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This 10-day unit on physical and chemical changes was presented in a fifth-grade classroom. Throughout the unit students had to cite multiple indicators for physical and chemical changes. Students were also given experiences that specifically addressed misconceptions about the reversibility of changes and the conservation of matter during changes.
A selection from Science and Children—October 2012
I really enjoyed this article. I didn't realize how many of the physical and chemical changes that I knew of were really misconceptions. This article did a great job explaining and reversing some of the misconceptions that I had. I love the flow chart they included as well.
This article was a great read! I love that the authors give ideas for hands-on explorations in the classroom and also ideas for getting students up and out of the classroom for the search for changes. The table of common misconceptions is a handy resource as well. While reading the article I was reminded of a Picture-Perfect Science lesson - I believe it was in the first book and is called Chemical Change Cafe (?). With that lessons literacy ties, the ideas in that lesson would complement the ideas in this article well and they could easily be meshed for an elementary classroom.
Cori Coleman (Ft. Collins, CO)
This is one of the best articles I have ever read about physical and chemical changes! The chart of misconceptions is very helpful for teachers to use when teaching these concepts. The article gives basic information on physical and chemical changes along with lots of activities to teach these concepts.
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)
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