Carl E. Martikean - Lew Wallace High School

It's the States of Matter   

Carl E. Martikean Lew Wallace High School
415 W. 45th Avenue
GARY IN 46408
(219) 980-6305


At the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:
"Elementary Grades"
1. define matter;
2. describe the states of matter;
3. understand the basic vocabulary of solid, liquid, and gas;
4. describe the characteristics of each state;
5. give examples of each state from daily life;
6. understand that solids and liquids occupy much less space than gases;

"Middle School"
7. draw and describe in writing the particle nature of each state;
8. state what a phase is;
9. list the various (6) phase changes that occur and name the most
common forms of fusion (melting), evaporation, condensation
solidification (freezing) and sublimation;
10. using "dry ice" and its property of density, calculate the volume of
a mass of "dry ice" when given the formula;
11. measure the circumference of a balloon after the "dry ice" has been
placed into the balloon and allowed to expand and calculate the
diameter of the balloon;
12. calculate the volume of gas to which the mass of "dry ice" in
objective 10 expands after having been given the formula of a sphere;
13. compare the relative scales of the solid and the gas;
14. be able to extrapolate these scales to all substances in general;

"High School"
15. list and describe all 6 phase changes as described in objective 9
above including deposition or regelation (gas to solid);
16. draw diagrams of any of the 6 phase changes;
17. describe common examples of each phase change using water as the
primary substance;
18. referring to objective 10 above, the formula for density is not
given to the students;
19. referring to objective 11 above, students should be able to perform
20. referring to objective 12 above, students should look up the formula
for the volume of a sphere and perform the proper calculations;
21. state the assumptions made in order to perform the calculations;
22. state what things had to be quantified in order to perform the
calculations, what assumptions have to be made;
23. write an expository essay describing how to demonstrate the various
properties of matter in each of the phases discussed using correct
English grammar and correctly using the physics principles learned.

Materials Needed:

Dry Ice
Balloon at least 30CM (12in) diameter
powder funnel or a wide mouth canning funnel
for fun; several 500ml flasks about 1/2 filled with water and to which
different food colors have been added.


1. Set up a couple of flasks with warm water and dry ice for the fog
2. Play with the dry ice, show that it can slide across the floor or
table almost frictionlessly
3. Weigh about 20 g of dry ice and have the students calculate the
volume from the density formula
4. Using a funnel with a wide opening, crush the dry ice and pour it
into the balloon. (You may have to use something to ram the dry
ice through.) Do this as quickly as possible. Tie off the
5. Ask the students to guess what will happen to the balloon.
6. When all of the dry ice has sublimated, have the students measure
the balloon's circumference.
7. Perform the remaining calculations, diameter and then radius.
Finally, the volume of the balloon.
8. Have the students compare the volumes of the solid and of the gas.
This can be either a qualitative comparison for the lower grades or
a quantitative comparison for the upper grades.

Performance Assessment:

The students should be able to perform the criteria set out in the objectives.


The results of this are that the student, regardless of grade level,
should see that gases occupy much more volume that the substance's
corresponding solid. For the upper grades, there should be an extrapolation
too the liquid phase. Water could be used to demonstrate the liquid-solid
comparison. Or barring that, you, the teacher, could do a demonstration
showing the liquid phase of carbon dioxide.


To show the liquid-solid-gas phase comparison of carbon dioxide:
Tzimopoloulos, Nicholas D., Metcalfe, H.Clark, Williams, John E., and Castka,
Joseph F. Modern Chemistry Annotated Teacher's Edition. Holt, Rinehart,
Winston, Orlando FL. 1993. pages 826-23 and 826-24

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