Briefly review matter (which takes up space and has mass) based on Lesson 1. Give each pair of students an orange and a paper towel. Say, “What does the orange look like, smell like, feel like, taste like, and sound like? What are the orange’s size, shape, color, and texture? All of those characteristics are its properties.” Say, “Discuss with a partner how using all of our senses (seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, and smelling) can help us accurately identify different properties of an object made of matter.” Say, “Matter has observable properties or characteristics which can be used to describe it. Today we are going to set up a Mysterious Matter Museum.”
Place a 5" x 7" index card (with the picture of an object made of matter glued on it) upside down on each student’s desk. Caution students to carefully lift the card and examine the card while not letting anyone else see it. Each student is to assume the role of a museum employee responsible for describing the museum’s collection. After studying the picture of the matter, each student is to record its properties (shape, size, color, and texture) on the other side of the index card. Help students understand that for size, they can’t just say “big” or “little.” They need to be more specific (like “smaller than a book,” “larger than a car,” “about the size of a mouse,” etc.). Explain that texture is how something feels and have students name some adjectives that could describe an object’s texture. Also explain that mass is a property of matter, but we can’t get the mass of the objects used today since they are just pictures.
Once all index cards are completed, set up the museum on tables or desks moved together to form display areas. Students can then visit the museum, reading the information, and trying to guess the mysterious matter pictured on the back of the index card. Have students move from card to card, quietly thinking about the properties listed and seeing if they can correctly identify the matter pictured on the back of the index cards.
Have students return to their seats and then sing the modified song, “Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?” available at the Web site listed in Related Resources at the end of this lesson.
Using the Matter, Matter Everywhere! chart paper with sticky notes from Lesson 1, call on students to remove the sticky notes and place them on three new sheets of chart paper labeled Solids, Liquids, and Gases. There will be many solids and liquids, but probably not many gases.
Make three circles/ovals approximately three feet in diameter on the floor using tape or yarn. These represent containers holding each of the three states of matter. Using small paper plates as particles, place three in one circle, seven in one circle, and twelve in the other circle. Give each pair of students three small index cards labeled Solid, Liquid, and Gas. Have them discuss which model represents the particles in the various states of matter and place their labeled cards in the appropriate circles (gas in the circle with particles most spread out; solid in the circle with particles most tightly packed; and liquid in the other circle with particles more loosely packed). This formative assessment will quickly allow you to see if students understand the difference in the density of particles in solids, liquids, and gases. Once the cards are correctly placed in the circles, discuss each type of matter, reminding students that:
- “A solid has a definite shape, the particles are closely packed, you cannot put your hand through a solid, and a solid is not invisible.” Have students name some solids.
- “A liquid has no definite shape (takes the shape of its container), the particles are not as tightly packed as those of a solid, you can put your hand through a liquid, and a liquid is not invisible.” Have students name some liquids.
- “A gas has no definite shape, the particles are spread farther apart than those of liquids or solids and they spread out to fill all available space, you can put your hand through a gas, and most gases are invisible.” Have students name some gases (oxygen, nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, or air, which is made up of several gases, etc.).
Have students complete the States of Matter worksheet (S-3-6-2_States of Matter Worksheet and KEY.doc
) working with a partner. Use this to assess understanding of the concepts of solids, liquids, and gases. Say, “On the States of Matter worksheet, think about how the particles are arranged in a solid, liquid, or gas. Are they tightly packed, loosely packed, or spread far apart? Draw the particles, using small circles or dots, in the three circles provided above the labels: solid, liquid, and gas. In the column below the labels, list two things you have learned about each state of matter and give two examples of each state of matter.” Have students share their work with you or other classmates.
Prior to this activity, prepare three paper bags. One paper bag should be labeled “Solid” and contain a stuffed animal, ball, or pencil. One bag should be labeled “Liquid” and contain a resealable plastic bag that has colored water in it. The third bag should be labeled “Gas” and contain a resealable plastic bag filled with air.
Review with students the three states of matter. Draw or place three large circles on the floor. Explain to students you are going to ask several students to come up and stand inside the circles to demonstrate the three states of matter. Allow students time to arrange themselves in the circles to model the three states of matter. Ask other students to identify each state of matter.
Say, “Matter can be classified into three states or types. I have examples of the three types in the bags here on the table.” (Note: A fourth state of matter has been identified—plasma, an electrically charged gas that exists under specific conditions in outer space and in neon and fluorescent lamps.)
As students compare the states of matter, they should consider these questions, which should be listed on the board:
- “Does it have a definite shape?”
- “How are the particles arranged (closely packed or widely spread out)?”
- “Could you put your hand through it?”
- “Is it invisible?”
Open the bag labeled “Solid,” show the object, and have students answer the questions listed on the board about this solid. To summarize the discussion, say, “A solid has a definite shape, the particles are closely packed, you cannot put your hand through a solid, and a solid is not invisible.” Have students work with a partner to name several solids.
Open the bag labeled “Liquid.” Take out the resealable plastic bag filled with water and pour the colored water into a clear plastic glass. Then pour the liquid into a clear square or rectangular container. Say, “Talk to a partner about how the shape of the liquid has changed.” Have students answer the questions listed on the board about this liquid. To summarize the discussion, say, “A liquid has no definite shape (takes the shape of its container), particles are not as tightly packed as those of a solid, you can put your hand through a liquid, and a liquid is not invisible.” Have students work with a partner to name several liquids.
Open the bag labeled “Gas.” Take out the resealable plastic bag filled with air, which is made up of gases. Say, “Is there anything in the bag?” (Yes, gases.) “Is there matter in the bag?” (Yes, the gases in the bag take up space and have mass.) Open the bag and release the gases.
Hold a blown up balloon filled with air underwater. Slowly let the air out of the balloon and have students watch as the gases go through the water and bubble back into the atmosphere. Say, “Air is made of a mixture of gases—mostly nitrogen and oxygen with traces of other gases like carbon dioxide, methane, helium, and neon.”
Have students answer the questions listed on the board about gases. To summarize the discussion, say, “A gas has no definite shape, the particles are spread farther apart than those of liquids or solids and the particles spread out to fill all available space, you can put your hand through it, and most gases are invisible.” Have students work with a partner to name another gas. If they can’t think of other gases, suggest to them balloons in bunches. The gas in those balloons is helium. (Note: Bring in a helium balloon, if possible. Be sure students understand that air is classified as a gas, but is actually made of a mixture of several gases.)
To illustrate that, in air, gas takes up space and has mass even though gas is invisible, do the following demonstrations:
- Crumple half a sheet of paper and place it in a clear plastic glass. Ask students to predict what will happen when the glass is placed upside down in a container of water (most will say the paper will get wet). Then invert the glass and put it on the bottom of a clear shoebox-shaped container that is 2/3 full of water. Have students observe what is happening (water is not rushing into the glass because the glass already has air in it, which is taking up the space). Keeping the inverted glass level, remove it from the container and show that the paper is still dry. Say, “With a partner, reflect on why the paper is still dry.” Call on several students to explain why the paper did not get wet. (The glass was already full of air.)
- Blow up two balloons with approximately the same amount of air. Using a 4" length of string, tie the balloons on opposite ends of a wire hanger balanced on a pencil. Move the balloons slightly until the hanger is balanced. Ask students to predict what will happen when one balloon is popped. Pop one of the balloons, being careful not to move the balanced hanger. Watch as the gases are released, unbalancing the hanger and showing that gases were in the balloon and the gases had mass, but now the gases are no longer taking up space. Since the other balloon now has more mass, it has gone down (toward the Earth) and unbalanced the hanger. Say, “With a partner, reflect on where the gases went.” (The gases escaped into the atmosphere.)
Have students work in cooperative groups of four students. Have one student be the Materials Manager. This student will get a tray/heavy paper plate with a clear plastic cup and four or five raisins. Say, “Talk with your group members and predict what will happen when raisins are dropped into freshly opened Sprite or 7Up.” Go from group to group filling the cups 2/3 full of Sprite or 7Up. Have students immediately drop the raisins in the cup. Using the Dancing Raisins Data worksheet (S-3-6-2_Dancing Raisins Data Sheet and KEY.doc), have students draw what is happening, and then write a paragraph describing what happened.
Call on several students to share their observations. Say, “Talk in your groups about why the raisins behaved as they did.” Have one student be the reporter. Ask the reporter from each group to share the group’s thinking. Ask probing questions to help students come to the conclusion that the Sprite/7Up had just been released from the can where it had been under a lot of pressure and the contents were tightly packed. When the can was opened, the gas, carbon dioxide, was released (it was less dense than the remaining soda). Gas bubbles rose to the surface, catching on the rough surface of the raisins, causing them to bob up and down until all the gas was released into the atmosphere.
Read aloud the book Air Is All Around You by Franklyn Branley. Stop periodically to ask guided questions and allow for partner discussions to check for understanding. Be sure students understand that air is made up of a combination of gases (mainly nitrogen and oxygen, but also traces of carbon dioxide, methane, helium, neon, etc.).
- Students who need an opportunity for additional learning can work with a partner or in a small group and construct a Venn diagram comparing solids, liquids, and gases. They may use the States of Matter worksheet as a resource, if needed.
- Students who might need an opportunity for additional learning can illustrate the three states of matter by creating a crayon dot picture.
- Students needing opportunities for additional learning can use sticky notes to add a solid, liquid, or gas to the sheets of chart paper. Check to see that all sticky notes have been placed on the correct sheets of chart paper.
- Students who may be going beyond the standards can research gases and present an oral report to the class. They can answer such questions as “Which gases are not invisible?” (Chlorine is green; bromine is brown.) “Which gases are useful?” (Natural gas is used to heat homes; nitrogen is used to inflate air bags; carbon dioxide is used in fire extinguishers, etc.).