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Sand is lots of little solid pieces

Last week we looked at how reconstructing the learning was only useful if the children were able to see an issue with their misconception. We have to help support them to see why their understanding is not correct and lead them to discover the correct conception.

If children were sorting materials in class and they identified sand as a liquid (it pours and takes the shape of the container it is poured into) what could we do with them to challenge this misconception?

The video shows how children can look closely at materials under a microscope to see that some things that behave like a liquid are actually very small pieces of solid. Another way to demonstrate this is to look at images of sand taken by a Scanning Electron Microscope. You can access these pictures with a simple internet search, or the University of Bristol Chem Labs have stunning pictures that are free for schools to access.

Task

Have a look at this photo story: Biscuit Bashing.

How does this help children to develop their understanding of solids that behave like liquids?

An additional video, Biscuit Bashing from the Royal Society of Chemistry, also illustrates this.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry

National STEM Learning Centre