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A Whole New World: The Search for Water Lesson Overview

Students will run a variety of tests on different liquids in which they will collect and graph data, collaborate and discuss their findings, compare their findings to known characteristics of water, make a claim, provide evidence and justification to support their claim, and create an advisory report of their findings. Students will run various tests and compare their collected data to the known characteristics of water. Students will gain an understanding that water is unlike other liquids in the way that it moderates temperature, in its cohesive strength, in its ability to expand upon freezing, in its pH neutrality, and in its designation as the “universal solvent.”


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3-4 Days
2-4 students per group
PTI Inquiry
2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.5, 4.2, 4.4, 5.2, 5.3, 5.7, 5.8, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2 , 7.3, 7.5
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 5-10 min 3.1 Computer, Projector 3 Students will watch the intro video that tasks them with the job of analyzing the liquid samples. Alternative to watching the video would be the teacher reading the passage to students to rally their support.
Explore 75 min 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.5, 4.2, 4.4, 5.8 Hot Plate, Stopwatch 3 Students will test the liquid samples at 5 different stations: temperature moderation, cohesion, density, pH, and solubility.
Explain 20 min 5.2, 5.3, 7.1, 7.2 none 2 Students will use their data, graphs, and reading passage information to formulate a claim about which planet’s liquid is the most like water. Students will provide evidence and justification for their claim.
Expand 20 min 5.7, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1 none 3 Students will collaborate with others by completing a gallery walk in which one of the group members stays behind to defend the group’s claim. Groups will then get back together to finalize their claim, evidence, and justification.
Evaluate 20 min 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.5 none (computer, optional) 2 Students will write a letter to the United Nations making and supporting their claim to advise the UN on which planet to pursue. Student will take the Properties of Water Assessment.

Level of Student Engagement
1     Low     Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction
2     Medium     Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance
3     High     Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered

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