“Air is a Substance” AND “The Particulate Nature of Matter”

We covered two lessons from BFSU today. We are going to move fast through volume 1 since we have a decent amount of science knowledge under our belts. I would have skipped volume 1, but everything I read about this curriculum says to cover the volume 1 material because it provides a good foundation and prepares students for the next volumes, regardless of their age. So, off we go!

These are the supplies we used today, as well as a few books for independent reading:

The first lesson was very brief about air being a substance. My kids already understand this, so we just did a little bit of experimenting. We filled out lungs and cheeks with air (matter occupies space).  Then we tied two empty balloons to a ruler and determined that their weight was the same. We took one balloon off and filled it with air (occupies space). We tied the now-filled balloon back on the ruler and determined that it weighs more than the empty balloon (matter has weight).

We discussed in detail the three qualities that all matter has:
1. It occupies space
2. It has weight
3. It is made of particles

We demonstrated the particulate nature of matter in several ways:

  • We sprayed water from a spray bottle (liquid)
  • We scraped a wood block with a carving knife (solid)
  • We poured out sugar (pours like a liquid, is a solid)
  • We blew rice flour through the air to see air particles moving (gas)

The kids made new entries in their journals and then kept playing with the materials. Over all, I would say it was a very fun couple of lessons! 🙂


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