Wattsamatta Carnival

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Physical Science Curriculum

Second Grade

Wattsamatta Carnival

Lesson #1: Wattsamatta? Pre-Assessment

Lesson #6: All Aboard the Magnetic Express!

Lesson #2: States of Matter

Lesson #7: Aboard the Magnetic Express, Again

Lesson #3: The Candy Stand

Lesson #8: Go Fish

Lesson #4: Disappearing Act

Lesson #9: It’s Rigged!

Lesson #5: Off to the Races

Lesson #10: Carnival Time!

Project PROMISE is a Jacob K. Javits Grant, Award S206A04040071

Virginia Department of Education

Problem Statement

While on a field trip into the woods, your class discovers the remains of an old, abandoned carnival. As a class project, you decide to find out how it worked and renovate it to use for a school-wide celebration.


Physical Science Curriculum

Second Grade

Lesson #1: Wattsamatta?

Authors: Lori Gongora, Phyllis Hairston, Janice Hodges, Beverly Hummel, Betsy Wilco

Lesson Length: 30 minutes

Instructional Objectives:

  • The students will complete a pre-assessment to determine their current knowledge of magnets and matter.

  • The students will make preliminary assessments of the Wattsamatta Carnival site.

Materials and Handouts:

Carnival Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment

Wattsamatta Carnival Site Picture

The Problem!

Ongoing reflective journal, with each journal having 10 or more pages for entries, plus a cover

Instructions for the Teacher:

  1. In order to determine how much students know about matter and magnets, have the students complete the pre-assessment. Make sure the students understand the purpose of the assessment, and that they will not be graded on this test.
  2. After the pre-assessment has been administered, introduce the problem statement and the Wattsamatta Carnival Site debris drawing. You may wish to show it on the overhead projector as well as providing each student with a copy. At the appropriate place in the story, have the students make a detailed list of what they see in their journals.

  3. After reading the description of the carnival in The Problem!, ask students to write in their journals. See Questions to Pose for journal topics.

  4. Begin a KWL chart as a group.


Questions to Pose:

Journal question:

What do you think will need to be done to get the carnival working again?


Discussion and journal entries

Correlation to Virginia Science Standards of Learning:

2.1 The student will conduct investigations in which

a) observation is differentiated from personal interpretation, and conclusions are drawn based on observations;

c) two or more attributes are used to classify items;

d) conditions that influence a change are defined;

e) length, volume, mass, and temperature measurements are made in metric units (centimeters, meters, liters, degrees Celsius, grams, kilograms);

f) pictures and bar graphs are constructed using numbered axes;

g) unexpected or unusual quantitative data are recognized; and

h) simple physical models are constructed.

2.2 The student will investigate and understand that natural and artificial magnets have certain characteristics and attract specific types of metals. Key concepts include:

a) magnetism, iron, magnetic/nonmagnetic, poles, attract/repel; and

b) important applications of magnetism including the magnetic.

2.3 The student will investigate and understand basic properties of solids, liquids, and gases. Key concepts include

a) mass and volume; and

b) processes involved with changes in matter from one state to another (condensation, evaporation, melting, and freezing).

National Science Education Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry:
As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

  • Understanding about scientific inquiry

National Science Education Content Standard B: Physical Science:
As a result of the activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of

  • Properties of objects and materials

  • Position and motion of objects

  • Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism


Physical Science Curriculum

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