Is it Matter or Not?

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SWBAT classify solids, liquids, and gases.

Big Idea

Students observe illustrations and decide if it is matter or not matter.

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

2-PS1-1-"Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials based on their observable properties." In this lesson, students learn about matter. They learn that matter is anything that takes up space and has weight. Also, they learn that solid, liquids, and gases are matter and they have properties (size, shape, texture,or color). In this lesson, students observe pictures and determine if they are matter or not matter.  The lesson helps students understand that matter is anything that can take up space and has mass. Also, there are three forms of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. Matter can be describe by its properties.

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas.  In this lesson, groups communicate with each other about how to categorize the cards by "Is it Matter or Is it not Matter." It is imperative that students are allowed to dialogue with each other so they can express their scientific findings.

Prior Knowledge:

In previous lessons, students learned about matter. They understand that solids, liquids, and gases are forms of matter. They also know that matter can be described by its properties, and matter takes up space and has mass.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.



10 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower students and make them dreamers and doers.

“I can” statement

I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can identify matter." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping.  I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.


The students observe the PowerPoint.  In the PowerPoint, students learn all about matter. The PowerPoint helps my visual learners retain content. While observing the PowerPoint, students are encouraged to ask questions. 


20 minutes

While students are sitting at their groups' tables, they assign their groups' roles such as: a person who records, manages, and reports. I permit the students to select their own roles so they can capitalize on their strengths.  This also boosts students' self esteem. I select the leader who is the student that demonstrates leadership qualities.  The students are provided group labels and clothes pin clips. They are encouraged to wear their labels. I provide the students with the group labels  to help them identify their roles. Also, it helps promote a positive classroom environment with little disruption.

At the table, the groups have their materials (flashcards found on the last 2 pages of the lab sheet).

Teacher note: I cut the cards apart for the students to assist with time constraints.

The groups are instructed that 'I am Matter and Not Matter' represent the subheadings for the respective categories. They are informed to place the various scenarios under the correct sub-headings.

I walk around to facilitate their learning. I posed questions such as: What is matter?  How are the two categories different? Why are the things that you selected not matter? How can you describe matter? I select some of the cards that are matter for students to discuss. 

Student Debrief

Students share their findings with their peers. They discuss "What is matter and what is not matter"? Then students are posed these questions: What are the three kinds of matter? How can you describe matter?

Is it matter or not?-video

Is it matter or not?- picture




10 minutes

While students are seated at their desks, I provide them with a 2-1 Exit ticket. They write down two things that they learned and 1 thing that they still have a question about. When I take up the tickets, I am looking for students' understanding or misconceptions. Also, I can make decisions about what I am going to teach next.

Is it Matter-Exit Ticket- Student Work