Unit Details

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Particles of Matter and Chemical Reactions

Middle School - Physical Science - NGSS

Particles of Matter and Chemical Reactions focuses on helping students understand ideas related to the particles that make up matter and how they behave during temperature change and when different substances are combined. Students gain a greater understanding of conservation of mass and in a physical or chemical change atoms are forever but can rearrange to form different material. They explore particles of matter to develop a Particle Theory of Matter in their own words, based on their understanding as the lessons progress. After students have established how the atoms and molecules that make up matter behave, they explore deeper into how they can interact to form new substances. Students discover, through models and role play, how atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different substances that have properties different from the original.

Anchor Phenomenon: Something Stinks in Here!

Driving Question: What causes the odor of the stinky socks in the gym bag to fill the room?

Anchor Phenomenon: Mom has to stop and fill her gas tank of her car every week.

Driving Question: Where does the gasoline go? What happened to the gasoline in the tank?

Engineering Design Challenge: Students dive into reactions that are exothermic and endothermic and, using what they have learned, design a device to keep water in an aquarium warm enough that animals can survive.

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