What's the Matter?

Earline Muhammad Louis Wirth Academy of International Studies
4959 South Blackstone
Chicago IL 60615
(312) 535-1410


To Understand The Physical Properties of Matter
Designed for 6th and 7th Grade

Materials: Apples(2) Oranges(2) Feather Book of Matches Ice Cubes Graduated Cylinder Beaker Plants Water Wood Flask Book sugar Steel Paper Cups Spoons Salt Paper Rocks Single Beam Balance Part A: To Recognize that Matter is Anything That Takes Up Space and Has


Groups of 4 or 5 students.
Pass out sugar, salt, wood, steel, paper, paper cups, rocks, plants, and spoons.
Place 3 or 4 objects on students desk.
Have the students touch, smell, taste, and look at the objects.


How can one tell the difference between each object?
What do the objects have in common?
What do we call all material?
Look at the objects again. Are there differences in length, width, and

Part B: To Show That Gravity Controls the Weight of an Object.


Drop a book on the floor.
Drop a book and a feather on the floor.
Drop a book and a book of matches on the floor.
What is gravity?
What does this activity tell you about what gravity does to objects?
Discuss why an apple and orange of similar size may be different in weight.
Discuss reason why masses of different objects are not the same.
Discuss density.
Place the apple on the scale and weigh it.
Cut the apple in half and one half and two quarters;
Weigh the apple again.
Weigh the orange.
Cut the orange into four equal pieces.
Weigh the orange again.
Observe what happens when you weigh the apple and the orange.
Observe what happens when you weigh the cut apple and orange.
Record your observations.


What is mass?
Can the mass of the object change?
Can the weight of an object change?
Did the mass of the apple change? Did the weight change?
Did the mass of the orange change? Did the weight change?

Part C: To Show That all Matter Has Volume.


Cut a wood block and a sponge so that they have the same length, height, and
width as each other.
Place the wood and the sponge on top of each other.
Weight both the wood and the sponge.
Observe that they are the same dimensions.
Record your observation.
Fill a flask with water and freeze it.
Measure the volume of the ice in the beaker.
Cover the beaker with plastic wrap and let it thaw at room temperature.
After the water has melted, record the volume of water in the flask.
Place flask containing cold water over beaker.
Record the amount of water in the flask.
Fill graduated cylinder with 300 ml of cold water.
Place paper towel over boiling water.
Record your observations.
Remove paper towel from top of beaker.
Place graduated cylinder containing cold water over beaker.
Record your observations.


What is Volume?
What is Density?
What Causes Matter to Change State?
What are Molecules?
What Causes Molecules to Speed Up?
How May Mass and Volume Be Measured?
What Causes Molecules to Slow Down?

Performance Assessments:

As a result of focusing on the Physical Properties of Matter, students will be
able to:

Tell What Atoms Are
Tell What Two Things Control the State of Matter
Tell What a Molecule Is
List Three States of Matter
Describe Solids, Liquids, and Gases in Terms of Shape and Volume
Develop the Skills of Observation and Inference
Explain Density


Students will understand the physical properties of matter and answer the
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