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I tried a new activity to allow students to explore the meaning of particles changing in chemical changes and mass being conserved. I made a baggie for each student filled with a couple dozen random LEGO pieces. They were asked to empty the bag on a piece of paper and count how many molecules (2 or more pieces attached) and how many individual atoms were in the bag (single pieces). Next I gave them 30 seconds to take apart or rebuild with their LEGO pieces. Again I asked (as I walked around the room) how many molecules were on their paper and how many individual atoms. Lastly, I asked what they noticed about the total number of atoms on the paper, which they noticed stayed the same no matter what "molecules" they created(conservation of mass). The activity helped me address common misunderstandings and they begged me to do the activity again! This should help me connect their understanding to the actual chemistry investigation they'll do next week.
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Thank you for sharing this is an amazing activity!
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Sounds like a great activity!
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Thanks, Renee. I also used these materials to assess their understanding of the difference between an atom and a molecule made up of atoms. I had them separate the LEGOS into the 2 piles while I walked around to see if they got it. Students were helping each other too!
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That is a great activity idea! And children love legos!! Great work! :)
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This sounds like a fun activity to do with the kids since it involves a something that many students love to play with.
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Is this the engage part of a 5E lesson? I would like to know how you followed up the LEGOs activity so that I can try it with my students.
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