States of Matter: Solids, Liquids and Gases

Eugenia L. Sampson Horace Mann School
8050 S. Chappel
Chicago IL 60617
(312) 535-6640


This mini-teach lesson is designed for students at the primary level K-3.
1. Students will be able to recognize the properties of each state
of matter.
2. Students will be able to recognize the similarities/differences
between the three states of matter.
3. Students will be able to recognize the presence of carbon dioxide
gas in soda.

Materials Needed:

Activity 1: Groups of 4
1 small baby food jar
1 teaspoon table salt
carbonated soda, any flavor

Activity 2: Groups of 4
1 mixing bowl
1 metal spoon
2 cups corn starch
1 cup water with a few drops of blue food coloring


Activity 1:
1. Fill the jar 1/2 full with the carbonated soda.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the soda.

Activity 1:
Results: Bubbles form in the liquid then foam appears on top of the soda.
Why? Each bubble seen in the soda is a collection of carbon dioxide gas.
Salt and carbon dioxide are both examples of matter and matter takes up
space. When the salt is added to the soda; it pushes the bubbles of carbon
dioxide out of the way. These bubbles rise to the top bringing small
amounts of soda with them. This movement of the gas forms the foam on top
of the liquid. Replacing a gas with another substance is called

Activity 2:
1. Mix ingredients in the bowl with the spoon until smooth.
2. The magic matter should look like a liquid. Poke your finger
in it in several places.
3. Take a spoonful in your hand and roll it into a ball.
4. Place it on a table. What does it do?
5. Pick it up again and roll it into a ball: Keep it in your hand.
What happens to it?

Activity 2:
Results: When the ingredients are mixed together; the matter looks like a
liquid. The matter rolls up into a solid, but when placed upon the table
it forms into a liquid again. Why? Starch is a solid. Water is a liquid.
The water and starch are a suspension known as a colliod. A colliod is a
material that consists of one substance suspended within one another. The
suspended material is comprised of particles so small that they don't sink
to the bottom of the second substance. Together, the two materials display
properties unlike those of their separate components. Matter exists in
three states solids, liquids, and gases. However there are many materials
that consist of one substance that doesn't conform to these neat
designations. Such as fog, protoplasm, homogenized milk, synthetic rubber,
and mayonnaise which are all colliods.

Activity 3:
Hold up your hand close to your mouth, and breathe through your mouth. The
warm air you feel on your hand is matter. Touch the tip of your finger to
your tongue. Your fingertip becomes wet from the saliva. Saliva is
matter. Touch your hair, a fingernail, your nose, and teeth. These parts
of you are all forms of matter. Matter is found in three forms in nature:
solids, liquids, and gases.

Performance Assessments:

Students will be asked to identify solids, liquids, and gases by selecting
samples of each and placing them under the correct category.


Everything you can see, touch, and feel is matter. Matter is anything that
takes up space and has mass. You are made of matter. Matter can be dead
or it can be alive.


1. Solid - Any material or substance that is not a liquid or gas. A
solid has a definite shape and volume. A cube, sphere, or pyramid
are all solids, having length, width and depth. They are not hollow.

2. Liquid - A state of matter. Liquids flow and always take up the shape
of the vessel into which they are poured.

3. Gas - A state of matter that has a mass but no shape. It fills and
takes the shape of a container. Air is a mixture of gases.

4. Matter - The material of which all things in the universe are made.


Bouffard, Delores; Solids, Liquids and Gases: Milliken Publishing Company,
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