Elementary Science

States of Matter Lesson Ideas

Hi, I am planning a lesson about the different states of matter for second grade students.  The NGSS standard I will be covering is 2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.  If anyone has any lesson ideas please let me know!

Liane Mori
Liane Mori
635 Activity Points

Hey Liane,
You could do a lesson and base it on the water cycle! You could show snow, water, and the process of evaporation. Boiling water could be a visual to show this. Otherwise, if they are pretty advanced, you could set up stations around the room for them to examine and write predictions of whether it is a solid, liquid, or gas with a little more complicated things such as baking soda in vinegar in a bottle, a bottle of soda shook up with bubbles, jello, etc. Each station could be labeled with a number. They would them walk around with a clipboard (or just something to write on) and paper that would have an option to circle: solid, liquid, or gas. Below this option could be 4 reasons to justify why they came to that conclusion. If you do not like either of those ideas, there is an you tube video showing a teacher make ice cream by changing a liquid to a solid. With this, you could explain the particle movement and get a tasty treat out of it! All these are hands-on and include visuals to help those who are visual learners and struggle with understanding without seeing experiments or using senses!
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H77KEV00How

Julia Covington
Julia Covington
30 Activity Points

There is a cool way to integrate physical education into states of matter as a review game once you have covered the different properties. You can provide students with three different loco motor movements (hopping, skipping, jumping, etc.) for each state, so a solid would be a slow movement like stretching, liquid could be hopping, and gas could be skipping or running. This would be a really quick and easy review that would also get students moving in your classroom!

Hunter Flesch
Hunter Flesch
4195 Activity Points

I taught matter to a group of 2nd grade students through inquiry activities. Some of the students' favorite experiments included melting crayon art, vinegar and baking soda, and seeing a popsicle freeze and then melt again. In addition to the inquiry activities, I tried to give them materials that they could keep beyond the end of that lesson. One of the best activities that I did was having them create a flip book that explore some of the state changes and how they occur! I uploaded the flip book that I made to Pinterest, so I will leave a link to that so that you can see what I am talking about! Good luck with matter! The kiddos love it! https://pin.it/kx6lzrqxdk7x65

Rachael Rice
Rachael Rice
3631 Activity Points

If you google structures and properties lesson plans there are plenty of really good PDF resources from different teachers on the topic. I have found a lot of great resources using the 5E's with the specific google search.

Katarzyna Ryt
Katarzyna Ryt
1055 Activity Points

I find that with google there are a ton of good resources that not only come from searching things about, but also using sources like google doc for collaborating with other students or teachers on a shared document, and also with adding meaningful links and resources to the google pages. Google, along with the NSTA resources, can be so important in creating well rounded lessons that can help make presenting a lesson that much easier and reliable. Great Advice!!

Katherine Ortega
Katherine Ortega
2333 Activity Points

A good state of matter lesson idea would be to make outrageous ooze (also known as oobleck). In this lesson, you would read the book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" by Dr. Seuss with the students. You would then ask them if they wanted to make slime themselves. Then you can split them into groups and have them do an inquiry activity in which they need to use observations to determine whether the oobleck is a solid or a liquid. This hands on activity makes the students pay close attention to the characteristics of solids and liquids. In the end, you can tell the students that the oobleck is actually a non-newtonian fluid.

Carili Rubiera
Carili Rubiera
4125 Activity Points

I just recently taught a small group of 5th graders a lesson about states of matter and it went well, so I'm sure it is possible to make it simpler for 2nd grade. You start off with a glass filled with club soda. The glass is the solid, the club soda is the liquid, and the carbon dioxide "bubbles" is the gas. This will be the small activity to engage the students, so you can have them observe what they see and as a class state the three states of matter. Once the students are ready to explore, you will have five stations set up with balloons filled with solids, liquids, and gases. I used pennies, uncooked rice, salt, water, and air, but I think the lesson would benefit having more of a variety. The students are to go to each station and use their five senses (except taste) to observe the balloon and predict whether it is a solid, liquid, or gas. You can have them write their observations and predictions in their journals. Then, I had them come back to their seats and they would share their findings and create explanations for what they observed (explain).

Cassandra Delgado
Cassandra Delgado
3190 Activity Points

I taught a group of second graders all about the different states of matter! I did this through showing different experiments. While we did the experiments, the students would predict before we did them then make observations in their science notebooks. They really enjoyed this and it could be used as a form of assessment which was great for me! We did crayon art, dancing raisins, and orange juice and baking soda! In each of these experiments, you can see a solid, liquid, and a gas. This would be a great lesson for the engage stage of the 5Es. Let me know if you have any questions!

Ashtyn Riley
Ashtyn Riley
3830 Activity Points

I think it is great how you had the students perform many different experiments in order for them to learn about the states of matter. It is great that you had the students predict and make observations that they recorded into their notebooks. That is always good to have students do, because they can go back and see if their predictions and observations were correct. Your different experiments seem like great ideas - I may have to use some in the future! Thanks for sharing!

Emily Heckroth
Emily Heckroth
3967 Activity Points

Hi! I've actually done a lesson on states of matter and one of the things I did with the class was create a root beer float. It was actually really fun and the students enjoyed it a lot. The ice cream would be a representation of a solid, the liquid would be the soda, and the gas would obviously be the reaction of the mixture. This could be an activity you might do after the lesson or even as an engage. You could have students question the reaction and described the three different states of matter. I think the students will love it, especially when it involves food. Hope this helps!

Brenda Toledo
Brenda Toledo
2305 Activity Points

I remember I saw someone actually teach this once with ice cream and it was such a fun lesson. The teacher used dry ice and it had everyone on the edge of their seats during the whole thing. Of course, having a snack after it was all done was also a plus, but even as someone who has already learned about the states of matter, that lessons still stuck with me and I saw it at such a great example of putting a lesson in context with real life. I think that is so important and it is something I hope to do with every lesson I teach in the future to help solidify meaning for the students. Awesome Lesson!!

Katherine Ortega
Katherine Ortega
2333 Activity Points

I just taught a lesson to second graders over the state of matter! One investigation/experiment that I was able to show was taking orange juice and having the children describe what state they believed it was (liquid) and then I also had baking soda and asked them once again what state they believed that was in (solid). I then had the students predict what they thought would happen when I poured a little baking soda into the orange juice. Most students predicted that the baking soda would make the orange juice bubble up. I then did the experiment and the students loved it and were able to tell me why the baking soda made the orange juice bubble. It was very informational and I was very impressed with how much the students knew. It was also fun to do a little fun activity while still being able to teach a lesson!

Elyssa Rung
Elyssa Rung
4412 Activity Points

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