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3A.  Instructional Delivery

Evidence 1

Teaching the Concept of Density:  Constructing Knowledge and Addressing Misconceptions

This unit was based on the article by Doran and Burke in the Fall 2006 STANYS bulletin.  In the article they outlined a unit to address misconceptions about density in an inquiry focused manner.  I also tried to focus on constructing student knowledge by scoffolding what they learned.  My efforts attempted to match the outlined curriculum (see below) as presented in the article.


Doran, Rodney and Burke, Kathleen.  "Middle School Students' Misconceptions About Density".  The Science Teachers Bulletin Volume 70. Number 1. Fall (2006)

Worksheet developed for Activity 5 (see above).


Oil and Water

1    Obtain materials as directed by your teacher.
2    Label one plastic medicine cup “oil” and the other “water” if they are not already labeled.  Weigh each plastic cup and record the values at (A) and (B).
3    Measure 25 ml of oil in the graduated medicine cup labeled “oil” and record its mass at (D).  Repeat using 30 ml of water in the remaining cup (C).
4    To find the actual mass of the oil and water subtract the empty cup mass from the mass of the cup and liquid as directed at (G) and (H)
5    Using the mass and volume measurements, calculate the density of the oil and water.

Data Collection

(A)  Mass of Water Cup (empty)  ________________

(B)  Mass of Oil Cup (empty)      ________________

(C)  Mass of Water and Cup______________

(D)  Mass of Oil and Cup________________

(E)  Volume of   oil    25 ml
(F)  Volume of water    30 ml

(G)  Mass of Water  (C) – (A)  _______________

(H)  Mass of Oil  (D) – (B)  _________________

Density Calculations

Density of oil =    Mass of oil (H)  = __________________ = ____________________
                           Volume of oil (E)

Density of water =  _Mass of water (G)_ = _______________=_____________________
                                Volume of water (F)

Based on your observations during the demonstration, explain what happens to liquids with different densities when they are mixed together.



Instructional Delivery


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