Mystery of Matter - Facilitating Discussion

Doug Ragan just shared a Pick about the Mystery of Matter videos series. I have not used all of the Mystery of Matter videos in my classroom, but I have used the first two since they were introduced. The first time that I used them, I needed to miss a couple of days of school about a month apart. I was considering using these videos for sub plans. I liked the website teacher guide notes that give prompts for stopping the video and discussing, but since I was not going to be present to facilitate I decided to create worksheets. I modified the discussion prompts from the teacher guide into worksheets to help keep students focused on the content.

You can see a clip from the facilitation notes above. The notes provide excellent "Stop and Think" prompts. Some, like this one, I copied exactly into my worksheet as you can see below. I did not use all of the prompts and I modified others slightly to concentrate on specific content related to my own classroom goals.

I posted the links to the videos on our class website so that students could revisit the video if necessary to answer the questions. We had a class discussion later in the week to pull it all together and add depth to the conversation. You can find the worksheets I created at the bottom of this post.

I have used the teacher guide notes provided on the website as intended since then as a guide while watching the video with my students. They are very well done and I highly recommend using them if you have time in your plans. You still might consider creating a worksheet for absent students. Students that were absent from my class were able to use the link to the video I posted on our class website. I have also assigned the video as a homework assignment using the same worksheets and again linking the video on the class website. I then scheduled a discussion day on the date the worksheet was due. I did this when a scheduling conflict took many of my students out of my class, but I still had about half the students in the room. The students that were in class had the period to watch the video homework and complete the worksheet.

I hope this might be useful for some of our readers. By using the teacher guide, you will be able to easily create your own worksheets if you wish to use them for the other episodes.