States of Matter STEAM Unit

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Hey y'all! I hope you are enjoying your much needed summer break. We've been enjoying going to the bathroom whenever we want lazy mornings and daily trips to Target around town. Today, we're back with another science resource for the classroom. This is one of several posts in a series of science centers. If you missed any, you can check them out here.  

At the beginning of each week, we start off reading a book about our subject to get their minds thinking. There are lots of great texts, but I like to start with this one: 


We also create some form of a KWL chart to highlight our thinking and get us ready for the week.

Tuesday through Thursday, students rotate through science centers (stations) and work on tasks or experiments fairly independently. Of course, I'm helping those who need it and questioning some who are ready to go deeper. But my classes always love science centers. In the words of one sweet kidlette, "It's like we're totally learning stuff!" :) 


Each center has task cards ready to print so students know just what to do. I model them at the beginning of class each day, just to make sure we're on the same page. By Thursday, they're like, "We got it!" :) 


This unit focuses on states of matter, so students sort matter by properties, learn about how molecules are different in each kind, explore some real life examples of each, play a game to reinforce their skills.


Each station (except the game) also has science notebook pages that correspond with the center so students can record their thinking. It's also great for accountability (there's always a few who need it, am I right?).


Most stations students can do on their own, but I usually am very close by any station that uses food, like the root beer float one. :) I prep everything ahead of time so that there is minimal mess here (tips are included in this unit plan), but I still like to stay close by for this one!


On Friday, students build the tallest tower they can, but it must withstand either wind, rain, or both (details are in the unit plan). So students must figure out which materials are best suited for this purpose. They can also record their work and it's outcome on the recording sheet. 


These units are so easy to use because the lesson plans are already done and ready for you. Directions are prepped with pictures to aid early readers (think "independent learning!"). Recording sheets are included and fit in both spirals and composition books. Oh, and the kids love them!

To go straight to how I set up these centers in the beginning of the year click here and here. To grab the freebie for setting up groups, click here.

I know science centers are new for a lot of classrooms, so what questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below and I'll answer them as quickly as I can. Thanks for stopping by and keep an eye out for the next unit! Have a happy summer!

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