Science Sort: Solids, Liquids, Gases

If you have  followed me for any length of time, you know I LOVE using concepts sorts to get students talking and for ME to check for misconceptions.  This solids, liquids, and gases sort was no different–except I took a slightly different approach today!
We have NOT started this unit yet–this lesson was the kickoff.  I wanted to hear the students talking about what they know to be true–AND what they BELIEVE to be true!  We started by getting our sort cards prepared…
The students worked in trios and started having discussions about what the items were–and where they believed they belonged.  (Sand?  A liquid?  I had to hear more…”It pours.”  Misconception #1)
After the groups took about 10 minutes preparing and sorting their cards, it was time for a gallery walk.  Each team traveled to check out the other groups to see what they had done–and to see if there were any cards they questioned.
I gave each trio 2 sticky flags that they had to judiciously use…they only got two.  They placed them on the two cards they thought we should talk about.  (You’ll notice that the “sand” was a big question!  So were pudding, pillow, and steam.)
We then argued (I mean had quality academic discourse) about some of the tricky ones.  I gave no answers (remember, this is day 1!) and I had each group put all of their sort pieces into an envelope to revisit after we have learned a bit more!  
Interested in seeing the resource?  You could EASILY do this on your own, but if you want everything put together in a neat and tidy package with directions and a quick assessment, here’s the link.