often confuse observable properties of a substance with properties
of its molecules. For example, many students believe that
molecules of ice are hard and cold. They also think that water
and ice are composed of different kinds of molecules. Some students
think that molecules have a bonding agent similar to the toothpicks
that hold the atoms together in "Making Water Molecules".
The misconceptions that students have regarding
the distinction between observable properties of matter and the
nature of molecules should be carefully treated. As the scientific conclusions regarding matter are
not necessarily intuitive, it is easy to understand how a student
might formulate erroneous ideas. Therefore, teachers need to
be aware of what children think in order to effectively correct
One way to lead the students into a dialogue
of models is by holding up a small toy car.
Why is it like a real car? Why is it unlike a real car? Work
with students to develop a definition of a model.
Making Water Molecules