Conservation of Mass Lab

Grade Levels
6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This NGSS 5E Lesson uses molecule building kits to allow students to simulate two chemical reactions that demonstrate the Law of Conservation of Mass, balancing equations as well as using YouTube clips and the Mythbusters to Engage and grab students attention. You are guaranteed to get some "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs"!!!

ENGAGE: The students can either
watch the videos on their device or you
can play the YouTube clips through your
computer. The engage will show methane
bubbles exploding in very close proximity
to the people demonstrating and the
Mythbusters are in one! There is nothing
in either video that has the answer to the
the question, “What do you think happened
to the Methane after it combusted?”
So it’s a discrepant event/
phenomena that is encouraged in NGSS.
Which brings science into the real world
and makes it more relevant, while engaging
them at the same time. The answers
should be, “It changed into water and
carbon dioxide”, but I tell them it’s a
guess and it’s ok that it’s wrong.
EXPLORE: Here the students balance
the equation and count the atoms for the
reactants. They then build the reactants
and then mass them using the molecule
kits. It’s very important they put the lid on
the molecule kit because they will start
building the products separately and get
different masses. They will then enter the
mass in the data table for reactants. Every
group’s mass should be about the
same so you can go from group to to
make sure they are building the reactants
for the balanced equation. For instance
they need to build 1 molecule of CH4 and
2 molecules of O2 for the first equation.
They will then take apart and rearrange
the same atoms and bonds into 1 CO2
molecule and 2 H2O molecules for the
products. They then count, mass and
draw them. See example.

EXPLANATION: Here they should answer
that the mass stayed the same before
and after the reaction. Again the students
can either watch the videos on their
device or you can play the YouTube clips
through your computer. You need to tell
the students the answers aren’t totally
clear, they will have to use their prior
knowledge to figure out what the answers
are, the answers aren’t obvious.

ELABORATION: How carbon dioxide
and methane cause global warming is
straightforward but connecting the conservation
of mass to global warming isn’t obvious
and may take some guidance.

EVALUATE: I often have my students
grade their own work, because it allows
for us to revisit the content, address misconceptions,
discuss data and it adds a
sense of closure. Because they are grading
their own work they also sometimes
want to argue (in a respectful way) why
their answer may be correct and then
other students hear different ways of
thinking about the content. I do this by
having the students clear their desks except
for the assignment. I then pass out
my own green correcting pens, one per
student and absolutely no other writing
utensils out. I do randomly check student
work for accurate grading and I let them
know that I do that and there will be a
consequence if they are being dishonest

Please follow me, give me a review and feel free to email if you have any questions. craigwilliams4291@gmail.com

Thank you so much!!!
Total Pages
15
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
90 Minutes

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Conservation of Mass Lab
Conservation of Mass Lab
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