One of my favorite science units to teach is Matter. It’s challenging enough to not be too watered down, the students make a bunch of meaningful connections, and there are so many fun activities for the students to do to enhance their understanding of various topics.
I really like starting off my unit on Matter sitting on the rug with an anchor chart. There are so many super cute anchor charts out there, but I’m definitely not the most artistic person, and I really like to create them with input from my students. To prepare for this one, I wrote the title on top of the page and Solid, Liquid, and Gas in bubble letters. Then, with the students, we completed the rest. First, we talked about the molecules in each state of matter. With help from my class, I filled in each subtitle with molecules the way in which they would be arranged in that state of matter. Then, we came up with definitions and examples for each. It’s quick, simple, and interactive. I would display this somewhere in my classroom for students to refer to during the whole unit.
In the past, I’ve taught both third grade and fifth grade. In Illinois, matter was a part of the fifth grade curriculum, while in Ohio, I taught it in third. I created a unit on matter two years ago for my third graders to enhance what was in the science textbook. For the past few days, I updated this unit to include over 30 more pages. I really found that my students responded well to the posters. I had them on a bulletin board in my classroom and they definitely referred to them multiple times throughout the unit. In addition to the student pages and science investigations, I included 8 different exit slips that require the students to respond to a question. The task cards are perfect for a center, playing scoot, or using as an assessment. What I really loved the most is that most pages in this unit can be used for a grade. I never seem to have enough grades for science and social studies, so this really helped me out in understand what my students had masters and what they were still struggling with. If you’re interested, you can grab this unit at my TpT store HERE.