Use the student responses to the class discussions and also their ideas on the 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions Tool for Ethanol Burning, as well as the 1.2 Assessing the Expressing Ideas Tool for Ethanol Burning to assess their thinking at the beginning of the unit. By the end of the unit, students should be able to explain that ethanol is an organic material and water is inorganic. For now, listen to students’ ideas, with attention to how they describe matter and energy. In particular, suggestions that ethanol is “flammable” or “a fuel” are ideas that you will be able to build on. It will be unusual at this point for students to be able to identify properties that predict or explain why some materials are flammable and others or not (for instance, that flammable materials largely originated in living things—recently or millions of years ago—or specific chemical properties of flammable materials). They will learn to do this in this unit.
Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University