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Lesson Plan

Mixtures showing physical and chemical changes

Freely mix solids and liquids to discover different mixtures and physical/chemical changes. Follow with another physical change (e.g. glue) or chemical reaction (e.g. soda drink) activity.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Physical Changes, Solutions, Mixtures and Separating (2, 4, 5, 6)
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)

Review the states of matter.
Tell students that they will mix together different liquids and solids to make mixtures.
Give them solids and liquids to mix together.
Run as a play-debrief-replay activity, as cited in the resource.
They will make many different mixtures. Allow students time to play, during which students will tend to mix everything all together. After a while, encourage them to simplify their ingredients to find out which minimal ingredients make one type of mixture.

For the debrief, write up all that they discover, and try to tease out the different kinds of mixtures and what minimal ingredients produced the different textures, colours and chemical changes.
Discuss possible activities that they might do, to explore some of these changes in more detail. Guide them through the scientific process of using controls and changing one variable at a time.

Focus on one kind of mixture for a follow up activity:

A. Focus on baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction that makes bubbles:
Tell students they will use the same solid, baking soda, to make a soda drink. (Skip the molecule modelling for younger primaries.)

B. Focus on flour/cornstarch and water that makes variously goopy mixtures:
During debrief, discuss the different kinds of goop that students made with these ingredients. Find out how much they added. For replay, ask students to keep track of the different amounts of flour/cornstarch and water they are adding, to see what amounts make the best goop. They will test their goops to find out which ones make the best glue..

Optional: end lesson with elephant's toothpaste, a dramatic demonstration of a chemical reaction (oxygen bleach making oxygen gas) held in a foam mixture by the dish soap.


Tyee Ks: simplified making mixtures, then soda drink
Selkirk: making mixtures, then soda drink
MacCorkindale Ks: simplified making mixtures, then Elephant's toothpaste
MacCorkindale 2s: making mixtures, then glue

or follow free experimentation with other activities exploiting baking soda/acid reaction (rocket, scones - see activities in "chemical reactions with baking soda" lesson plan)

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 2
Gr 3
Becky Evermon
Cindy Woo
Wendy Zwaagstra
Site tested: 
MacCorkindale Elementary
Selkirk Elementary
Tyee Elementary
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Tyee Elementary