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Design Presentation
by Debra Pedersen
Marconi Community Academy
Twenty African-American 1st graders
with free/reduced lunch
Topic: FOSS Solids and Liquids Module
Part 2: Liquids
Investigation 1: Liquids in Bottles
Key Learning Goals
(as unpacked from NSES standards)
Objects have properties that can be observed.
Objects can be described by the properties
of the materials from which they are made.
Objects and materials can be sorted by
their properties.
Materials exist in different states –
solid, liquid and gas.
Some materials can change their
state by heating and cooling.
Prior Conceptions Analysis
Students could identify liquids and solids as
distinctly different from one another, but did not
use the term ‘state of matter”.
Students could name several liquids, but did
not have the vocabulary to describe their
FOSS Investigation
Liquids in Bottles
The teacher begins the lesson with a review of
the solid materials and their properties from
Part 1: Solids.
The teacher tells the students that they will
investigate liquids to discover their properties.
Students work in groups exploring seven
liquids in closed bottles.
Students manipulate the bottles and
observe how the liquids differ from each
During the wrap-up, students are asked
to contribute to the Word Bank and
What We Learned content charts.
Learning Goals for
This Investigation
Students can describe properties of liquids that
define them as a state of matter.
Students can compare liquids by describing
their properties.
Driving Question:
How are these liquids different from each
Curriculum Analysis
Learning Goals –
NSES and FOSS goals are very similar and
the investigation closely relates to these
Prior Conceptions –
The designers assume students have an
understanding of solids and liquids as
distinct states of matter with properties
that are identifiable for each. My students
recognize that solids and liquids are
different states of matter, but do not yet
have the vocabulary to articulate their
specific properties.
Curriculum Analysis
Consider the Inquiry -
Several phases of the Inquiry Cycle are
missing resulting in missed opportunities
for students in the process and procedure
of the investigation.
Consider the Design Implications –
The redesign will focus on maximizing
student involvement in all phases of the
inquiry process to enhance accountability
and improve learning outcomes.
Areas Targeted for Redesign
Engage Phase -
This phase is missing and the opportunity is
lost to access students’ prior knowledge, focus
student attention on the topic, and be excited
about the investigation.
Prepare to Investigate -
This phase is missing and students need time to
think about how they want to proceed with the
investigation, and develop their own questions
to investigate with the liquids.
There needs to be a change from a teacherdirected to a student-directed investigation to
allow students to have ownership of their own
learning and participate in a true inquiry-based
Design Changes
Engage Phase –
Scaffold Student Learning
Review content chart for properties of solids.
Introduce the Investigation
Reference states of matter from read aloud book.
Access Prior Knowledge
Introduce KLEW chart and brainstorm ideas.
Student Artifact
Complete “Know” column in KLEW chart.
Design Changes
Prepare to Investigate –
Allow students time to “mess about” with the
materials and develop their own ideas on how to
explore liquids.
Guide students to plan how to investigate the
liquids and share their ideas with the class.
Groups share their ideas on exploring the liquids
with the class.
Learning Performances
Students can –
Formulate a question to investigate properties of
Devise methods to explore properties of liquids.
Determine properties of liquids and complete a
Compare properties of liquids using a Venn
Complete a KLEW graphic organizer for liquids.
Collaborate on a presentation of liquid properties
to the class.
Teacher observation of students’ participation
during the investigation (check list format).
Students complete a Venn diagram comparing two
liquids that will show their understanding of
properties of liquids (rubric).
Students complete a KLEW chart for liquids
(check list format).
Students complete a chart of liquid properties
(check list format).
Students participate in a group presentation of
their results (rubric).
(These activities have been completed.)
Engage Phase
Student discussion at rug to activate prior knowledge of
states of matter and properties.
KLEW chart introduced and “K” column completed.
Prepare to Investigate Phase
Students “messed around” with two liquids in bottles.
Students shared ideas on how to proceed with the
investigation of liquids.
Students developed questions for the investigation.
(These activities have been completed.)
Investigate Phase
Students explored the liquids in bottles.
Students worked with a partner to complete a Venn
diagram comparing two liquids.
(These activities have not yet been completed.)
Prepare to Report Phase
Students plan on how to share their investigation results
with the class.
Report Phase
Students will make group presentations to class.
Anecdotal -
*check list format with +/ check / - categories
Students formulated a question for the investigation.
Students devised a method to investigate the liquids in bottles.
Students explored the liquids in bottles.
Performance -
*rubric format with okay/ good/ excellent categories
Students present their results to the class.
Written (artifacts) –
*rubric format with okay/good/excellent categories
Students compare properties of liquids using a Venn diagram.
Students complete a KLEW Graphic organizer for liquids.
Students complete a properties of liquids chart (Foss
KLEW graphic organizer was a good tool for focusing and
recording students’ ideas.
Students enjoyed sharing their ideas about how to investigate
the liquids.
The Venn diagram activity also promoted using the vocabulary
words in context.
Time spent discussing and exploring before the investigation
led to a more productive and successful investigation.
Time is a factor with possibly choosing fewer investigations,
but doing all the inquiry phases for those selected.