Early Childhood

3 States of Matter: 5E lesson plan

Hello guys! I am currently working on this 5E lesson plan about the 3 States of matter for a 3rd-grade class. What are some fun hand on activities/demonstrations besides a simple ice and water demo? I really want to engage the students with an exciting hands-on activity. 

Andrea Jaime
andrea jaime
285 Activity Points

Hello Andrea,

I think that the best activities with the states of matter involve the changes between states. You may want to review a recent blog I wrote about several ideas for activities related to gases. (http://bit.ly/2MnnbnR )

Ideas for liquid/solid activities:

Ice cream in a baggie
There are many recipes to make ice cream in class. There is also a lesson on depressing the freezing point of water using salt. Record the temperature of the water during the activity. Always double bag the liquids to avoid salty ice cream! Provide almond milk for lactose-intolerant students.

Gelatin or chocolate molds
You can purchase inexpensive candy molds and have fun making treats. This activity takes advantage of major properties of liquids and solids. Liquids flow and take the shape of their container, solids maintain their shapes. Use a gummy formulation for the gelatin. Be careful with hot liquids.

Resin casting jewelry
Purchase two-part resin or epoxy to make jewelry in molds. (Don’t use the same molds for edible treats). Prepare the molds with a release agent like vegetable oil. There are resins which are free of harmful outgassing. Make sure to practice beforehand and always use gloves.

Non-Newtonian fluids
Students will be astounded when they play with these bizarre starch solutions which behave both as solids and liquids. Easy, safe, but messy! Be sure to cover surfaces and wear smocks.

Layered fruit juice

Get several different types of juices (orange, grape, pomegranate, etc) and have students experiment with pouring them in different density layers.  If they do it in the right order, they can create striped drinks!  Introduces density of liquids are not the same and a tasty treat!

Hope this helps!

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
3653 Activity Points

Hello Andrea!

I found this website https://thisreadingmama.com/states-matter-books-kids/ , where you can find many books that will teach the students about the states of matter.  They can look at the illustrations and then get ideas on what activity can be done to demostrate the states of matter.  Children will enjoy the books and the fact that they helped their teacher choose an activity. Hope you can share the activity after with us.

Kimberly Suchil
Kimberly Suchil
180 Activity Points

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George Mehler
George Mehler
1340 Activity Points

Hello! I think that showing the differences between the states of matter is very important! I found a website for a simple hands-on activity you could do in the classroom when discussing this specific topic. https://www.perkinselearning.org/accessible-science/activities/states-matter-introduction-simple-hands-activity This activity has the students differentiate between a gas, a solid, and a liquid. The activity can be used as a quick assessment on background knowledge of the differences of the states of matter.

Justice Taylor
Justice Taylor
895 Activity Points

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