October 3, 2015
by Dwayne Slobodnick

Lesson plan

Liquid Detectives

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Grade Subject

Students will be able to investigate, describe, and record information about solids.

(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that they will learn about liquids today.
  • Tell the students that there are three states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases and their focus today will be on solids.
  • Show Matter Chatter to the students.
  • While the song is playing, write the world “liquid” on chart paper to make a word web.
  • After the song, ask students to give examples and characteristics of liquids.
  • Write down the words and phrases the students say on the word web.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the students together, and tell them that you will show them how to investigate a liquid.
  • On chart paper, copy the table from the Liquid Detectives - Observation worksheet to demonstrate how to record information.
  • Tell the students that the liquids are a mystery, and that they will be doing test to try to figure out what each liquid is.
  • Choose a mystery liquid, then record the color, smell (by wafting it), transparency, and feel (by dipping a finger in it and then rubbing two fingers together).
  • Explain to the students that all the liquids are safe to touch and smell, but tell them they are not to taste them.
  • Demonstrate how to stir the liquid to see how thick or thin it is, then record your observations.
(10 minutes)
  • Show the students another mystery liquid in another cup.
  • Ask students to come up and observe the liquid as you just showed them, then have them tell you what to record on the chart paper.
  • Explain to the students that they will now be able to investigate liquids in small groups.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the students to get into their small groups.
  • Hand out the Liquid Detectives - Observation worksheet to the students.
  • Remind the students to work together on their observations, and to discuss their findings.
  • Hand out the liquids and stir sticks to each group.
  • Tell the students to begin their investigation.
  • Walk around, listen to the students conversation, and ask students questions about their discoveries.
  • When finished, ask the students to clean up.
  • Enrichment: To challenge students, you can have students write a paragraph about a liquid. They will create a description without saying what the liquid is, and other students have to guess what it is.
  • Support: If students have difficulty writing, you can have them orally communicate their discoveries about the liquids.
(10 minutes)
  • During the investigation, walk around and listen to student conversations and ask them about their discoveries.
  • Look over student worksheets to check understanding.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the students together with their worksheets.
  • Ask the students to share with the class their discoveries about the liquids they investigated.

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