States of Matter

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SWBAT explain the characteristics of the states of matter.

Big Idea

Matter can be found as a solid, liquid, gas, or plasma. But, how can matter change from one state to another? Have students draw & explain their answer as they learn about each state.

Bell Ringer

10 minutes

Before viewing the video

At the start of each class period, I take a minute to review the target. I ask one student to read the target aloud to the class. The target and essential question are always posted on the board so that students know what to expect. Today's target is "I will explain the characteristics of the states of matter." The essential question (EQ) is "How does matter behave?"

This is a good opportunity to discuss new vocabulary terms with students. Break the target apart and review the meaning of terms such as: characteristic and states of matter. I ask students to provide synonyms for each term because this process get students thinking deeper about the concept.

I show the YouTube video "States of Matter" to engage students in the lesson and build background knowledge. Provide students with the worksheet Thinking Notes from Video States of Matter where students can write questions (SP#1), ideas they liked, and something that was unclear. The worksheet, divided into three (3) parts, gives students opportunity to reflect on the information in the video. To reflect, students could: write vocabulary terms, draw pictures, use bullet points, and/or place a question mark if they don't understand.

States of Matter

After viewing the video

I ask students to share their reflections from the video so that other's can hear their thoughts. Then I review (page 2, on the back of the worksheet ) the States of Matter, which contains a visual diagram for easier understanding. Discussing the statements on this part of the worksheet leads students to understand that heat is required (or given off) to change matter from one state to another.

States of Matter

20 minutes

States of Matter

To engage students in note taking, I have them create a Foldable where they can record information. I ask students to create and then glue this foldable into their Science Journal. Keeping this information in a Science Journal (Notebook) ensures that all notes and information for this unit will be in a readily available, reliable place.

Students create a foldable to write and draw information about each State of Matter. For each state of matter, I ask students to include: the name of the state, two facts, and two examples. I encourage students to use colored pencils to enhance their drawing of molecules in each state of matter. To differentiate the activity for students with more limited fine motor skills, use colored dots (stickers) to represent the molecules. The number of dots and how closely they are positioned can identify the state of matter.

A variety of standards are woven throughout this lesson. Science and Engineering Practices SP#2 using models where students draw a model of each state of matter on the foldable. SP#8 where students communicate information in the foldable to show understanding of the concept. CCC#2 cause and effect as students show relationships between matter and thermal energy. CCC#1 patterns because patterns of temperature change are used to identify how molecules react. CCC#7 stability and change because changes in one part of a system might cause larger changes in another part as when energy is added or removed from molecules.

Note: Lessons in this unit (Matter & Atoms) work towards understanding and mastery of MS-PS1-4 where students develop a model (drawings or diagrams) that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

What Did You Learn?

10 minutes

What did you learn?

I want to assess student learning from the lesson, so I use an Exit Slip. This is a common, formative assessment strategy which will quickly identify the level of learning. An Exit Slip is an informal measure of student learning where students think critically and reflect on what they have learned.

For a better measure of student learning, I provide a sentence frame for writing and encourage students to use science specific vocabulary as they complete the Exit Slip. For this lesson, I would expect students to use terms such as: characteristic, state of matter, solid, liquid, gas, molecule, heat, and/or energy.

Examples of student responses from the Exit Slip include:

  • I learned that all the states of matter have a different way of moving because they are all heated differently.
  • I learned that every state of matter needs heat because without it the molecules would not change.
  • I learned that the hotter the particles, the faster they move because the heat makes them speed up and separate to form a new state.