Overview: This hands-on activity is designed to engage students in higher levels of thinking when it comes to the concept of matter. Students will be expected to make connections between various ideas and concepts associated with this topic. This activity is designed as a formative assessment activity after some instruction has been offered to students about matter. It could even be used as a pre-assessment activity before beginning the lesson. Also, instead of using it as a hands-on, manipulative type activity, you could also use it as a notes page where students could record their learning as matter is explained. I recommend it as a higher level interactive activity and not simply a notes page. Instructions below are for how students would use this activity in my class. Please note that various levels of boards are offered for differentiation and scaffolding purposes.
• Decide which level of board/cards you want to prep (see instructions for guidance).
• Print boards on legal size paper – 1 per group of 3 or 4.
• Print 1 set of cards (in color for levels 1 and 2).
Note: If you do not have a color printer, you can use markers to mark the colors on the cards.
• Optional: Laminate boards and card sets.
• Cut and bag card sets.
Instructions for Level 1 & 2:
• Sort and stack cards by colors.
• Black cards will be on bottom of stack (face up in any order), blue cards will be stacked on top of black card (any order), green on top of blue (any order) and finally, the red cards will be on top. The red cards with numbers 1-4 will be the first 4 cards played so they need to be the top 4 cards in the stack.
• Place stack of all cards in middle next to board.
• Player 1 begins by drawing a card from the stack and reading it out loud to the group. They must then decide where it belongs on the board.
Scaffolding note: You may want to indicate that the board will be completed starting with boxes closest to “MATTER” and working outward.
• Once player one correctly plays the card on the board, play moves to player 2. If player 1 is unable to play the card they drew, they should ask for help from peers or teacher.
Scaffolding note: You may want to allow students to use a notes page, text book, or vocabulary page as a reference the first time they complete the board.
• Play continues until all cards are correctly played. Board should be checked by teacher.
• Repeat with same board and no reference pages or with the next level of board/cards.
Instructions for Level 3:
• This is a more open ended puzzle type activity with less structure.
• Have students start by correctly placing cards 1-4 on the board.
• They will then work together to complete the board using the cards.
• You will notice that card set 3 does not have colors so there is no
indication for which group of cards will be played 1st.
• Level 3 cards/boards are for your higher level or gifted students who
need more of a challenge.
© Marianne Dobrovolny - www.science-lessons.org
Matter Interactive Concept Mapping Activity
by Marianne Dobrovolny
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License