Science
Strand IV
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand IV
Content Standard 1
All students will measure and describe the things around us; explain what the world around us is made of; identify and describe forms of energy; and explain how electricity and magnetism interact with matter (Matter and Energy)

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1
Elementary

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary
Benchmark 2
Identify properties of materials that make them useful.

Benchmark Clarification

Some properties make materials useful in the real world and require tools to observe:

  • magnetism
  • conductivity
    See Electric Circuits, (SCI.IV.1.E.4).
  • buoyancy
  • flexibility
  • hardness
  • transparency
    See Uses of Earth Materials, (SCI.V.1.E.5).

Other attributes require tools, measurements and calculations:

  • length
  • weight
  • density

Students will:

  • Investigate and identify properties of materials that make them useful in the real world
  • Justify the reason(s) for their selection of materials based on the properties (e.g., what materials would you use to construct a backpack and why?)
    • canvas (durable)
    • plastic (waterproof)
  • Explain their reasoning to another person

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Key Concept
Useful properties:

  • unbreakable
  • waterproof
  • lightweight
  • conducts electricity
    See Electric Circuits,(SCI.IV.1.E.4)
  • conducts heat
  • attracted to a magnet
  • clear

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Real World Context
Appropriate selection of materials for a particular use:

  • waterproof raincoat
  • cotton or wool for clothing
  • glass for windows
  • metal pan to conduct heat
  • copper wire to conduct electricity

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What are the useful properties of materials?

Focus Question: What materials would you use to construct a familiar object (e.g., backpack, model airplane, raincoat)?

Students will compare, analyze, and discuss useful characteristics of different materials to make the familiar object (e.g., backpack, model airplane, raincoat).

Students will work with partners to select and construct an object. They will:

  • Collect a variety of materials from which to make the object and will classify them by useful characteristics
  • Design and construct a model of their object using appropriate materials (For example, would you use a paper bag or plastic bag to construct a raincoat?)
  • Evaluate the materials used to construct a model of the object and record their evaluations in their science journals.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.E.1), (SCI.I.1.E.2), (SCI.I.1.E.5), (SCI.I.1.E.6).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.3).

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Assessment Example

Students will hold a public auction. They will auction common items with useful properties. The teacher will give the students objects such as a pencil, jacket, mirror, umbrella, paper plate, flashlight, refrigerator magnet, electrical wire, etc. Students may work with partners to share ideas.

Taking turns role-playing an auctioneer, each student will describe his or her item in terms of its properties, what it is used for, and the usefulness or benefits of its properties. Each student’s goal will be to convince the class that his or her item is the most useful. The rest of the class will be able to “bid” on each item. After the auction, the class should discuss whether the items selling for the highest prices were also the most useful. What other characteristics might have influenced the students’ bids?

After completing the auction, students may create a classroom book of “Silly and Not So Useful Products.” Students will draw their products on sheets of paper. Instead of including the useful properties, they should change the properties to make them less useful. Examples may include an umbrella made from a screen, a mirror made from cardboard, a pan made from paper, etc.

After putting their pages into a book, students may share their class book with other classes, identifying the inappropriate properties. The class book may be put in the media center for others to enjoy.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Description of object

Describes one useful property of the object.

Describes two useful properties of the object.

Describes three useful properties of the object.

Describes four or more useful properties and suggests another.

Accuracy of sketch

Sketches an object that reflects no useless properties.

Sketches an object that reflects at least one useless property.

Sketches an object that reflects at least two useless properties.

Sketches an object with great detail and three useless properties.

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.IV.1.E.2.html

MASER PROJECT.
http://www.svsu.edu/mathsci-center/Maser%20Science/MASER.html

Floaters and Sinkers. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

Hewitt, Sally. Solid, Liquid or Gas? Usbourne, 1998.