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Instructional Objectives

As a result of the lesson on Cold Stuff, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate inquiry abilities, including asking questions, conducting
investigations, and using observational evidence and science knowledge to
construct logical explanations and communicate their findings.
2. Work in groups.
3. Be responsible for specific tasks within their groups.
4. Measure liquid.
5. Measure time using a stopwatch.
6. Measure temperature change over time.
7. Record data.
8. Test and compare the effectiveness of different insulators.
9. Create a line graph to depict the temperatures recorded at 30 second
intervals using each insulator.
Activities and Procedures
1. Engage. Introduce the lesson by asking engaging questions. Ask: Which of
the insulators, air, cotton, and steel wool do you think will be the better
insulator? What factors about the choice variables make one or the other a
better insulator? How are we going to find out? Note explanations, ideas,
and prior knowledge of students, but do not provide any explanation at this
2. Explore. Arrange class in teams of three. Set up stations around the
room, with a long stem thermometer capable of reading temperatures from
room temperature (25c) to 0c, stop watch, 3 one pint containers, one filled
with air, one with cotton, and one with steel wool, a bowl with the capacity of
750 milliliters, and 500 milliliters of ice water. Direct students to move in
an orderly fashion to their stations. Also, tell them to make their
predictions about which insulator will make the best one and ask them to
write their prediction on the record sheet I have provided.
Place all the different objects used in this experiment at each
3. Explain. Ask: What observations have you made at each station? How
could the way you hold the container affect the data? What is different
about the insulators that may have caused them to retain heat differently?
What are some other materials frequently used as insulators? How are
insulators useful? When might you use one? When might you not?

Solicit student ideas and discuss them. Ask students to compare

results to give their own theories/ideas about why some materials are
better insulators.
At some point, teach the students that by changing the environment
of the material, it affects the temperature of the enclosed
environment. Write these finding on the chalk board.
Lead the children to suggest that some materials are better
insulators than others. Ask: How have these ideas been tested
today? The explanation has been tested today by what we did in
groups at out stations set up by the instructor.
4. Elaborate. Give each an assortment of items that make good insulators and
some that dont. Ask: Which of these items do you think will make good
insulators? Which container cooled the fastest? Which container took the
longest to cool? Where did the heat inside the containers go as they were
cooling, which materials that your team tested is the best insulator and how
can you tell? What other materials do you think make good insulators?
What materials make poor insulators?
Guide students to talk about the predictions they have made during
this lesson and what the conclusions were.
Lead the students to recognize that certain materials make good
insulators and some do not. Insulators are good in certain conditions
and are needed to help warm certain environments.
5. Evaluate. Have an assessment plan to look at and use to determine student
performance and their understanding of insulators.