Students will use indirect evidence to determine what is inside each mystery sock.
Materials: per class
- 10 new long black socks
- 20 rubber bands
- 10 clothes pins numbered 1-10
- small toys or other objects to place inside each sock
- (online) stopwatch
- student handout (Mystery Socks-Using Indirect Evidence)
- Place the desired quantity of each item into each sock.
- Halfway down the sock, secure/close the sock with a rubber band.
- Fold the top half of the sock down so that it completely covers up the bottom half of the sock.
- Add the 2nd rubber band to the opening of the sock to secure it.
- this will prevent items from falling out, students peeking into the sock, and provide an additional layer of material to conceal what is inside
- Attach a numbered clothes pin to the sock.
- Each group or pair of students will make observations on one sock at a time, then pass the sock to the next group when the timer goes off after 1 minute.
- Discuss and share strategies students may use to determine what is inside a wrapped present before they open it. Students are using clues, or observations, and their problem solving skills to guess what is inside. They will know if their guess is correct once they open the gift. But what if we couldn’t open the gift, ever? How would we know what is inside? How would we know if we were right or not?
- Introduce the activity to the students. They will have one minute to determine what is inside each sock. They can’t open the sock but they can use their hands to feel what is inside the sock.
- Arrange students into pairs or groups.
- Give each pair/group a mystery sock and ask them not to handle the sock until the timer starts.
- Once the timer starts, students will make as many observations as they can and guess what is inside each sock.
- Once the timer goes off, they will pass it to the next pair/group and the timer will start again.
- Continue until students have made observations on all 10 socks.
- Collect all 10 socks.
- Share observations and guesses.
- Open one sock at a time and reveal what is inside, and discuss.
For thousands of years, we have been trying to figure out what an atom looks like, and what is inside the atom. We can’t ‘unwrap’ the atom and peak inside. But based on experiments and observations, we have our current atomic model.
Students will watch the BrainPOP movie and fill in notes about the Atomic Model
- BrainPOP Movie: The Atomic Model
- BrainPOP Handout: The Atomic Model (link)
Thank you so much for these great lessons! I will use many of them for my 5th-8th grade students. I already use the candle observation to teach my 8th graders about chemical change and observation! They love that we can light matches in the classroom as long as safety procedures are followed.
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