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Matter exists in our world in three states. Although kindergarten students will find it difficult to understand abstract properties of matter, they are able to group materials into like states such as solids and liquids. This lesson will show your class the basics of solids, liquids, and gases.
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Properties of Matter
Matter is present everywhere, and it occurs primarily in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. Matter can change from one state to another. Matter in any form has mass, density, and volume, concepts that are too abstract for kindergateners to understand. So, while teaching about matter, concentrate on shapes, and teach the children to differentiate forms of matter based on shape. For example, solids have a definite shape, liquids take the shapes of their containers, and gases lack shapes and are present everywhere.
Activity to Introduce Properties of Solids
Begin your class by introducing the terms solid, liquid and gas. Write these terms on the board. Divide your students into small groups. Provide them with various solid objects like books, boxes, pencils, and pebbles. Have them determine the shape of the object. For example, books are rectangular, and balls are round.
Activity to Introduce Properties of Liquids
Now provide the students with glasses of water. Give them a square bowl, a circular bowl, and a cup. Let them pour the water from the glass to each container. Instruct them to pour the water onto the table or a tile floor. Have them determine the shape of the water and how it changes depending on the container.
Activity to Introduce Properties of Gases
Provide your students with balloons and plastic bags. Let them inflate the balloons. Tie them tightly. Now puncture the balloon with a needle. Let them feel the air that comes out through the small hole. Instruct them to swing the plastic bags in air and tightly tie the openings. Puncture the plastic bags, and repeat the procedure. Have them determine if gases such as air have definite shapes or not.
Analysis and Conclusion:
Through the first activity students will learn that solids have shapes. As they experiment with the water, they will learn that liquids take the shapes of their containers. They will also discover that liquids are visible and can be seen. The third activity will give your class the idea that gases too takes on the shapes of their containers but that the container needs to be sealed to trap the gas. They will also learn that gases are present everywhere but often invisible.
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Changing States of Matter
Kindergarten students can learn that matter can change states. Solids can become liquids. Liquids can become gases.
Activity to Introduce the Changes in States of Matter
Provide each group with a large container. Instruct the students to rub their palms together and feel the heat of their palms. Then give each student an ice cube to hold in their hands. Direct them to place their hands over the container. Once all the ice cubes have melted from the heat of their hands, take the bowl and place it over a heater. Heat until the water disappears.
Now ask them the following questions:
- What happened to ice cubes?
- Why did the ice cubes melt?
- What happened to water?
- How did water change into steam?
Finally, provide the students with some stones and let them examine the rocks. Direct the children to identify the state of matter (solid) and ask whether they can change it to liquid or a gas.
Analysis and Conclusion:
From this experiment, children will understand that the solid water (ice) changes into water from heat. The water, when continuously heated, disappears as steam. They will also understand that only certain types of matter changes from one state to another when heat is provided.
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This lesson plan will give kindergarteners the opportunity to discover the three states of matter as well as that matter can change from one state to another. As homework, teachers can instruct the students to make a list of household items grouped by the state of matter.