Cold Hard Facts…What Inquiring Minds Will Know High School Version
Tina King, West Elementary School, 9315 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 Bob King, White House High School, 508 Tyree Springs Road, White House, TN 37188
Objectives: The students will work in pairs, but each student will record their own observations on the worksheets provided.
1. The students will apply math concepts (circumference, diameter, and linear measurements) by taking measurements correlated to a centimeter ruler to find the dimensions of the ice.
2. The students will do an inquiry-based "hands-on" investigation : "Will the dimensions of the ice make a difference in the way the ice floats?"
3. Each group will come up their own ice investigation. (optional, but recommended)
If four students are in each group, one pair of students may work with the ice indicated on worksheet "A". They will compare their ice investigation with the pair of students who will take similar measurements on worksheet "B".
Review: Circumference, Diameter, and Linear Measurement:
A. Each pair of students will receive an empty Dixie cup, a black marker, a couple of kite strings (~ 21 cm long) or laminated paper strips, and a centimeter ruler. The students will find the circumference and the diameter of the empty Dixie cup before working with the ice. Since ice melts quickly, it is important for students to know this skill before working with ice.
1. Measure and record the height of the empty Dixie cup with a centimeter ruler. Record in centimeters (universal measurement).
2. Measure and record the "distance around the middle" of the cup (Use string or paper strip, then correlate marks to a centimeter ruler). The teacher may need to demonstrate.
3. Review the term, "Circumference"- Some students may need to be reminded that circumference measures the "distance around" a circle. This helps reinforce the math concept that circumferenceis a special term used for measuring the perimeter of a circle, since circles do not have sides).
4. The students will also take the circumference for the top and the bottom of the cup.
5. Review the term, "Diameter" and that it measures the "distance across" the middle of the circle. Have students measure across the top of the cup. Point out the "top" and "bottom" of the cup. The students will often confuse this when they get the ice.
B. Remind students that circumference and diameter are two terms used for circles
because circles do not have any sides.
Engagement and Exploration (Student Inquiry Activity)
B. Pass out worksheets, "A" and "B", to each group of four students. One pair will record answers for "A", while the other pair records answers on worksheet "B".
Give each pair of students frozen ice: one pair will get "A" (half-filled), and the other pair will get a "B" (full) 3-oz Dixie cup with frozen ice. The students will remove the paper cup after warming in their hands for five seconds. The students will record the measurements of their ice in the top section of the worksheet. The students will measure and record the height. Review and demonstrate if needed. Then have the students measure the diameter by measuring the flat surface across the top. The students will use a strip of paper or piece of string (mark with a Sharpie or pencil) to note the measurements of their ice, then correlate measurements to the centimeter ruler. The students will need to record each measurement on their worksheet before moving to the next step. The students will measure the circumference around the bottom, middle, and top. (Demonstrate if needed, and remind students to record the measurements each time.)
C. Procedure for the bottom of the first worksheet: The students will be involved with an inquiry-based "hands-on" ice investigation: "Will the dimensions of the ice (size or amount) make a difference in how ice will float in the water?"
1. Each group of four students will have a two-liter bottle filled with water and a plastic shoebox-size container. The students will fill each container two-thirds with water.
2. The students will make a prediction of how the ice will float when gently placed in water.
3. The students will draw a water line in the perimeter box at the top of the page before drawing their prediction of how they think the ice will float in the water.
4. Each pair of students will place their ice in the container of water and record their observations on their worksheets. Encourage the students to "talk" about what they are seeing.
5. The students will draw a water line and their "results" in the box at the bottom of their worksheet.
6. The students will write down their conclusion (Why do the students believe it happened? What caused it to happen?).
D. On the third worksheet, the "Ice Activity Summary Page", the students will work in groups of four. Each group will have a recorder to write down notes for this page. A representative from each group will disclose the results of their investigations.
The students will write a final conclusion based upon the comparison of the two investigations. Did the ice in the cup filled "halfway"(A) and the cup filled "to the top" (B) do the same thing when placed in the water? In this case, the one variable changed for the investigation was the amount of water (size of ice) in each cup.
Elaboration (Polar Applications)
1. The students will collaborate together in groups of four to think of other ice investigations. The goal is to encourage students to ask investigative-type questions. (Questions that may be answered through a hands-on investigation). On a separate sheet of paper, the students will begin by listing several "I wonder if…"questions. On day 2, they will choose one of their questions to "investigate". The investigation will lead to discovery if the students only change one variable at a time.
2. The teacher facilitates and guides the students to stay focused on their investigation. It is important not to tell ideas to the students because the "inquiry" part of the lesson is based on what they come up with on their own. Let the students discover through their own investigations. Failures or mistakes may lead to new discoveries or new questions. Learning is like a gift….Don’t open the package for the student. The joy of learning is in the discovery, and the process of learning is based on this discovery.
3. The teacher will approve and monitor the students’ investigations. The teacher’s main goal is to guide the students in keeping focused on their investigation. The students must be reminded several times that only one variable can be changed. Writing down a list of supplies and verbally discussing their plans with the teacher help keep the students focused. Remind students that they must consult teacher before making changes or adding to the approved investigation. Otherwise they tend to add extra variables or bring in other supplies, which changes their project, or keeps it from being a valid investigation.
4. The students will gather supplies, and pre-test (at home) whatever is needed. One group decided to pre-test certain liquids to see which would freeze before making a final decision on the liquids for their investigation (syrup-no, oil-yes). The students were encouraged to use different means of measurement, such as scales, thermometers, pH strips, and tape measures.
5. Presentation: If time is limited, students may do further inquiry investigations jump-started from this ice investigation as an extended learning project at home. This project could be used as an end of term project to be presented in class. Each group of fourth grade students who pre-tested this investigation needed a class period to share their investigations. They chose to involve their classmates in each investigation as they made their presentations by having students help record data, observe results, and discuss observations. If this is not possible, the students may present data on a tri-fold display board, present a power point, or give a brief demonstration of their project along with charts, data, and results.
Exchange (Students Draw Conclusions)
Evaluation (Assessing Student Performance)