Lesson plan

Curious Science with Curious George

The science of matter becomes as fun as it is educational when George gets in the mix! After watching Curious George work with his 'floppafication' pot, students will learn about matter and force.
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Students will be able to read and discuss the plot of a short story. They will also be able to describe and classify types of matter by their observable properties.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today, they are going to learn about 'floppification' with Curious George.
  • Make sure each student has a sheet of paper and a pencil.
  • Create a KWL chart on the board and discuss with the students what they know and what they want to know about cooking spaghetti. (Example questions include: Do any of you know how to cook noodles? What happens when you cook noodles? Does this happen to everything? Why?)
  • Explain that the boiling water changes the matter of the noodles by affecting the makeup of their structure through force.
  • Have students copy down your chart.
(20 minutes)
  • Have students move to a common area.
  • Read aloud Curious George Takes a Job.
(30 minutes)
  • Have students discuss and finish the KWL charts as a class.
  • At this point the lesson can be continued in one of two ways: 1) The class uses a Bunsen burner to heat a pot or clear bowl full of water, and then cook noodles, eggs, a spoon, etc. While discussing which of these items would be the best choices for 'floppification.' or 2) Students discuss the 'floppification' process and why some items changed, some items didn't, and some changed items didn't wind up floppy.
  • Provide the pre-prepared food items for students to pass around, touch, squeeze (carefully), sniff, etc.
  • Have students categorize these items based on their observable properties. Categories might include: "Floppable" or "No Change."
(10 minutes)
  • Place students into small groups.
  • Ask each group to think about things that change with the heat or cold, just like the 'floppification' pot changed hard noodles to soft and breakable eggs to hard boiled when the water got hot.
  • Have each group take out a sheet of notebook paper and list out items that change with the heat or cold, such as water, butter, plastic, and so on.
  • Ask them to go through their list and put a star next to each item that will return to 'normal' when the heat or cold goes away (e.g. Ice melts back into water, butter hardens back into a solid, and plastic is still plastic.)
  • Tell students to each turn this list in with everyone's name on it.
  • Enrichment: Let advanced students read other stories about changes in matter, cooking, and/or Curious George.
  • Support: Students in need of support may work in small groups with advanced students for peer tutoring.
(5 minutes)
  • Group work will be turned in for a grade.
  • Student participation can be used as an active assessment.
(5 minutes)
  • Remind students that different things react in different ways to the same 'force' (e.g. Heat melts some things and hardens others, while boiling water makes hard spaghetti soft and liquid eggs solid.)
  • Ask students some reflection questions, such as: Watch how dinner is cooked tonight. What ingredients change? Is there something that doesn't change?

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