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A Fun Way to Introduce the Three States of Matter
- 3 plastic bags
- one glass of water
1. Put a stone in the first plastic bag and seal it. Ask your students to squeeze and press the bag. What happens? Let them try to bend the stone to change its shape. Ask them why they cannot bend the stone.
2. Put water in the second plastic bag and then seal it. Tell students to observe the water in the bag carefully. Ask a representative to gently squeeze the bag of water. Does the shape of water change?
3. Blow air into the third plastic bag and the seal it. Gently press the plastic bag. Does the shape of the air change? Open the bag to release the air. What happens?
These activities and the discussion that follows present a great introduction to your lesson on the states of matter.
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Explain to the students that all objects around us are made of matter. Matter is anything that occupies space and has mass. One way of classifying matter is by its states: Solid, liquid and gas.
On the board, write the properties of each state. This will clearly explain the lesson.
- It has mass
- It has a definite volume
- It has no fixed/definite shape
- It cannot be compressed
- It has mass
- It has no definite volume
- It has no definite shape
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Response After Lesson: Sample Worksheet
What are the similarities and differences of solid, liquid and gas? Help your students understand the different states of matter. Challenge their knowledge with this States of Matter worksheet:
I. Choose the letter of the correct answer.
1. What is matter?
a. Matter is anything that flies.
b. Matter is anything that occupies space.
c. Matter is anything that has definite shape.
2. What are the basic building blocks of matter?
3. What is the state of matter that has no fixed shape and no fixed volume?
4. What is the common property of solid, liquid and gas?
a. They are all living things.
b. They have definite shape.
c. They have the same mass.
5. What do you call the change in a state of matter from a gas to a liquid?
6. Given a solid substance that is heated until it boils, describe the movement of its particles.
II. Categorize the following items as solid, liquid or gas.
- ice cream
Download a worksheet here.
The photo used in this article is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:States_of_matter_He.svg