Day 3-What Happens to Some Forms of Matter When Temperatures Decrease?

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SWBAT recognize that objects react differently when cooled.

Big Idea

Students will create a foldable describing how adding and removing heat causes matter to change into new states.

Lesson Overview

5e Lesson Plan Model

Many of my science lessons are based upon and taught using the 5E lesson plan model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. This lesson plan model allows me to incorporate a variety of learning opportunities and strategies for students.  With multiple learning experiences, students can gain new ideas, demonstrate thinking, draw conclusions, develop critical thinking skills, and interact with peers through discussions and hands-on activities.  With each stage in this lesson model, I select strategies that will serve students best for the concepts and content being delivered to them.  These strategies were selected for this lesson to facilitate peer discussions, participation in a group activity, reflective learning practices, and accountability for learning.

Lesson Synopsis 

This lesson, What Happens to To Some Forms of Matter When Temperatures and Decrease? focuses on how the effect cold temperatures on matter.  I begin by having students engage in a turn and talk discussion on the term cold and how it relates to heat. The students examine the effects of cold by using the same materials from our last two lessons on the effects of heat. One set of materials is refrigerated and the other placed in the freezer. They make predictions, observations, and draw conclusions when applying the varying temperatures of cold to the variety of items. The activity is followed by a whole class guided discussion recapping the effects cold had on materials in the investigation in comparison to the heat we added in the last lesson. We construct a discussion web to highlight the key points of our discussion. The lesson wraps up with students demonstrating their understanding of heat and cold on matter by creating a shutter-door foldable that illustrates and describes the effect of each one on different states of matter.

Next Generation Science Standards  

This lesson will address the following NGSS Standard(s): 

PS 1-3 Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. 

PS 1-2 Measure and graph the weights of the substance before and after a phase change to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating or cooling, the total weight of matter is conserved.

Scientific & Engineering Practices

Students are engaged in the following Scientific and Engineering Practices

4.) Analyzing and Interpreting Data: Students use the data in their table determine the effects cold has has upon the mass of objects.

8.) Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information: Students use evidence from their data tables to support their conclusion about the effect of heat and cold on materials. They construct a foldable displaying these effects by drawing and describing each one.

Crosscutting Concepts

The What Happens to To Some Forms of Matter When Temperatures Decrease? lesson will correlate to other interdisciplinary areas.  These Crosscutting Concepts include:

2.) Cause and Effect:  Students make observations to provide evidence to conclude the effects of cold and heat on different materials.

6.) Structure and Function: Students develop an understanding that varying temperatures of cold added to materials has different effects on the structure of an object and its function. 

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Disciplinary Core Ideas within this lesson include:

PS1.A Structure of Matter:  Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means.  A model showing that gases are made from the matter of particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations.


Classroom Management

Importance of Modeling to Develop Student 

Responsibility, Accountability, and Independence 

Depending upon the time of year, this lesson is taught, teachers should consider modeling how groups should work together; establish group norms for activities, class discussions, and partner talks.  In addition, it is important to model think aloud strategies.  This sets up students to be more expressive and develop thinking skills during an activity.  The first half of the year, I model what group work and/or talks “look like and sound like.”  I intervene the moment students are off task with reminders and redirecting.  By the second and last half of the year, I am able to ask students, “Who can give of three reminders for group activities to be successful?” Who can tell us two reminders for partner talks?”  Students take responsibility for becoming successful learners.  Again before teaching this lesson, consider the time of year, it may be necessary to do a lot of front loading to get students to eventually become more independent and transition through the lessons in a timely manner.



For time management purposes, I use “lab rats roles” I introduce these roles this at the beginning of the year. I model each role and provide students' opportunities to practice each role with a group during an investigation or lab.  It has proven successful within my classroom keeping students engaged and on task.

Each student has a number on the back of his or her chair, 1,2,3,4 (students sit in groups of 4)and displayed on the board.  For each explore activity, I switch up the roles randomly so students are experiencing different task responsibilities which include: Director, Materials Manager, Reporter, and Technician.  It makes for smooth transitions and efficiency for set up, work, and clean-up. 


10 minutes

Recapping What We've Learned Thus Far

Today, I begin with a guided discussion beginning with yesterday's inquiry on adding and removing heat from matter.  I ask students to recall the changes that occurred with the materials we used at each investigation. By recapping the outcomes from adding heat to materials, I am preparing students for the next part of our discussion on the term cold.

Eliciting Prior Knowledge

From there, I lead them into a discussion on the the term cold by asking them,  "What does it mean? Is it related to heat? Can you you think of ways cold can change things? I engage them in a turn and talk, using turn and talk norms,  with their group to brainstorm ideas/responses to these questions. When we regroup as a whole class, I ask students to share their thinking out loud. While they share, I write ideas on the board for all to view.  

My intention with these questions it to get students to begin thinking of ways objects react to cold temperatures and become aware that the effects of cooling varies from one object to another.


25 minutes

Preparing to Investigate

I then I move students' attention to the standards board and call on one student to read it aloud:

"Today we will investigate the effects of cold temperatures on some matter by examining materials that have been in the refrigerator and freezer."  

I then bring their attention to the trays that each group will receive for this investigation. Each tray consists of the same items as yesterday: Chocolate, Butter, Penny, Ice Cube, and Crayon. I use these same objects/ variables the same in order to distinguish the effects of added heat and added cold. I share with them that I have placed a set of these materials in the refrigerator and another set in the freezer yesterday. (I keep them in the refrigerator/freezer until the students are ready for them.)


I tell them they are working with their group as lab rats throughout the investigation. I hand out a similar data table from our previous investigation and instruct students to paste it in their interactive notebook

Data Table

I go over the data table with my students explaining the purpose of each column and the expectation for filling it in as they investigate the materials. I do give them the mass of each material before I placed in the freezer and refrigerator.

Once predictions are made, I have a few share out loud. Then, I hand each group a tray with the objects that have been refrigerated and instruct students to observe the items. I ask them to use a hand lens and toothpick to observe, and a scale to record the mass. I remind them to observe and record the items quickly in their data table, before the objects adapt to the room temperatures. 

Next, I move students on to observing the items and recording the mass of each one that were in the freezer.  They follow the same method of observing as they did with the refrigerated objects. I also remind them to observe the items quickly before the objects adapt to the room temperatures.

After they have completed their observations, I give students a few minutes with their groups to discuss their data. I tell them to look over and compare their predictions with the actual outcomes of the items in the refrigerator and freezer. I ask them to think about whether or not the items changed in the freezer and reasons why or why not. 


Explain- Guided Discussion

10 minutes

I begin with a guided discussion after our inquiry on adding matter to cold temperatures.

Student sample data table

I ask students to examine their data recorded in the table on the effect of cold on some materials of matter.  I lead them into a class discussion about the changes they observed and we create a discussion discussion web  

discussion web

What kinds of effects did you notice when the butter, chocolate, crayons, ice, and penny were exposed to cold temperatures? 

I am looking for students to recall how these items reacted to cold temperatures and then at room temperature.  I want them to conclude that some items like butter change from soft to hard when placed in the freezer, whereas, items like chocolate, crayons, penny, and ice remain the same. However, when ice is left at room temperature for a period of time, this solid slowly changes to a liquid. 

We analyze the evidence as a class, talk about it, and note it in the web. We use it to come up with a conclusion to our investigation on the decreasing the temperature and its effects matter. After analyzing the evidence, we determine that it really depends on what the object is made out of. We also discussed the possibility of how much heat was removed. Further explaining that depending on the condition, some objects may or may not already have heat in them and this would contribute to its change to the new temperature it is in.


15 minutes

After two days of investigating how adding and removing heat changes some matters, I share with the students that we are constructing a foldable to display what we have learned.  I explain we are illustrating a solid,, liquid and gas with images, examples, and descriptions about the effects of added or removed heat on each one.  

I hand out a piece of paper and I model how to make a shutter door foldable. Once each student creates a foldable, I show them the labels for each section and ask them to write them on theirs.  With labels created, I review the expectations for their task. "In the section, solid + heat, you are drawing an example of matter that changes when heat is added. You can select an item from our investigation to draw or something from your own life.. Next to it, the right box, you are drawing a heat source that changes that matter and a thermometer displaying a temperature that changes its form.  Then, open to the inside. Here, one the left box, you are writing =(and name the state of matter it now takes) and on the right box, you are writing the process that changes the matter to the form."  I continue with directions for the middle box. "Here you are writing three or four sentences describing how this change happened.  Be sure to include information from the details you had on the front."  

Once I finish explaining directions and expectations, I have students begin. While they are working, I am walking around checking in with students for quick assessments and observations of their written details and illustrated images.  


Changes in Matter Foldable inside Changes in Matter Foldable