Changes in Matter

Evelyn Williams John Hope Community Academy
5515 S. Lowe Ave.
Chicago, IL 60621
(312) 535-3160

State Goals 3 and 4:

Students will have a working knowledge of:
The principles of scientific research and their application in simple research
The processes, techniques, methods, equipment, and available technology of


1. Formulate hypotheses, plan experiments, and present data in a variety of
formats, including graphing.
2. Draw appropriate conclusions and report them applying standards of
scientific communication.
3. Demonstrate and practice safe laboratory techniques.


Matter often changes, sometimes gradually and sometimes rapidly. Changes may
be physical or chemical. Physical changes yield the same matter, same
charateristics, in a different form. Chemical changes yield a new and different

1. Students will be able to identify gradual and rapid changes in matter.
2. Students will be able to identify a physical change in matter and explain
why it is a physical change.
3. Students will be able to create and identify a chemical change and explain
why it is a chemical change.

Materials Needed:

aluminum foil pop corn
candles cooking oil
test tubes test tube holders
chocolate candy clothes pins
sugar ice
wooden splint matches


1. Introductory discussion- What is Matter? What are the three states of
Name the three states of water. What makes them change? Which changes are
usually gradual? Which changes are usually rapid?
What is the meaning of gradual, rapid, physical and chemical changes?
2. Take pieces of ice and allow the students to hold them. Ask them what is
happening to the ice. What kind of changes are occuring. How can we speed up
the process?
3. Allow students to look at small pieces of chocolate. Wrap them in small
pieces of foil. Now hold them in their hands. While holding them let them
each tell something about chocolate. Next, open their hands and unwrap
the candy. What has happened? What kind of changes took place?
Do you have the same substance or a new substance? How do you know?
Taste it.
4. Read the mystery poem.
Write one line about the life of a pop corn kernel. You can pretend to be
the kernel.
Use a test tube, a drop of oil, pop corn kernel, test tube holder and a
candle and pop the kernel.
5. Discuss what happened. What kind of changes occurred?
6. Take a sugar cube wrap it a paper towel crush it. What kind of change
occurred? Describe the substance. Taste the substance.
Take a piece of aluminum foil to form a spoon, attach a clothes
pin. Light a candle. Heat the crushed sugar. Do not allow it to burn.
What kind of change occurred? Describe the new substance. Taste the

Performance Assessment:

Students will receive two wooden splints, a candle and aluminum foil.
Instructions are to use the equipment and create changes in matter. The matter
must change in two ways- physically and chemically. Students will write out
their strategies as to how they will make the physical change occur. Outline
how to create a chemical change.

Students must create a situation where the splints are broken to create a
physical change. The splints must be burned to create a chemical change.

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