Matter that matters

Author: Elisabeth V.Culley (ASU Graduate Student)

& Ms. Shannon Harshman(Gavilan Peak School, Deer Valley District)

Area: Life Sciences

Grade Level: 8


Matter That Matters was developed as part of the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 Down to Earth Science Program at Arizona State University. As such, the lesson strives to increase science literacy in the 8th grade by using actual research questions to teach age-appropriate concepts and inquiry methods. Matter That Matters recreates an archaeological context in which students design and test hypotheses about ancient stone tools and other technologies. Students apply their pre-existing knowledge about the scientific method and the properties of matter while adopting new analytical procedures. The lesson is a “performance of understanding” for Strands One and Five of the Arizona Science and Technology Standard and underscores the relevance of scholastic content in contemporary scientific research. Matter That Matters also fosters an appreciation of prehistory and the diversity of ancient cultures.

AZ Science & Technology

Strand 1 (Inquiry Process)


· Concepts 1-4: Observation,Questions & Hypotheses; Scientific Testing; Analysis and Conclusions; Communication


· Objectives: observe to formulate predictions & hypotheses; design & conduct investigations; record & Interpret data; communicate results


AZ Science & Technology

Strand 5 (Physical Science)

· Concepts 1: Properties of Matter and Changes of Properties of Matter


· Objectives: identify different kinds & states of matter; investigate effects of energy (heat) on matter

Keywords: inquiry, physical science, matter, rocks, minerals, prehistory, archaeology

Related Links:







Lesson Plan (ppt / doc)