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ERIC Number: EJ1001644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Changes Matter!
Lott, Kimberly; Jensen, Anitra
Science and Children, v50 n2 p54-61 Oct 2012
Being able to distinguish between physical and chemical changes of matter is a foundational chemistry concept that at first seems like a simple elementary concept to teach, but students often have misconceptions that hinder their understanding. These misconceptions are seen among elementary students, but these ideas are perpetuated throughout school and into adulthood. These misconceptions are often inadvertently conceived during the teaching of this topic in elementary classrooms. Traditionally, students explore various changes in matter and are then asked to distinguish which among them are physical and which are chemical. Students often focus on one or two key points and then generalize that to all changes of this type (e.g., reversibility for physical changes or new substance formed for chemical changes). This article describes a 10-day (approximately 45 minutes each day) unit on physical and chemical changes that was presented in a fifth-grade classroom. Throughout the unit, the students were given multiple examples of both physical and chemical changes. In order to make a claim of physical or chemical change, the students had to cite multiple indicators as evidence of that change. They were also given experiences that specifically addressed misconceptions about the reversibility of changes and the conservation of matter during changes. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures, 2 resources and 2 online resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A