Formative Assessment
Formative Assessment icon

Can your students use data to reason that air is matter?

Notebook entries contain evidence that students can use their observational data to make claims that air takes up space and has weight and is, therefore, matter.

Use these criteria to guide your interpretation of student work:

Annotated drawing of syringes

  • Does the drawing show that air is continuous from one syringe, through the connecting tube, to the other syringe?
  • Does the annotation indicate the student understands that that if you take away space for air in one syringe, the air has to go somewhere else and, therefore, creates this space by pushing on the plunger of the second syringe?

Annotated drawing of inflated balloon

  • Does the student explain that that when the balloon with additional air pushes the balance pan down, this is evidence there an increase in weight that must have come from the added air?

Next steps might be a discussion of experiences from everyday life that provide similar evidence that air takes up space and has weight. For example, putting air in a tire pushes the tire out as the air fills the space and increases the weight.