Properties of Solids

We’ve been working in our new science unit for the past few weeks.  First graders in our district study from the FOSS kit on Solids and Liquids.  We’ve started by exploring matter and properties.
Everything in our world is made of matter.  All matter takes up space and has mass.  Matter can exist in 3 states – solid, liquid, and gas.  We have learned that each state of matter exhibits its own properties.  Properties are those characteristics of matter that can be used to describe it.
So far, this is the list of properties that we have come up with to describe solids.

Most recently, we have explored hardness of solids.  Hardness refers to the capability of a solid to resist being scratched or dented. In the beginning of this lesson, kids were asked to talk with a partner about what they thought the word hardness meant.  Then, they were given 20 different objects that they had explored before.  Their job was to set them out in order of hardness.  Coincidentally, we had also studied ordinal numbers in math that same day.  I heard kids using the the language of ordinal numbers- first, second, third, and so on. 

After kids had the chance to work with their partner and determine hardness, we came back together as a group.  Kids shared their thinking, talked about how they tested their idea, and even politely disagreed with their friends at times.  In the end, we decided that sometimes scientists might not be able to come up with the exact-perfect-correct answer.  Sometimes, scientists just need to take what they have learned, hold those ideas in their mind, and refer back to it when they try something new. 
Oh, how we love science in first grade!

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