL Oobleck. Just remember that it can stain, so warn parents ahead of time.
- Once they started mixing and talking, the smiles lasted all day! I couldn’t believe I had a hard time getting my kids to stop because they were so engaged.
It’s lessons like this that make my kids fall in love with science. It felt good going home on a Friday, knowing I made a difference.
If you want to teach this states of matter lesson, I included it and several others in my States of Matter STEM Challenges.
There are three 5E lesson plans for teachers.
Each lesson takes about one week. In addition to the lesson, I’ve included experiments and STEM challenges. Everything you need to know to teach matter with confidence is in this resource. I even included the explanations, shopping list, and teacher tips!
Here’s a little more about what is included in this states of matter resource.
Science Inquiry Lessons Include:
- Measuring Volume Lab
- Measuring Weight Lab
- Liquids Lab
- Solids Lab
- Changing Matter Lab
- Melting Matter Lab
- Freezing Matter Lab
- Cooling Liquids Lab
- Sorting Matter Lab
- Solids and Liquids Observations
- Chocolate Milk Experiment
The target skills and topics include:
- Students can give examples of matter that change from a solid to a liquid and from a liquid to a solid by heating and cooling.
- They can describe the properties of solids and liquids and give examples of both solids and liquids.
- Students can measure and compare the volume of a liquid poured into different containers.
- They will know if the water is turned into ice and then the ice is allowed to melt, the amount of water is the same as it was before freezing.
In each lesson students will:
For more STEM ideas, check out my post here.
I’d love to know what your favorite states of matter lesson are! Let me know in the comments below.