IS I students began Ch 2 with an Engage activity (5E Model) to get them thinking about density and physical properties. The toy provided them with lots of head scratching moments (good ones) and led to questions about how liquids interact and what causes one liquid to sink or float in another liquid. They were challenged to make some sense of the two candles in the beakers as well!
Every couple of years I pull out this tried and true activity to introduce inquiry. Students need to figure out if changing the mass or the length of a pendulum affects the period. I now share a Google doc with them that has the “bones” of a lab write up. One member of the group makes a copy of it, renames it, shares it with the other group members (and with me). They have to investigate both length and mass but start with the variable they chose for their hypothesis. They do some prototyping on the first day to figure out how the set up the apparatus and we get to talk a lot about number of trial, details in materials list, proper procedure, and how they will record and display their data. As they work on the report we will address graphing, analysis, and their conclusion.