So this past week, I had a chance to do a model lesson in one of my dear friend’s classrooms. In science, they had been studying matter and were getting ready to move onto properties of matter and how matter can change. In reading and social studies, they had been learning all about Johnny Appleseed. I thought it would be fun to marry all of their learning together with a properties of matter apple science experiment!
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Properties of Matter: Apple Observations
Before starting the lesson, we quickly reviewed how scientist use observations to study different types of matter. We also reviewed the different properties of matter. Then, I passed out green apples to groups of students. We used our hand lens to make observations of the apples. Students also used a scale to measure the weight of the apple.
As students made observations, we kept a running record of the different properties of the apples on this quick little anchor chart.
Quick side note, sorry these pics are so blurry! I took them quickly while I was also teaching! Not easy to do! LOL! After we finished our observations, we reviewed what we had observed.
How Matter Can Change
From there, it was time to discuss how matter can change. After reviewing our apple properties it was time to ask a question. What would happen if we heated the solid state of apples? We used this question as a launching point for our experiment.
Each student received their own copy of our scientific process record sheet. As we filled it out, I modeled it using the document camera. From there, students then added their hypothesis to their experiment sheet. For the procedures, students guided me through how they thought we should prepare and heat the apples. I also showed them the materials we’d be using the experiment.
After we brainstormed the steps, it was time for the students to head to their special area class. This gave me and my teacher friend time to cut up and prepare the rest of the apples. Most of the ingredients we had added while we wrote out the steps, but I was glad to have some time without students to finish the prep! We placed the cut up apples, sugar, cinnamon, and a little lemon juice into a crockpot (our source of heat) Then, cooked it on low for the rest of the morning. You can grab the exact recipe here.
Apple Experiment Results
After lunch, our apples had been transformed and were ready to be observed. I called students up by tables to come and take a peek at the crockpot. Then, a student passed back out the apple experiment sheets. After making their observations, students were able to fill in their results section.
After everyone had a chance to observe, we passed out cups of the transformed apples. Students were then able to better observe the change in matter and the properties of heated apples. We made another anchor chart to write down our observations.
From there we made some conclusions about what happened to solid apples once they were heated. Students were excited to see how over time the apples softened. We also compared this to a popsicle left outside or ice melting in a cup. Students were able to draw the conclusion that heat can transform states of matter.
I had so much fun teaching that day! Of course, I have to thank my friend for allowing me to come in and perform such a fun experiment! If you want to snag all the resources I used to conduct this properties of matter experiment, you can find this activity and so many more as part of my Johnny Appleseed Close Reading Pack.
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