Edgewood School is an arts-integrated magnet school with a focus on providing a positive learning environment that encourages inquiry, self-discovery, and independent thinking. This approach to learning inherently allows supports and encourages cross-curricular teaching and embraces all types of learners. Our neighborhood magnet school setting is a rewarding environment, with students coming to school each day from a variety of home circumstances and with differences in academic levels. As a result of these variables, the children have differing levels of background knowledge and life experiences. Reaching students through inquiry and discovery opens doors and minds to learning opportunities.
The purposes for creating this unit are to develop critical thinking skills, to make the current science curriculum more fun and exciting for my primary-level students and to support my students as they explore matter and the transformation of matter through experimentation and discovery. My goal is to create a classroom of eager, confident young scientists.
The study of solids, liquids and gases is a central component of New Haven district tiered science curriculum. It is one of three introductory units of study required for second graders with content delivered through a Science and Technology for Children science kit, which contains lessons and materials for the students to explore. The additional use of games and challenges through this curriculum unit will provide practical understanding and real life applications that will extend beyond the learning they experience through participation with only the science kit.
I intend to use my suggested curriculum unit for students to expand their investigations using a variety of games and challenges. Students will: answer the big question of “What is matter?” as they go on a “matter scavenger hunt”; discover that solids remain solid even if they break apart; challenge other teams in an “amazing liquids race”; investigate popping balloons. After fundamental conceptual learning, the students will be using this gaming approach as a new layer of inquiry and hands-on fun.