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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 1 Objective 2
Students explore the science involved in the making of items used in colonial life: bread, butter, soap, candles, wool, etc.
Colonial Living, by Edwin Tunis; ISBN 9780801862274 (Paperback)
If You Lived in Colonial Times, by Ann McGovern; ISBN 059045160X (Paperback)
If You Lived In Williamsburg in Colonial Days, by Barbara Brenner; 0590929224 (Paperback)
When settlements were first established in the colonial period and eventually during the western expansion, they all began by growing their own food and making the things they used everyday. Children grew up helping grow the food and making the necessary items for survival and passed these skills onto their own children.
Many of the things that these early settlers made were science related. One could say that they were scientists in their own rights. All of the items they needed were made from matter. Some items went through a physical change and some went through a chemical change. Things such as candles, bricks, soap, butter, bread and woolen items that they made daily, weekly, or monthly fall into the categories of physical or chemical changes.
4. Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.
Invitation to Learn
Show the students a bar of soap, candle, loaf of bread (uncut if possible) bar of butter, brick, and something made of wool. (You could use pictures, too, if the items are not available.)
Tell them that for the next couple of days they are going to read about each item to know the history of each and how they were made. They will find out where the materials were found and the process used to make them. They will record some findings in their journals and other findings on graphic organizers. When they are done reading and writing about the items, have the students write how the making of these items relates to science and the changing of matter to a different form by way of physical change and chemical change.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Black, R. (2005). Why demonstrate matter? Science and Children, Vol. 44 (Number 1), page 56.
It is still a good practice to have teacher-centered demonstrations in the classroom. Children get excited when they see unfamiliar objects in front of them that they know are going to part of a science experiment. Careful planning and questions techniques give the teacher more control for the students to understand the results.
Enfield, M. (2007). Discussion maps make sense. Science and Children, Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 46-49.
Discussion can be useful for teachers in evaluating students ideas. Discussion offers windows for teachers to help understand student thinking. Through discussions, students can express their ideas. Some students feel more comfortable during a discussion than during any other school task. The discussion map lets a teacher gain insight into the students level of participation and helps the teacher get an idea if the student understands the concept taught.