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Water, A Liquid

This review is on the first segment of the Grade 5 curriculum of "The Inquiry Project: Seeing the World Through the Scientists' Eyes." Water, A Liquid is a series of 5 investigations about water. Students use readily available materials such as water, sand and gravel to deepen their understanding of weight. Having a conceptual understanding of weight is important because students will use it when they begin exploring matter that is too small to be seen. The students are introduced to the study of matter by looking at images of ships sitting in a dry seabed in the Aral Sea. This introductory investigation will hook students because it is posed as a mystery and has a real life connection. Within this series of 5 investigations students will: -practice measurement using standard units -collect and record data -read a letter from an engineer -compare the weight of sand and water -use a digital scale -learn vocabulary -review volume, estimation -engage in discourse -reflect on the weight of small bits of matter -summarize evidence -collaborate -develop strategies -observe -transform (by crushing). The Inquiry Project is a quality curriculum developed pre-NGSS but closely aligned with The Framework of K-12 Science Education. This curriculum "links the three dimensions together" through the qualitative and quantitative measurement of water and sand using standard units and student observations. Each lesson is "designed to link with the previous lesson" as students build toward the capacity to be able to "make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties" in the context of the dry sea phenomena.

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National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
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