Classroom Resources: States of Matter


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1 – 25 of 26 Classroom Resources

  • Phase Changes, Molecular Motion | Middle School

    Activity: Atoms in Motion

    In this activity, students will explore how particles that make up matter are in constant motion. The students will use an online PhET simulation to compare the ways that atoms and molecules move in samples of solids, liquids, and gases. This activity will help students improve their understanding of the particle level.

  • Phase Changes, Molecular Motion | High School, Middle School

    Simulation: States of Matter and Phase Changes

    In this simulation, students will participate in a 10 question quiz. Some questions will challenge students to analyze data to identify the correct state of matter for a specific sample, and then connect the chosen state with an animated particle diagram. In addition, students will examine the behavior of particles in an animated sample as they undergo a phase change, and must correctly identify the change that occurs.

  • Physical Properties, Molecular Motion | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Categorizing States of Matter

    In this activity students will analyze both written statements and images that describe the properties of a solid, liquid or gas. Students will determine which state of matter the description best describes and categorize it accordingly.

  • Mixtures, Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Freezing Point Depression | Middle School, High School

    Lab: How does Salt "Melt" Ice?

    In this lab, students will consider why salt is used to aide in snow clearing and to help keep icy roads safe. They will investigate how salt ‘melts’ ice and determine the best type of salt to do so. Additionally, students will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various different types of salt.

  • Separating Mixtures, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Distillation | Middle School

    Activity: Distillation in Survival Mode

    In this activity, students will investigate methods for purifying water as they consider a survival based situation that requires clean drinking water. Students will investigate processes such as boiling and distillation, as well as review the phase changes within the water cycle.

  • Physical Properties, Phase Changes, Polymers | Middle School

    Lab: Changing a Monomer to a Polymer!

    In this lab, students will have the opportunity to see the complexity of the different phases of matter. This lab will allow students to investigate polymers and physical properties, while connecting these concepts to the phases of matter. Students will also better understand that some substances are not easily identified as a particular phase of matter and that some substances can have characteristics of more than one phase of matter.

  • Physical Properties, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Boiling Point | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Water's States of Matter

    In this lesson, the students will identify properties of different states of matter, and then work in groups to model molecular arrangement in the solid, liquid, and gaseous states of water. This lesson will also help students to understand that the change in state as a physical change and how the solid state of water has unique properties.

  • Phase Changes, Physical Change | Middle School

    Lab: I Can’t Believe It’s Butter!

    In this lab students will learn about the phases of matter and phase changes while making a small sample of butter.

  • Renewable Energy, Phase Changes, Photosynthesis | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Mini Terrarium

    In this lab, students will learn that even the smallest spaces can have their own climate. They will create a miniature sized terrarium and will observe how sunlight enters in order to warm the air, and in turn heat the soil and seeds. Condensation will build up in the container and the students can observe the water cycle in action, as well as the growth of the seeds over time.

  • Phase Changes | Middle School

    Project: Sharing Matter

    In this project, students will design a lesson and activity about the states of matter to share with elementary school students. This project embraces the spirit of the famous quote by Roman philosopher Seneca: by teaching, we learn. In order to successfully teach one of the states of matter to younger students, each group must have advanced knowledge of the subject.

  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Physical Properties, Phase Changes, Interdisciplinary, Culminating Project, Matter | Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: The Castaway!

    In this activity, students use their knowledge of the properties of matter to create and/or design items needed for survival on a deserted island.

  • Freezing Point | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Freezing Ice Cream

    In this lab, students will investigate changing states of matter, chemical reactions, and the properties of ice and salt while creating their own ice cream.

  • Molecular Motion, Temperature | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: What is Temperature

    In this demonstration, students will observe food dye mixing with water at different temperatures.

  • Freezing Point, Phase Changes | Middle School

    Lab: Lemon Ice

    This activity explores the interaction between salt and water (ice) as a way to further investigate their impact on the state of matter of a substance. Students will use salt and ice to create a slushy lemonade drink without the use of a freezer. They will learn through this hands-on experiment how salt and ice can rapidly cool a liquid.

  • Observations, Phase Changes, Combustion, Chemical Change | Middle School, Elementary School

    Demonstration: The Jumping Flame

    In this demonstration, students will observe that the vapor of an extinguished candle flame is ignitable.

  • Heating Curve | Middle School, High School

    Simulation: Heating Curve of Water

    In this simulation, students will investigate qualitatively and quantitatively what happens as water changes states.

  • Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Acids & Bases | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Stearic Acid

    In this lesson, students investigate how stearic acid undergoes a phase change from solid to liquid and back from liquid to solid. Temperature readings will be collected at one-minute intervals once the acid melts, the heat escapes, and the acid cools. Students are introduced to the idea that energy loss does not always result in a continuous temperature drop.

  • Separating Mixtures, Mixtures, Solubility, Phase Changes, Physical Change | Middle School

    Lab: A Solution to Your Mix-up

    In this lab, students will perform a step by step process of mixing and separating substances based on their states and solubility in order to solve a problem.

  • Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Intermolecular Forces | Middle School, High School

    Lesson Plan: Fuel Line Antifreeze

    In this lesson students will explore the role of a gasoline additive, fuel line antifreeze (generally methanol or 2‑propanol), in reducing the potential of water to block fuel lines in freezing weather. Students will prepare test tube models of water-contaminated fuel tanks and explore the effect of adding different types of fuel line antifreeze. This lesson can be used to bolster concepts about miscibility, density, intermolecular forces, phase changes (freezing), and colligative properties (freezing point depression).

  • Sublimation, Chemical Change, Pressure, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Boiling Point, Chemical Change | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Dry Ice

    In this lesson, students will investigate how dry ice undergoes a phase change from solid to gas, skipping the liquid phase under normal temperature and pressure.

  • Observations, Density, Sublimation | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Dry Ice (High School)

    In this lab, students perform several small experiments using dry ice and record their observations.

  • Density, Molecular Motion | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Density Lab

    In this lab, students determine the density of several liquids and solids. They then identify an unknown metal by determining its density. They then calculate the percent error within the class for a specific sample.

  • Observations, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Temperature | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Condensation

    In this lab, students will explore the process of condensation. Students will investigate how water vapor condenses, and then they will conduct a comparison test to see if cooling water vapor has an effect on the rate of condensation.

  • Molecular Motion | Middle School, High School

    Simulation: Molecular Motion

    In this simulation, students will have the opportunity to explore on the molecular level how particles move in three states of matter. They will compare two different substances.

  • Molecular Motion, Heat | Middle School, High School

    Lesson Plan: Modeling the Melting of Ice

    In this lesson, students will create a particulate model of matter that explains energy changes and transfer during a phase change.

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