Learning about the states of matter is a vital part of science since everything around us is made up of matter. It is important to learn the physical characteristics of each state of matter in order to learn about the world around us.
1. You're in Hot Water
Using a heat-resistant beaker and hot plate, show how water changes when heat is applied. While the water is heating, a lid is placed over the container of water and students are making predictions as to the process they are seeing. As students see drops of water form on the lid, they can make observations and discuss.
Learn more: Science World
2. Phases of Matter: Interactive Lesson
This lesson is for more advanced learners and covers how the addition and removal of thermal energy affect the states of matter.
Learn more: PBS Learning Media
3. Matter - Reading Passages
This fifth-grade reading passage provides an overview of matter with comprehension questions for students to answer.
Learn more: Read Works
4. Making Pancakes from Liquid to Solid
Read the book Pancakes, Pancakes to students. Provide students with ingredients to make pancakes telling them that they will be changing the state of the matter.
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5. Introduction to Glassy Solids
In this video for more advanced learners, students will learn that glass and other materials are special solids. These glassy solids or amorphous solids have atoms or molecules that are not organized in a definite lattice pattern.
Learn more: MIT Open Courseware
6. Mystery Balloons Experiment
In this experiment, students use a balloon, baking soda, vinegar, a clean and dry bottle (Glass or plastic), and a small funnel. Students will be vinegar in the bottle and baking soda in the balloon. Students will make observations as the balloon is placed over the bottle opening and the baking soda is added.
Learn more: Science Fun
7. Balloon Science-Solid, Liquid, Gas
This is a very simple experiment that can be done in a whole class of young children or in small groups of older children. Three balloons are used to show each state of matter. Students will have fun playing with the helium balloon as well as balloons with water.
Learn more: Fit Kids Club
8. Non-Newtonian Fluid Cornstarch Science Activity
A Non-Newtonian Fluid is one that does not follow Newton's law of viscosity. This activity of mixing cornstarch and water allows students to explore this unusual state of matter. Students will be mesmerized by this non-Newtonian fluid.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
9. Let's Grow Some Crystals
Using plastic cups, borax, and pipe cleaners, students will see how a solid can be dissolved in a hot liquid and then investigate how it turns back into a solid. Take the containers with water and place them in a safe place so the containers can be easily observed.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
10. Epsom Salt Crystal Painting
Mix Epsom salt with boiling water and mix until dissolved. Let the containers of water mixture cool before using. Use this mixture on black construction paper and salt crystals appear. For a different look of salt crystals, mix in blue food coloring and paint with the mixture on white construction paper to see blue ice crystals appear.
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11. Is it a Solid, Liquid, or Gas?
Divide students into groups. Gather 9-10 items for students to determine the properties of each kind of matter. Give each group time to determine the state of matter and its properties.
12. How to Make Plasma in a Microwave
Although this isn't something to do in your classroom, you can do this at home using your own microwave. This microwave demo is a good way to show to students the fourth state of matter that they may not know about.
Learn more: Gastronaut
13. Balloon Rockets
This is a great experiment that can be repeated several times. It also provides a good opportunity for students to use matter science journals to record their data.
Learn more: Science Friday
14. Changing Water
This is a great short science video that provides several examples of the three states of water.
Learn more: South East Water
15. Catch Water from the Air
Give students a little background about fog and how there are places around the world that struggle to get water every day. You will need a few materials including a pantyhose and spray bottle in order to complete this activity. Students will notice the excess water collecting on the pantyhose. Relate this fog catcher to how it might help scientists help those in need to harvest water from fog.
Learn more: Scientific American
16. Sugar Crystals on a String
Kids love matter chemistry activities and rock candy and with this simple experiment, they can see how sugar is transformed. This is a good time to explain that the steam coming from the boiling water is water vapor.
Learn more: How Stuff Works
17. Bag Full of States of Matter
This is a fun way to study the water cycle as well as complete a states of matter science experiment. Freeze a tray of water into ice cubes and once frozen put 4-6 ice cubes in a large gallon freezer bag style. Tape the bag to a sunny window. Students make observations as they observe the drop of water form on the inside of the bag.
Learn more: Science Fun
18. States of Matter Clip Card Sort
This free printable card sort activity is perfect for young learners just starting to learn about states of matter. Each card is brightly colored and can be printed for a center or for each individual student to use. Students start with the labels of the states of matter and then sort the picture cards into the states of matter.
Learn more: Gift of Curiosity
19. States of Matter Interactive Flipbook
This interactive resource is a wonderful engaging resource for students to use. This book can be used as a stand-alone resource guide or for use as the topics are taught. This fun activity book gives students lots of great information at their fingertips.
Learn more: Tes
20. Butter in a Jar: Simple Dr. Seuss Science for Kids
Making butter starts with a Dr. Seuss book called The Butter Battle. This is a fun book to start off with when introducing the changing states of matter. The simple ingredients needed to make butter are heavy whipping cream, salt, and a jar with a tight lid. Students will delight in the magic they create as they take a liquid to a solid.
Learn more: Little Bins For Little Hands