In this lab activity, students will use their observation skills to explore elements, molecules, and mixtures. They will develop and test a plan to separate a mixture.
Teacher Instructions, Part 1:
1. Instruct students to divide their paper into three columns with the following headings:
- Element (Oxygen)
- Molecule (Salt)
- Solution (Saltwater)
2. Divide students into three groups and provide each group with the appropriate supplies (an empty cup representing oxygen gas, salt, and a saltwater mix) and the station info sheet (Stations 1 through 3). Ask students to make observations of not only the substance (oxygen, salt, saltwater), but also the molecular structure illustrated on the cards. (I also suggest creating 3D models with toothpicks and marshmallows!)
3. Discuss student observations and work to solidify student understanding of the difference between the three types of substances.
Teacher Instructions, Part 2:
1. Present students with the various Inquiry Assignment task cards. Instruct students to design a strategy to separate the mixtures and solutions described. You may give each group one card or present students with several cards.
2. Then, instruct students to select one mixture to separate using the strategy they described. They should record their procedure and reflect on its degree of success at the end of the lab.
Meets NGSS Standards:
5-PS1-1 Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
5-PS1-4 Conduct investigations to determine whether the mixing of two substances results in a new substance.
DCI PS1-A Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means.
DCI PS1-B When two or more substances are mixed, a new substance with different properties may be formed. Total mass remains the same.
Document Copyright 2014 Nicole Fuhrman