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Activity: Phase Change Simulations

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Activity: Phase Change Simulations
Time: 30 mins
  • Material 1 – laptops and Explore Learning access
  • Material 2 – journals
  • Material 3 – pencils
  • Material 4 – post-its
  • Material 5 – long ropes or tape marked areas for human simulation
Guiding Questions
  1. Question 1 – Why does temperature cause phase changes?
  • Plans for part 1 of activity:
    • Students will explore the Gizmo: Phases of Water (
    • Students will sketch the positioning of the molecules in each phase on post-it notes and stick them in their journals.
    • Underneath each post-it, students will record the temperature and their observations of the behavior of the molecules in each phase.
    • The students will be led to label the specific type of phase change between each post-it with directional arrows using the simulation for assistance.
    • Students will share out their observations.
    • Guiding Questions to ask during this part of the activity:
      • How does the behavior of the molecules change?
      • What does anything need to change its behavior?
      • How is it related to the change in temperature?
    • Anticipated Student Responses to guiding questions:
      • They spread out, move greater distances as the temp. increases, in a pattern as a solid
      • Energy
      • Various responses
  • Plans for part 2 of activity:
    • In their small groups, students will make a human model of the molecular behavior of phase changes.
    • The teacher will call out solid, liquid and gas. To increase difficulty use freezing, melting, condensation, boiling.
    • As an extension, challenge a group to model evaporation.
  • small group work
  • use of computer simulation and physical simulation
ELL Modification
  • Modification 1 – visual cues and labels on simulation
  • Modification 2 – social interactions
  • Modification 3 - being a physical piece in a simulation
Check for Understanding The students will be assessed for understanding through their journal responses and the small group human model.

download.jpgMaking Our Water Work Activity Phase Change Simulations.pdf

Created by: Ms. Felice, Ms. Von Bank and Ms. Winning.

by Chris Mystkowski at 2:47 PM in Activity, Elementary, Physical Science
VISTA Universities