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Monday, February 23, 2009

Science - BFSU : A4 Particulate Nature of Matter

We continued with learning more about the properties of matter. We had previously learned that
1. Matter takes up space.
2. Matter has mass.
This time, we learned the particulate nature of matter.

Part 1 of the lesson involves showing that all matter are made of particles. Specific examples and experiments were given to show the children that matter whether solid, liquid or gas are actually made up of particles. We broke several types of material down to smaller bits and talked about the most fundamental particle that is still the same material. I thought the concept was very clearly demonstrated with all the examples given. I love the systematic methodology and thinking questions in BFSU.

Part 2 of the lesson aims to show the effect of temperature on particles. Discussion also led to the understanding of how particles are packed in the different states of matter.

In the above picture, the children get to see that particles move faster at a higher temperature. The glass jar on the extreme left had cold water, the one in the centre had lukewarm water and the extreme right one had hot water. It was obvious that when we release a small amount of food colouring at the bottom of the jar, the food colouring in hot water dispersed a lot faster.

One of the activities involves us pretending to be particles. Moving about whether holding hands with arms locked (as in solids) or loosely held (as in liquids) , or bouncing in straight lines off each other or off whatever that is in our way (as in gases). We had fun! So much so that the boys continued that game as we made our way to the supermarket; walking in straight lines and bouncing off walls. LOL!!!

A chance to "test" their understanding came when we were talking about the difference between melting sugar and burning sugar. I am glad to announce that they passed the test. :-)

Visit Rumphius Science Webpage to learn more about how we approach Science in our homeschool.

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