Solids, liquids and  gases

Donna Armstrong Frazier Elementary
4027 W. Grenshaw Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60624
(312) 534-6880


Using various examples of solids, liquids and gases, the student will be
able to define the three states of matter. They will classify the three kinds
of matter, describe its properties and give examples of each one. Lastly, they
will describe different ways matter can change and will learn related

Materials needed:

1) Liquids (such as: milk, water, oil, honey)
2) Solids (such as: a block, a ball, a sponge, a feather, a brick and a duck)
3) Gases (such as: balloons filled with air and balloons with helium, a
garbage bag with dry ice, a flask with a small amount of vinegar and
baking soda and a can of soda pop)
4) Mystery box
5) To show matter changing from one form to another:
(ice cubes, a hot plate, an egg, a pan, candles, mirrors, etc.)
6) To show that air takes up space and has weight:
(mystery box, clear shoeboxes filled with colored water, balance
scale, 4 beakers (250ml), punchball, paper towels, dry ice inside
of a garbage bag, Alka Seltzer tablets, water and a balloon, clear
plastic cups, sandwich bags, rubber bands)

Strategy and Activities:

Begin by having the students guess the items in a mystery box. Describe
the items in the box. Generalize the specific qualities of each. Do the same
for each group of boxed items. Tell what the objects contain. Write the
description. Explain that the items with a definite size and shape are solids.
Describe the objects with a soft flowing feeling as liquids. Lastly, describe
the materials with no definite shape or size as gases. Take examples from each
box, tell what specific qualities each has.

To test for air, have each student feel air from a balloon. Second, have
students "scoop" air into cups. Place a plastic bag inside and out, feel the
air pushing against the bag. Third, place a paper towel inside of a beaker.
Put the beaker down into a container of colored water. Decide if the water wet
the towel.

Using the model of a molecule chamber, explain that the movement of the
molecules represents gases, liquids and solids. Gases move and flow more freely
than the others. Its particles constantly strike the walls and bounce off. The
molecules of a liquid are packed less closely together than those in a solid.
They can move about and we can say a liquid "flows". It takes the shape of a
container. A solid's molecules are packed close together and stay in place. A
solid has a definite shape.

More discussion will continue as the teacher describes that some liquids
become gases when heated. Some solids can become liquids when heated. Gases
can become liquids when cooled.



As the students described the items in each group, they learned more about
solids, liquids and gases. They were able to tell why the paper towel did not
get wet inside the beaker. They were able to tell what each property was for
each item. As a solid, the property was a definite shape. As a liquid, the
property is free-flowing. As a gas, the property is more free-flowing and it
takes up space.

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