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Investigating the dissolving of sugar

Assessment focuses

AF1, AF2, AF3, AF4

Context

The pupils were given a copy of ‘The Daily News'. They read through the article and talked about how newspapers do not always report the truth.

They went through the article in pairs and discussed which parts could be investigated, how this could be carried out, making predictions where appropriate. The pupils were then provided with appropriate equipment and carried out their investigations.

They wrote their own newspaper article to report their findings.

The evidence

A handout (invented newspaper report) to support an investigation into the solubility of sugar

The invented newspaper masthead is for The Daily News, 45p. The headline reads Sugar disappears as you watch!It is an 'Exclusive by Miss Knowbody', with an illustration of a figure in sunglasses and hat disappearing into a glass of water, saying "HE HE THEY WILL NEVER FIND ME". This is captioned with 'Caster disappears without trace. Last seen jumping into a jug of water'. The article reads as follows.Children in the Year 5 class at Elm Street School made a surprising discovery yesterday. They had been mixing substances such as sand and flour with water. When they tried this with sugar they were amazed when the sugar seemed to disappear.“We just put it in the water and watched and watched and eventually the sugar disappeared”, said Ben, a pupil in Mrs Bianchi's class. Others in the class had seen the same thing happening. “I think it went slower when we stirred it”, said Shanaz. Her friend Gina also thought that is disappeared faster when they used cold water.  Mrs. Bianchi plans to try this with lots more substances in her science lessons. Her assistant investigators are busy making lists of substances that they predict will disappear. They hope to see some more disappearing acts soon!A local scientist was asked for her comments. She said that she was surprised by the children's results. We wonder what our readers think. The following text has been underlined, with a 1 and question mark written next to it: 'When they tried this with sugar they were amazed when the sugar seemed to disappear.' The following text has been underlined and a 2 written next to it: "... I think it went slower when we stirred it” The following text has been underlined, with a 3 and question mark written next to it: 'Gina also thought that is disappeared faster when they used cold water.'Below the report, it says 'What do you think about the report? Why not try your ideas and write a report for the newspaper?'

© S. Naylor, B. Keogh, A. Goldsworthy 2004. Published by Millgate House Education Ltd. Used with kind permission.

Image of two plastic glasses containing water, one with a spoon.

A newspaper template for The Daily News, which has been filled with a child's hand-written work

Below the masthead for The Daily News, the child has hand-written the following (which is clarified below in the teacher's writing below this).1. Will sugar dissolve when put in water? I predict sugar will dissolve quicker when left alone in water. Put in the sugar and leave it alone for a couple of minutes.  

© S. Naylor, B. Keogh, A. Goldsworthy 2004. Published by Millgate House Education Ltd. Used with kind permission.

A newspaper template for The Daily News, which has been filled with a child's hand-written work

Below the masthead for The Daily News, the child has hand-written the following. Where letters are back-to-front, this have been written as they should, to clarify the meaning.Looe phrimre scos. has proovn. shgr disr pirs. frsdr with hot hor ti if yo sdiJ. we put shugr in with hot woltr and ulfrdr thear we sduld it.The child has also drawn two figures.

© S. Naylor, B. Keogh, A. Goldsworthy 2004. Published by Millgate House Education Ltd. Used with kind permission.

Transcript

Looe Primary School has proven sugar disappears faster with hot water and if you stir it. We put sugar with hot water and … we stirred it.

Teacher's notes

Luke and his partner were given guidance on finding points in the article that could be investigated. They investigated the effect of temperature (using hot and cold water) and of stirring or not stirring, but as they worked simultaneously with these two independent variables, it made it hard for them to reach a valid conclusion about the effects of either variable.

Luke said:

‘You don't need to stir it in hot water.’

‘You need to put the same amount of sugar in the hot and cold cup.’ (To partner) ‘You stir it and I'll leave mine alone.’

Next steps

Further opportunities to carry out investigations and work with control variables to develop ideas about fair testing.

Assessment commentary

Luke can make observations to resolve issues raised by the original newspaper article. He can work successfully with a partner. From the article, he is able to develop suggestions about how to find things out, and he can make use of the equipment provided. He is beginning to report on what happens, although he needs careful support in developing his skills in written reporting.