Marie Curie Math & Science Center
Curriculum Design  Arthur Browne, Nyack Middle School Grade 7 Science, Physical Changes in Matter

Commencement Standard
Standard #1 Scientific Inquiry
Standard #2 Information Systems

Benchmark Standards Intermediate

Content Standards

  • The students will use scientific inquiry to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process.
  • The students will use scientific inquiry to test proposed explanations using conventional techniques and procedures.
  • The students will analyze their observations using conventional methods and provide new insights into phenomena.
  • The students will learn to use technology to retrieve, process and communicate information and enhance their learning.

Performance standards

  • The students will, represent, present ,and defend proposed explanation of an every day event.
  • The students will seek to clarify, to assess critically and to reconcile with their own thinking and the ideas presented others, especially peers.
  • The students will carry out their research proposals, observations and measurements to help assess the explanation.
  • The students will design charts, tables, graphs and other representations of observations to help address the hypothesis.
  • The students will interpret the organized data
  • The students will use spreadsheets and database software to process and display information.
  • The students will use Microsoft Excel to create data tables, line graphs and histograms

Content Standards or outcomes

  • The students will perform two complete experiments and will be assessed as to their practice of safety, planning, responsibility, respect of others, and cleanup.
  • The students will write two complete lab reports that follow the scientific method, include all tables and graphs, and well-developed conclusion.
  • The students will construct four graphs using contemporary methods (by hand). These must in include all data reported on tables, erroneous marks must be analyzed and corrected, titles and labels must be clear and appropriate.
  • The students will construct four graphs using the computer and apply all of the same details as, the hand written graphs.

During a two-week period the students will refresh their knowledge of the scientific, method, perform and report on two experiments that deal with the physical changes in state of matter. The students will also be reintroduced to the need to record data and express it in an easy to analyze form. The student, will be introduced to how they may make graphs and tables on the computer to save time and eliminate many mistakes.

Enabling Activities

 Day one - Discuss the lab and have students apply the experiment to the different parts of the scientific method, have the students pair up. Students should , set up the apparatus as seen on the black board then clean up. This will all(, w the student the opportunity to understand why they must move quickly. and efficiently when the experiment is performed the next day. Discuss the use of a time/temperature table ,and distribute them to the class. Have the students prepare the first page of their reports for homework (title, purpose hypothesis and procedure).

 Day two - Discuss lab safety and remind students to wear goggles. Discuss home work and any problems that may occur during the experiment also ask if any problems were encountered so far. Remind the students to keep a careful record of temperatures for both the water and the substance every half minute. Have the student set up their apparatuses and heat 100ml of water to about 80 degrees C . When this temperature is reached one student from the group should retrieve a test tube with 15ml of substance. The substance should be heated to at least 90 degrees C. The substance should be moth nuggets(freezing point of around 52c) or moth flakes (freezing point of 80 C) if time permits let half of each class do one substance and the other half do the other substance. Clean up and return the substance to the teacher. Remember to inform the students not to try to free the thermometer from the now very solid substance, the substance must be remelted.

Day three - Discuss the completed lab and have the students explain what happened (I to the substance and when did the change occur? Was the change as a result of time or temperature? The students should now create a Time vs.Temperature, line graph. Discuss the flat sections seen on the line graphs and discuss what this "plateau" might mean. When each group has finished have the groups record the temperatures in a table on the board.

Day four - Have the students copy the class data from the table on the chalk board. Discuss the use of symmetry in the creation of a table also the importance of titles. Explain the use of a Histogram as a bar type graph that show,. the number of times a sample of data repeats itself. Discuss the scientific importance of numerous samples over the result of a single effort. Create a histogram on the board with numbers on the X axis going from 30 degrees C to 70 degrees C to cover the range in results. After a few samples are recorded from the table to the histogram let the students finish theirs on graph paper.

 Day five - Give students time to finish an3, unfinished work. Conclusions should be discussed and written individually by the students. Discuss the procedure for the next lab "Boiling Point". Explain that some groups may have flammable liquids in their test tubes. Half of the class should be given 15ml of water the other half of the class gets 15ml of a mixture of 85% isopropanol and 15% water. The students must remember to keep a time chart for the heat of the substance from the moment they apply the heat. Prepare a the first page of the lab (title , purpose, hypothesis (line curve shape)and method.

 Day six - Remind the students of all safety issues. Remind them again to keep track of the temperature. Perform the boiling point lab.

Day seven - Have students create line graphs and record their boiling points on the table on the line graph. Students should write their conclusions during class and finish their work at home if they need more time.

Day eight - Have students meet you in the computer room. Have an overhead prepared to display all of the boiling points from the day before, have the students complete their charts. For the rest of the period allow the students to become comfortable with the computers by creating a cover page in word art and import appropriate pictures from clip art.

Day nine - Have students meet you in the computer room, distribute the hand out on line graphs and have students create new graphs for both experiments using Microsoft Excel and chart wizard.

Day ten - Have students meet you in the computer room, distribute the hand out on histograms and have students create new graphs for both experiments using Microsoft Excel.




TITLE: (must be appropriate)


Purpose: (Must express what you are trying to do)

HYPOTHESIS: (in this case, what do you think the temperature will do as it approaches the moment when the substance goes through a physical change?)

METHOD: Describe in list form what you will be doing in the experiment).

OBSERVATIONS: (Again in a list)

SKETCH (if a sketch is to be used it should be to scale and well labeled).

DATA: (all data will be recorded on tables given out by the teacher)


CONCUISION: (Thc conclusion must explain whether our hypothesis was right or wrong. It must also include your personal results and the results of the class as seen in the class histogram.)


Line graphs are used in science to display data in an easy to read form. In this lesson you will learn to create a line graph using "chart wizard".

The following information applies to, Microsoft Excel

1 . Open excel
2. Type in all of the information recorded from your time/temperature chart.
    a. Type one set of temperatures in column A.
    b. Type the other set of data in column B
3 . Highlight all data by pressing on the mouse and dragging across all data.
4. Click on the tool bar for chart wizard.
5 . Step one of four will appear. Choose a graph type (line graph).
6. Click next.
7. Step two of four will appear. Click the tat) for series. Name each series.
8. Click next.
9. Step three of four will appear. Type in the title and labels for graph.
10. Click next
11. Step four of four will appear. Choose new sheet.
12. Click finish
13. Adjustments may still be made by clicking on the sheet.


St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050