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What's the Matter?

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Keywords: Photo Story, digital camera, scavenger hunt, matter, solid, liquid, gas, second grade, Virginia
Subject(s): Technology, Writing, English/Language Arts, Science
Grades 1 through 5
School: Jouett School, Mineral, VA
Planned By: Chrissy Youel
Original Author: Chrissy Youel, Mineral
Materials: What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Let's-Read-and-Find... Science, Stage 2) by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and Paul Meisel, scavenger hunt sheet, digital cameras (1 per group), access to computer lab/mobile lab with "Photo Story" installed on the computers for student use, headphones with microphone, projector/screen or interactive white board, popcorn and drinks (optional)

Virginia Standards: Science 2.1, 2.3; C/T 2.1-2.5, 2.7

Objectives: Students will work in cooperative groups and demonstrate knowledge of the 3 states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) as well as physical changes that might occur to these states through an interactive activity using technology. Students will use the software program "Photo Story" to import photos downloaded from their digital camera, manipulate these photos, and create a multimedia presentation to demonstrate their knowledge of matter. Students will use the projector and interactive white board to present their multimedia presentations.

Lesson 1: Review/Getting Started
1. Read aloud the story, What is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and Paul Meisel. Pause and discuss with students different parts of the book as it covers the 3 states of matter.

2. Announce to students that they will be going on a scavenger hunt for solids, liquids, and gases! Students fold a blank piece of paper into fourths and label one box for each item. Ask students what they should put in the fourth box? Explain that some forms of matter could be considered a combination of both (liquid and solid, gas and solid). Flip back through the book. What are some of the objects they see that could be both? (clouds). Have students label that fourth box "both." (you can also have these premade using the "table" feature in Microsoft Word).

3. Give students 5-7 minutes in the classroom to write down as many objects as they can and categorize them under whether they are solid, liquid, gas, or both.

4. Take students outside to the playground. Give students about 10 minutes to search the playground and write down observations under the correct category.

5. Return to the classroom. Have students share their observations. Collect the scavenger hunt sheets.

Lesson 2: Take a Picture - It Lasts Longer!
1. Review with students the scavenger hunt from the day before. Were they surprised at what they found? Discuss the "both" part of the hunt.

2. Review with students how to use the digital camera. Note how to carry the camera properly (with the strap around the wrist), how to turn on/off, how to review pictures, how to take a picture. Go over basic safety rules with the camera.

3. Hand out the scavenger hunt sheets to student groups. Review cooperative group rules and remind students to take turns when taking pictures.

4. Give students 5-7 minutes in the classroom to take pictures of what they had recorded in the previous lesson.

5. After students are finished, head outside to the playground where groups will take picture of what they had recorded on their sheet.

6. Return to the classroom. Collect cameras and sheets.

Lesson 3/4: Movie Magic!
1. Take students to the computer lab (or sign up for a mobile lab, if available in your school). For the sake of time (and this skill can be taught in another lesson), have pictures already downloaded into folders with the names of the members of the group on each (Sally_Bob_Mary) for students to access.

2. Using the projector, demonstrate to students how to locate the program, "Photo Story," and how to upload the pictures to the program. Included in the upload, have a black page available, created in "Paint," for students to use as a title page.

3. After uploading pictures, demonstrate to students how to click and drag pictures to rearrange the order until they are satisfied, with the black page being first.

4. Click "next" and have students create the title page (again, demonstrating each step beforehand with the projector/screen), typing in the window and using the font key to change size, color, and font of the title. Students chose the title (i.e. "3 States of Matter"), and type "by" and their first name.

5. At this point, show students how to save their Photo Story. Remind students that after each step, they should save their work.

6. Students continue with the next step, which is typing in the text to record. Have students type in what they want to say for each picture. Then, hand out headsets with microphones and students can begin to record for each picture. Save after each recording.

7. The next step is to work on transitions, from one photo to the next. Demonstrate this to the students using the projector. Give students an allotted amount of time to work on transitions (or they will let it consume the rest of the time!). Save the project.

8. Students are ready to choose the background music of their movie. Model with the projector. Save the project.

9. At this point, students will be ready to publish their Photo Story project into a multimedia presentation. Demonstrate with the projector.

Lesson 5: Showtime!
1. Using the projector and interactive white board, students show their "movies" to their classmates (or invite another class to visit to view the finished product). As a reward, serve popcorn and drinks to students to enhance the multimedia atmosphere!

2. Using the interactive white board, students can show their movie, but pause at places so they can present a fact, if necessary (I chose clouds because it is a combination of solid dust and gas, water vapor). If one is not available, use the projector on a white screen or sheet. Students will not be able to pause their work as easily, but can still present it to their classmates.

3. Publish student presentations on your class website, wiki, blog, or on Teacher Tube (with parent permission and using the child's first name only), so that they may share their presentation with friends and family members!

Our school currently has 8 digital cameras that are shared amongst 700 students. Being able to go "beyond" the traditional worksheet and inspire students to complete projects using available technology is amazing! Your most reluctant student is bound to be more excited when instead of another assignment he/she is easily bored with, they can present their ideas in a multimedia presentation!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The "scavenger hunt" idea can be used with not only matter, but other science units, as well as social studies, and even math and reading! Students can follow up this assignment by journaling about their experience with the camera, how it felt, how to use a camera, what they thought of the project, etc.
Students write in their journal their thoughts on their project (the process, an expository on how to properly use a digital camera, choosing a favorite movie and stating why they liked it, etc.).
Links: Microsoft
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Digital Cameras, Projectors, Projector Screens, Microphones