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Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™: How Can We Change Solids and Liquids? 1-Use Module

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Grade 2. Module Highlights: In 10 lessons over 13 class sessions, students explore how solids and liquids can change by heating, cooling, building up, carving, and taking apart. They investigate several properties of solids and liquids including color, shape, and hardness. They learn through a text that hard materials can be carved, and soft materials can be built up. They build a sculpture and take it apart to make another sculpture with different properties (this leads into a later understanding of particles). They compare the properties of several liquids and solids and argue from evidence for whether sand is a solid or a liquid. They use what they have learned about solids and liquids to test different materials for a cold pack. They explore what happens when materials are heated and observe that a wax crayon still works as a crayon when it is heated and cooled. They obtain information from a text to construct an explanation for how a silver necklace is made by heating and cooling different materials. In the culminating science challenge, students choose the best material for a replica gemstone based on its properties.

This module includes a teacher guide, 16 Smithsonian Science Stories student readers, and enough materials for 32 students to use 1 time.

Alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards*
Performance Expectations

  • 2-PS1-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
  • 2-PS1-2: Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.
  • 2-PS1-3: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.
  • 2-PS1-4: Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
  • K-2-ETS1-1: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
  • Different kinds of matter exist and many of them can be either solid or liquid, depending on temperature. Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties.
  • Different properties are suited to different purposes.
  • A great variety of objects can be built up from a small set of pieces.
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
  • Heating or cooling a substance may cause changes that can be observed. Sometimes these changes are reversible, and sometimes they are not.
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
  • Asking questions, making observations, and gathering information are helpful in thinking about problems.
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution**
  • Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs.
**Indicates a DCI that is addressed in the module but not summatively assessed.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • Constructing explanations
  • Defining problems
  • Using a model
Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Patterns
  • Energy and matter
  • Cause and effect

Concepts and Practices Storyline
Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1: Sorting Gemstones

Solids can be sorted by color and shape.
Students record observations on how gemstones can be sorted and use observations to identify a pattern.
Lesson 2: Scratch Test
Solids can be sorted by hardness.
Students plan and carry out an investigation to sort objects by hardness and argue from evidence for which object is harder.
Lesson 3: Carving and Building Up
Hard and soft materials can be used to make different types of sculpture.
Students obtain information from a text on materials that are used to make sculptures and identify a pattern of hard materials being carved and soft materials being built up.
Lesson 4: Piece by Piece
Two different sculptures can be made from the same pieces.
Students carry out an investigation to see if they can make two different sculptures from the same pieces.
Lesson 5: Sands of Time
Solids and liquids have different properties.
Students record information on solids and liquids in a table to identify a pattern and argue from evidence for whether sand is a solid or a liquid.
Lesson 6: Boo-Boo Pack
The best material for a cold pack is one that is cold and behaves like a liquid.
Students record observations on the coldness of materials and how well they take the shape of an arm and identify the best material for a cold pack.
Lesson 7: Heating Wax
When wax is heated and cooled, it still works like a crayon.
Students carry out an investigation to find out the effect of a wax crayon being heated and cooled.
Lesson 8: The Mystery of the Silver Necklace
Some solids change and go back when heated and cooled and others change and don’t go back.
Students obtain information from a text on the effect of several solids being heated and cooled. They construct an explanation for how a silver necklace can be made from wax wrapped in clay.
Science Challenge
Lesson 9: Gemstone Swap Part 1

A replica gemstone needs to be a solid and look transparent.
Students record information and use observations to identify a pattern of materials that are transparent and solid.
Lesson 10: Gemstone Swap Part 2
The best material for a replica gemstone is one that has the closest properties to a real gemstone.
Students argue from evidence for which material is the most transparent and the most like a solid.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


What’s Included:
  • How Can We Change Solids and Liquids? Teacher Guide
  • 16 Smithsonian Science Stories Literacy Series™: Art in Science
  • 1 Digital Access to Teacher Guide and Student Literacy (for 32 students)
  • 2 Candle, Tea
  • 8 Card Set, Gem Properties
  • 4 Card Set, Gemstones
  • 8 Card Set, Heating Solids
  • 2 Clay, Terra Cotta, Air Dry, 2 lb
  • 50 Clothespin, Wood
  • 3 Crayon, White
  • 32 Cube, Wood, 1"
  • 45 Cup, 1-1/4 oz, with Lid
  • 50 Cup, Plastic, 9 oz, Squat
  • 25 Cup, Styrofoam®, 8 oz
  • 2 Cylinder, Plastic Graduated, 100 mL
  • 1 Food Coloring, Assorted Colors, Set of 4
  • 1 Gelatin, Pack
  • 1 Gemstones, 1 lb
  • 200 Glove, Disposable, Small
  • 1 Hot Pot
  • 32 Lens, Dual Hand
  • 16 Marble Specimen (labeled "11")
  • 2 Modeling Clay, Blue, 1 lb
  • 30 Nail, 12D
  • 45 Nut, Steel, 7/16"
  • 1 Oil, Vegetable, 32-oz Bottle
  • 8 Pan, Aluminum, 15 x 70 mm
  • 1 Photo Card Set, Vocabulary
  • 200 Plastic Bags, Self-Locking, 4 x 6"
  • 1 Salt, 1-lb Box
  • 1 Sand, Marine, 5-lb Bag
  • 16 Sandstone Specimen (labeled "6")
  • 50 Stick, Craft, 4-1/2 x 3/8"
  • 20 Tray, Foam, 7-1/2 x 9-1/2"
  • 50 Weighing Boats, Small
  • 100 Weighing Dishes, Aluminum Foil, Disposable, 57 mm
  • expand to see full list
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