What Is Slime?A lesson about Atoms and Matter. Recommended for 3rd and 4th grade. By Dana Bierwas EDU 371 Spring, 2013
Instructional Plan1. I will introduce the atom and matter lesson by asking the students the question “What is matter?” I will wait for their responses, and then explain to them that when scientists talk about “matter,” they mean every substance in the universe, from the tiniest speck of dust to the largest star. Matter is anything that takes up space.
Instructional Plan2. I will then introduce them to the 3 states of matter; solids, liquids, and gases, by giving them examples of the different types (the table for a solid, a cup of water for the liquid, and air in a plastic bag for the gas). We will then briefly discuss these different states, and I will present the 3 states chart, displaying the difference between the three states. 3. I will then explain to the students that matter is made of tiny particles called atoms. Every substance in the universe, from the table, to the bag of air (reference to examples used earlier), is made entirely of these minute atoms. Atoms are so small that it is impossible to see them with just our eyes, or even with a regular microscope.
Instructional Plan4. I will then show the students a model of a Helium atom. I will discuss the atom model at length, explaining that even though they are very small, atoms are mostly empty space, and inside each atom are a variety of even tinier particles. In the center of every atom is a tiny nucleus containing two types of particles; protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive electrical charge and neutrons have no charge, or are neutral. Orbiting the nucleus spin much tinier particles called electrons, which have a negative charge. They orbit the nucleus in what is called an electron orbit. These charges are important because it is the electrical attraction, known as a chemical bond, between the negatively charged electrons and the positively charged protons that hold the atom together.
Instructional Plan5. I will then tell the students that one important thing to know about matter is that you can combine two different substances to create a new substance through a process called a chemical change. Borax is used as a laundry cleaner. Glue is used in school to adhere one thing to another. But, by combining them with water, we can create something new that will have different properties than the original substances.
Instructional Plan6. We will then discuss the components of slime (without mentioning what we are making), and I will have them write down their predictions on the Investigative Process Information Sheet what they think will happen when we mix the ingredients.
Instructional Plan7. We will then make the slime according to the recipe supplied at the end of this presentation.
Watching the chemical change in the products we mixed.
The students enjoyed the slime making process. They were all very surprised that the ingredients that they mixedturned into a substance that they could play with!
Closing Whats happening? I will have the students refer back to the predictions they made prior to making the slime, to see if they were correct. We will discuss their predictions as a group. We will discuss what caused the Borax, Glue, and Water to create slime. I will introduce them to the process of chemical bonding and explain that it happens when atoms join to form new substances and the properties of these new substances are different from the original elements (chemical reaction). I will refer back to the beginning of the lesson and remind them that what holds the atoms together in the new substance they created is the force of attraction. I will have the students refer back to the States of Matter chart from the beginning of the lesson, anddiscuss together whether they believe the slime is a solid or a liquid, and why. I will ask them a series of thought provoking questions to help facilitate the discussion. Can you pour the slime? What happens when you set it on thetable for a long period of time? What kinds of shapes can you make in the slime? Can you break the slime? How far can you stretch the slime? What makes slime unusual is that when you apply pressure quickly, it will break like asolid. Conversely, when left alone, it flows like a liquid and forms into the shape of its container.