Conservation of mass is a counter-intuitive idea that students struggle to fully comprehend (Stavy, 1990). This article presents a modified version of a conservation of mass demonstration. The original activity has much potential, but here we make clear the teacher's role that is necessary for promoting inquiry and deep mental engagement. We also discuss the use of several instructional “weapons” we have successfully used to enhance learning: questioning, wait time, listening, and nonverbal communication with students. We include numerous sample questions that we ask to encourage students to share their ideas, and help students come to the desired understanding. This article promotes High School National Science Education Standards A, B, E, and G and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 2008 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Moffitt, Matthew and Miller, Joseph
"Weapons of Mass Instruction: The Teacher’s Crucial Role in Promoting a Deep Understanding of Conservation of Mass,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 35
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol35/iss1/4