Students will begin this inquiry-based lesson by accessing their prior knowledge about the distinguishing characteristics of different substances. Using ideas from the students, the teacher will create a list of physical and chemical properties that can be used to recognize different substances. Next, the teacher will assist the students in planning an investigation that will test methods to determine the identity of substances based on their characteristic properties. Lastly, students will carry out the investigation they planned with the aim of identifying "mystery" substances using their unique physical and chemical properties.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.