Problem: How can we use water displacement to calculate the volume of one penny?
- Volume of a Penny Lab (PDF)
- Graduated cylinders (25 mL, 50 mL, or 100 mL)
- Cup or beaker of water, food coloring optional
- Pennies – 100+ per group
- Plastic Spoon – to pour water out of graduated cylinder and separate pennies
This is a simple & fun lab to have students practice measuring and reading volume as well as use water displacement to determine the volume of a penny – an irregularly shaped object.
Students will design their own series of 10 tests with the following criteria:
- All pennies must be under water inside of the graduated cylinder.
- The volume of water must not pass the 100 mL (or highest) increment.
- All data is recorded carefully.
Students were able to carefully measure and determine that the volume of a penny was 0.35 mL – most students were very close with a range of 0.33 – 0.37 mL.
Quick & easy – no fuss – no mess – way to prepare cabbage juice:
- Chop up half of a purple cabbage
- Add to a coffee pot
- Fill with very hot water from sink or water cooler
- Let it sit for at least 20 minutes
- Pour into flasks, beakers, or plastic cups
- Add a pipette or spoon to containers
You can add more hot water during the day as you use it, refrigerate leftovers if using next day.
Here is the link to my Cabbage Juice Lab: https://middleschoolscience.com/2016/02/28/cabbage-juice-lab-ph-indicator/
Intro to Meiosis with a comparison to Mitosis
Amoeba Sisters Videos:
This is a fun and creative activity to tie all of the following concepts together into one lesson: DNA sequencing & transcription, mRNA translation, amino acid codons & proteins, genotype, phenotype, recessive & dominant alleles & traits.
Students will help solve a crime based on DNA evidence left on a lollipop at the crime scene. There are 3 versions of the same scenario that will identify 3 different criminals so you can use them for 3 classes – this avoids having the kids tell the next class who the suspect is ;). Each student will receive one of the 4 DNA samples – you can have students work individually, or have a group of students work on suspect 1, another on suspect 2, etc. (Sorry – I do not have an answer key to post)
Directions: Worksheets: DNA-RNA-Crime-Snorks-2018 & Amino Acid Codon Wheel, & additional resource: 20 Amino Acids
- Step 1 – students will transcribe the DNA sequences into mRNA sequences
- Step 2 – using the Amino Acid codon wheel, they will determine the amino acid for each codon
- Step 3 – using the chart, they will find protein using the sequence of amino acids
- Step 4 – using the proteins, they will determine the phenotype
- Step 5 – using the phenotypes, they will determine the genotype(s)
- Step 6 – is their suspect the criminal?
- Step 7 – they will draw a mug shot of their suspect using the phenotypes they decoded
This lesson was modified from the one found on Biology Corner: https://www.biologycorner.com/worksheets/DNA_snorks.html
- Students will practice their measurement skills using a graduated cylinder to determine volume and a triple beam balance to determine mass.
- Students will determine the density of water by completing 10 trails and finding an average.
I use this lab to tie their measuring skills together and introduce the concept of density. We then do further explorations of density and practice using the formula.
This lab is a modified version of the lab posted at Middle School Chemistry – for further details about the lesson, please click on this link.
- Introduce how to read a graduated cylinder using the meniscus.
- Review how to determine the increments for each graduated cylinder.
Google Slides – click here to access my Science Prompts from 2017-18. The slide # is the prompt #. For example, slide 14 is prompt # 14. These are the ones that I wrote – I deleted copyrighted material from other sources such as science starters from Science Spot.
Prompt Notebook Paper (Prompt Template pdf) – print 20 sheets double sided and place into 3 prong poly-folder, add more pages as needed
I start each class with a science prompt – which was assigned for homework the night before. On Monday, I post the prompts for the week and students are able to work on them for homework instead of the start of class. They can do more than one each night, but we only go over one each class. I found this to be a much better use of class time and started each class with a 5 minute review of skills and content.
When students come in, they come to my desk for the ‘stamp’ of the day, take a seat, and once everyone has arrived, we go over the answers and discuss. A stamp counts for 2 HW points. They have to follow the directions to earn 2 points, if they just write an answer, they only earn 1 pt. I do a quick spot check, but don’t make any corrections at this point. I randomly pick on students each day to give an answer and they make corrections as needed.
I hope you are enjoying your summer! August will be a busy month as teachers prepare for a new school year. If you are a new teacher, or a veteran teacher, looking for new science lessons and ideas to add to your curriculum, my website is here to help. Everything I have posted is free for you to use in your classroom. All of my Google Slides can be edited to meet your needs – here is a quick tutorial to help you make modifications.
To help you find what you need quickly, there are several options available:
Search box in the upper right corner – click on the magnifying glass and enter key words to find lessons.
Tag cloud – scroll down, on the right you can choose either a topic or standard. Each blog entry also has tags on them to help you find related lessons.
Category Menu – scroll down on the right and look for lessons related to your topic, such as ‘Life Science’ or ‘Skills’
Enjoy the rest of your summer and best wishes for the 2018-19 school year!
We are having a tech-free day and thought between Transition Metal Bingo and Periodic Table Battleship, my students will really get to know how to find elements on the Periodic Table. We are just learning about how the Periodic Table is arranged according to Families, how to determine Shells and Valence Electrons, and how to draw Bohr Diagrams and Lewis Structures. Click on the links to for detailed lesson information.
I wanted a simple handout for my students to use and that was easy to manage. Most of the Periodic Table Battleship games involve expo markers and file folders, but that is time consuming to set up and clean up. Using this handout, they can use two different colored highlighters, crayons, colored pencils, etc. to keep track of their boat placement, hits, and misses. I have ‘privacy screens’ that we use during tests and quizzes that they can use to keep their papers hidden from their opponent.
“A chemistry graphic every day until Christmas! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s a good excuse to get a daily chemistry fix. Click on one of the items of numbered glassware to go to the respective day’s mini graphic!” ~ Compound Interest