Anyway...We kicked off our matter unit on yesterday with a great idea from Jill at Marvelous Multiagers. I printed out clipart of matter-ish things, taped them on butcher paper, and then I told my students they had 5 minutes (which turned into 10) to write anything and everything they saw or could say about the picture. I wrote the words "matter," "solid," "liquid," and "gas" on the board to get their juices flowing. After the silent writing we had a quick discussion about some of the things they wrote/ thought and I tried to get them to explain why they thought something was a gas or why they thought something was melting...It was a great first day! The inevitable misconception that "all solids are hard" came up, which led perfectly into today.
Today we sorted solids with a bag of solids I prepared and a sorting circle. Before the activity started we came up with words to go with texture, size, shape, and color by observing and touching the solids in the bag. My students were in groups of 2s and 3s and took turns sorting the solids for color, size, shape, or texture. The other group members had to guess how the solids were sorted. After the sorting we came back together to figure out what a solid really is. It was difficult for my students to find a commonality between all solids until they compared solids to water (we haven't talked about liquids yet, but they unanimously agreed water is a liquid). They were then able to come up with the idea that "water can't break because it isn't...." and then someone else added, "there isn't a shape," and then I said, "until it is put into a..." and they called out, "cup" "solid" "bucket" - I was so glad they were getting it! I then wrote up our notes onto an anchor chart to refer back to.