Unit E: Matter

What caused the Statue of Liberty to change color over time?

1. Get Set to Explore

Vocabulary

  • chemical change: A change in matter in which one or more new kinds of matter form.
  • physical change: A change in the size, shape, or state of matter.

Building Background

  • Show students a picture of the Statue of Liberty and ask the class to tell what they know about it. Elicit information about its location, its significance, and any other facts students know. If any students have visited the statue, let them describe it. If students know any physical facts about the Statue of Liberty, write them on the board, labeling them as such. Such facts might relate to size, shape, color, age, and composition.
  • Explain that in the simulation, students will be learning about how the Statue of Liberty has changed over time. They will be looking at physical changes and chemical changes. Review the meaning of these terms with the class.
  • Show students an example of a horizontal timeline, and let volunteers talk about what a timeline shows and how it gives this information. Inform students that they will use a timeline in the simulation.
  • Present the Discover! question to the class. If students don't know the color of the statue, encourage them to speculate on the color and how it might have changed over the years. You can make the analogy to a new penny and talk about how the penny might change. Bring in examples to show students, if possible. Write students' ideas on the board, and keep them posted while students do the simulation.

2. Guide the Exploration

  • Let students launch the Discover! Simulation. After they read the introductory text, return to the information on the board. Have students correct their ideas about color changes.
  • Direct students to listen carefully to the directions. Suggest that they click the dates on the timeline in order, from earliest to latest. Encourage them to take notes related to the physical and chemical changes of the statue over time.
  • When students have completed the simulation, go back to the list the class made on the board about color changes of the Statue of Liberty. Encourage them to add other things they learned about the statue and how it changed.

3. Review/Assess

  • Let two volunteers read Step 3's Wrap-up text to the class, with each student reading one paragraph. Pause after each paragraph, giving students time to ask questions and make observations. Show students examples of pennies of different colors, pointing out that the pennies and the Statue of Liberty are each made of copper.
  • Pose the Extension question to the class: Take a class vote, letting individuals explain the reason they think the statue will or will not change color. Direct students to return to the simulation to try to figure out the answer. After a few minutes, let students share what they learned and vote again on the answer. Share this information with the class: The color of the Statue of Liberty probably will not change, because the green coating, which developed many decades ago, protects the statue's surface.
If time permits, present students with the following activities:
  • Critical Thinking Classify Return to the simulation and look over the changes that the Statue of Liberty underwent over the years. Classify each change as a physical change or a chemical change. Answer: Physical changes—1875: construction of statue; covering with copper coating; 1876: arm reattached to statue; 1885: statue dismantled for shipping; 1886: statue reassembled; 1916: windows cut in copper flame; 1984: iron ribs replaced with stainless steel ribs; copper flame covered with gold metal. Chemical changes—1886: color change caused by reaction of copper with oxygen; 1906: development of green coating caused by exposure to the environment; sometime after 1886: iron ribs rust.
  • Inquiry Skill Communicate Imagine you could visit the Statue of Liberty during each of the four seasons. What physical changes do you think you might notice? Write a storybook with pictures to communicate your ideas to young students. Answer: Storybooks should include simple sentences and large pictures of the changes. Changes might include sun shining on the statue in the summer, heating up the statue; snow freezing on the statue in the winter, cooling it off; etc.

4. Reaching All Learners

English Language Learners

Pair native English speakers with English Language Learners. Have students work together to make flashcards for the science vocabulary. The front of the flashcard should have the science word; the back of the flashcard should have a definition, a picture, and two or three examples. Aside from the two words listed as vocabulary terms, you might ask students to make flashcards for the following words: copper, environment, iron, layer, oxygen, react, restoration, smog, stainless steel.