Title: Exploring Physical and Chemical Change

This lesson is for Point Pleasant Elementary School, which is located in Anne Arundel County. Point Pleasant Elementary is made up of 533 students. There are 76% white, non-Hispanic students, 14% African American students, 6% Hispanic students, 4% Asian/Pacific Islander students, and 1% American Indian/Alaskan native students. Point Pleasant serves grades pre-k to fifth grade with an average of 15 students per FTE (full-time equivalent teacher) teacher in each class. Within the elementary school there is an infants and toddlers program, as well as an autism program unit.

Planning and teaching:


Grade Level: 2nd Grade
Number of Students: 22
Characteristics of Students:
  • There are four students with IEP’s
-One student has been diagnosed with Autism
-One student has ADHD
-One student has a learning disability
-One student has a health impairment
  • One students with a 504
  • One ELL student
-Spoken language: Spanish

This lesson will be taught whole group.

MSC Objectives:
Standard 4.0 Chemistry
Topic D.) Physical and Chemical Changes
Indicator 1.) Provide evidence from investigators to identify process that
that can be used to change physical properties of materials.
  1. Based on investigators, describe what changes occur to the observable properties of various materials when they are subjected to the processes of wetting, cutting, bending, and mixing.
  2. Compare the observable properties of objects before and after they have been subjected to various processes.

Instructional Objectives:
  • The students will be able to make predictions and observations about different physical and chemical change by stating what they think will happen and what they see.
  • The students will be able distinguish the difference a chemical and physical change by stating how they are different after seeing a demonstration of both.
  • The students will be able to identify a physical and chemical change by writing P for a physical change or C for a chemical change.

  • 22 pieces of construction paper for each students
  • Markers (located in students desk)
  • Scissors (located in students desk)
  • Baking Soda (located on the back table)
  • Vinegar (located on the back table)
  • 5 plastic cups (located on the back table)
  • White Board (located in the front of the classroom)
  • Dry Erase marker (located in the front of the classroom)
  • 22 Index cards (located on the back table)
  • 22 Pencils (located in students desk)

Responsiveness for All Children
  • For the first part of the lesson, the students will be learning different vocabulary and brainstorming ideas. By having the students tell me their ideas I can see how much they already know and what needs to be taught. Before the lesson starts I will set the expectations by stating, "this is a fun lesson but those who cannot follow directions will not be able to participate in some activities to ensure the safety of the students. I expect you to listen and follow the directions." For those students who have a difficulty following directions this was a gentle reminder for them.
  • The students will be at their desks for the majority of the lesson. I can walk around to make sure those students who have a hard time staying on task do what they are suppose to be doing.
  • To accommodate the ELL student, I will have the Spanish speaker in the classroom explain anything to her that she does not understand. I will also personally explain the summative assessment to make sure understands what she is supposed to do. During the lesson I will be incorporating things that relate to their personal lives hoping that for certain students they will be able to grasp the concept.
  • I will ensure that all students are participating by having the students move around the classroom. The students will also be telling me their thoughts, observations, and predictions as I write them up on the board.
  • This lesson is designed to be open-ended and flexible. My goal is to revisit the subject after this lesson for reinforcement because of the limited amount of time we have for science.

Prior Knowledge:
The students have been previously working on defining matter in science. The students have no prior instruction on chemical and physical changes. To assess the students prior knowledge on physical and chemical changes the students will tell me what they know and ideas that come in to their mind when they hear those terms. These results will be documented on a checklist created prior to the lesson.

Engagement: (5 minutes)
To start the science lesson we will begin by brainstorming ideas about physical and chemical changes. This will also be a way for me to assess prior knowledge. I will write the words physical change and chemical change up on the board. I will ask the students, what things or ideas come to your mind when you hear these words? I will write down the answers the students to tell me. If students are not responding, I will prompt them with some ideas to think about. I will then tell the students we are going to be exploring physical and chemical change. I will also give them some characteristics of both physical and chemical changes. Under the words physical change I will write: the change can sometimes be undone, and it changes the shape or phase of the material. I will then write the words chemical change. Under these words I write it cannot be undone, and something new is formed.

Exploration: (10 minutes)
I will give every student a piece of paper, crayons, and scissors. I will tell the students they can do anything with the paper to change it. I will allow the students to explore with their piece of paper and change it any way they want. After the students have changed their paper we will discuss what we did with our paper. I will tell the students we are going to make observations of other student’s paper by taking a gallery walk around the classroom.
Students will make predictions of what type of change is happening. They will observe and collect information as they walk around. When they return to their seats I am going to ask them to tell me some observations, as I write them on the board.
We will then next view a chemical change. I will hold up the box baking soda and the bottle of vinegar. I will ask the students to make predictions of what they will happen if I mix the two together in a cup. I will pour a small amount of vinegar into the cup with the baking soda. I will walk around with the cup to show what is happening. I will explain to the students that by mixing the baking soda and vinegar it caused it to create bubbles and fizz. This is a chemical change because we cant go in this cup and take out the baking soda. The two ingredients have mixed together and created something new. After I show the demonstration of the chemical change I will ask the students to tell me what they observed and I as I write them down on the board on the board.

Explanation: (5 minutes)
We will go back to our observations on the board, and review both the chemical and physical change. We will also, discuss why they are physical and chemical changes. We will circle things from our observation that really lets us know this is a physical or chemical change.

Extension: (5 minutes)
To connect this lesson to their personal lives, I will say out loud some different chemical and physical changes and ask them if they can relate to this. The students will be able to understand that these changes happen in their everyday life. For example, I will ask how many of you have been coloring a picture and your crayon broke? I would say this is an example of a physical change. I could also ask who has a fireplace in their house where their parents place wood, and then light it on fire. I will also ask who has ever seen fireworks? These are all examples of chemical changes.

Evaluation: (5 minutes)
To evaluate weather the students understand the difference between a chemical and physical changes I will give them three different scenarios. The students will each have an index card numbered 1-3. The students will write either P or C for physical or chemical change. I will collect the cards at the end of the lesson. To recap what we did today and bring the lesson to a closure I will ask the students what they learned.


The students will be asked to tell me what they know about physical and chemical changes, as well what comes to their mind when they hear those words. We will go around the room as the students tell me their ideas, and we will make a word splash on the board. This pre-assessment allows me to see where the students stand with the understanding of the topic.

Formative Assessment:
For the formative assessment, the students will tell me predictions and observations of both a physical and chemical change. This allows me to see what students are able to make predictions and observations. As I give different examples, I will see what students are able to tell me why it is either a physical and chemical change.

Summative Assessment:
The students will be given one index card. The students will label the index card 1-3 on it. I will give the students three different situations. The students must put a "p" if they think it’s a physical change, and a "c" if they think it is a chemical change. For the students to fully master the objective they must have all three answers correct. For those students who score 2 out of 3, this shows me that need more practice with the material they learned. For those students who scored 1 out of 3, this will tell me that these students need more instruction and practice. Those students who do not get any questions correctly will indicate that small group instruction or further instruction will be beneficial for them.

Analysis/ Evaluation
As a whole class from my observations the majority of the class has learned what a physical and chemical change is; however, additional practice and instruction is recommended. On an individual level there are some students who demonstrated that they have met all these objectives. There are some students who did not meet any of the objectives. Last but not least, there are some students who met some of the objectives.
The results of the assessment were, twelve students performed three out of three questions correct for summative assessment. Three students performed two out of three questions correctly. Three students performed one out of three questions correctly. Three students answered all questions incorrectly. My expectation for this lesson was for ¾ of the class to meet all the instructional objectives. About 60% of the class met the all of the instructional objectives. I think this lesson was a good challenge for the students.

I found that teaching this science lesson to Mrs. Krause’s class was very important because the students could connect this lesson to their own lives. As a class we determined the different physical and chemical changes that exist in their life. The students in Mrs. Krause class often do not get to science, because it is at the end of the day or it is rushed through. Teaching the students science can help the students think critical. The students were able to make predictions and inferences based on the topics we discussed during the lesson. The students were excited about the lesson because they were able to participate and watch experiments. The students were also engaged in the lesson because they got to make observations of different things. This lesson was beneficial to the students because they learned how to apply information, in order to make useful observations to determine a physical and chemical change.
While teaching, I thought it was important to be as clear as possible with explanation because this topic was very new to students. I observed that the more I encouraged students to express their ideas, so that they would feel comfortable talking to the class about their thoughts. I also noticed that if I gave the students something to observe, or to physically do hands on they were more involved. I observed from previous lessons that I improved on setting clear expectations on what the students should and should not be doing in order for them to be safe and the lesson to run smoothly.
My mentor teacher really liked how I demonstrated the differences between physical and chemical change. She thought my lesson was simple and creative for the students to learn the concepts. She also liked how I tied the lesson into their real life.
As I continue to teach I must be cautious of my pacing. Science is pushed to the end of the day and is often rushed. I wanted to make sure I covered everything so that it was clear for the student and they grasp the concept. I think that this is a topic that can be revisited so that it can be reinforced. I want to provide the students more examples, exploration, and practice with what a physical and chemical change is.
I believe that students should receive more science instruction because the skills they learn and use in science can be used in other subjects as well. During this lesson the students thought critical. The students were able to make observations, predict, and apply what they knew to identify a chemical and physical change. To facilitate better learning I can provide the students with more hands on activities. I can also, differentiate parts of the lesson for those students who are having difficulty. Last but not least, I could have small group instruction for those students that need additional instruction.

Go to INTASC 1
Go to Reflective Narrative