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5th Grade Core
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Change Is Happening


Do you think it is possible to climb (or walk) through a hole that YOU cut in a 3 inch by 5 inch card? In this activity, you are going to try to make a large change to a 3 inch by 5 inch card. You then need to be able to describe how the physical characteristics have changed.


Try It!



  • 3 inch by 5 inch card
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler




  1. Fold the card in half.
  1. Make a mark every centimeter (cm) on the folded side of the card.
    • You should have 12 marks.
  1. Make straight cuts on each mark, ending your cut about 1 cm from the other side.
  1. Open your card and (leaving the ENDS attached) cut along the fold (again leaving the ends alone).

  1. Now, turn the card around so the OTHER edge is near you (the side without the marks or cuts). Keep your card lined up so your cuts will go between the other cuts.
  1. Carefully open the paper.
  1. Slide through the hole!
  1. These make excellent necklaces, too!
Now - watch the QuickTime video clip showing how this was done. Can you do it that fast at home?
Think about it!
What were the physical properties of the card before and after the hole was cut in it? Was the paper changed chemically or physically?
That’s right, it was only changed physically. Only the physical properties of the paper were changed. There were no new substances formed by cutting the paper. A chemical reaction did not occur.

List a dozen physical changes on a sheet of paper. Did you think of any of these? cutting, sawing, sanding, breaking, denting, squeezing, stretching, snapping, soiling, dying, heating, cooling, expanding, contracting, melting, freezing, boiling, evaporating, condensing, mixing, dissolving, soaking, or drying

Make an entry in your journal about your amazing physical change, climbing through a 3-by-5 card . . . into the cool world of science!


Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.
Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 5th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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