States of Matter Foldable

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SWBAT review basic information about the 3 states of matter by creating a useful study tool.

Big Idea

Foldables can be a great way for students to review what they know and create a tool useful for studying.


5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This lesson is a review of all three states of matter and helps the students to create a useful study tool that will help them throughout the rest of the unit.  It addresses MS-PS1-1 as students are drawing models of the states of matter, identifying the location and motion of the molecules for each phase. Materials for this lesson include: markers, construction paper for each child, scissors, possibly rulers. 

To start, students reflect on the three states of matter by listing each state, on their own, and providing their own example for each. They do this by writing independently on their student notes sheet and responding to the following prompt: 

List the 3 states of matter and give an example for each.

After 3-4 minutes, I will ask one or two students to share their responses, which I write on the SMARTBoard for other students to see. 

To review prior to the creation of the foldable, students can play the game below called "vobackulary." 


5 minutes

As a second review activity, I ask students to think about the speed in which the molecules are moving during each phase of matter. They rank them in order of fastest moving to slowest moving. They can work together during this section of the lesson, but will respond on the notes sheet individually. 

Rank the states of matter from fastest moving to slowest.

  • Fastest molecules
  • Medium speed molecules 
  • Slowest molecules


30 minutes

I explain the directions/procedure for creating a foldable for the 3 states of matter. The students have created a variety of foldables in this format prior to this lesson and are familiar with the process at this point. The criteria to be included in the foldable is listed below. I go over this with the students ahead of time, as well as explaining the process for creating a foldable. 

Create a foldable for the 3 states of matter, including the following criteria:

  • Name of each state of matter

  • A description of the matter’s behavior (what does it do?)

  • 3 examples for each state of matter

  • A description of the molecule motion

  • A picture of the molecules

Students work on their own during this time. I don't mind if there's small talk between the students as long as their productivity is not affected. Some students will need encouragement for various sections, and I will help them along the way, providing as little or as much support as needed. Review the student work sample for an example of a finished product.