Matter: Anything that has weight and takes up space.
Solid: Hard and firm; not liquid or gas.
Liquid: A wet substance you can pour. Takes the shape of its container.
Gas: Any substance, such as air, that will spread to fill any space that contains it.
Condensation: The process of turning gas to liquid.
Evaporation: When a liquid changes into a vapor or gas.
1. Introduce the term “Matter” and go on a matter hunt around the house. (Mom, start boiling water, procure a balloon or plug in a fan….you’ll need gas soon)
- Do a photo hunt
-Cut pictures of matter out of magazines
-Gather physical items
Introduce the states of matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas. Help the kids sort their finds into three categories.
-Fancy up your photos in a slide show or movie.
-Glue the pictures you cut out onto a chart.
-Use big boundaries on the floor to contain the different types of matter (hula hoops, make a circle from a jump rope, three different blanket, etc.)
Watch Video. The video is more advanced than I care for my kids to know at this point, but exposing them to it won’t hurt so I’ll probably show it at the end of the sorting activity.
Review the definition of solids.
Make popsicles and turn a liquid into a solid. (Do this first so you can eat them soon!)
Play Sink Or Float. Fill a container, sink, pool or bathtub with water. Let the kids collect objects from around the house and determine if they will sink or float. Anything with air in it (gas!) will float.
Review the term liquid. Talk about how water takes the shape of what holds it.
Send the kids off to find a bunch of containers, then let them play in some water to watch it change shapes as it’s poured from one to another.
Make rock candy. The liquid evaporates into a gas. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/science-projects-for-kids-states-of-matter2.htm
Paint the sidewalk with ice cubes. Watch the solid ice turn to liquid.
Make Jello. The liquid becomes solid.
Review the term Gas and discuss how it will fill as much space as it possibly can.
Breathe into the freezer to see your breath.
Use soda to fill a balloon (no pouring involved!) http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/science-projects-for-kids-states-of-matter4.htm
Play with bubbles. Use dish soap to make a solution. Try using your hands, hangers and string to make bigger bubbles.
Balloons. Fill with gas. Pop at will. If you need something to DO with the balloon other than just have a balloon (my kids are happy with just a balloon) you can have balloon races where you hold the balloon with various body parts. Tie the balloons to ankles and try to pop each other’s balloon. Race to a chair and sit on the balloon. You get the idea. Or get skinny balloons and make balloon animals.
Check on your rock candy.
5. Oobleck and Gloop
Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss
Make Oobleck and have the kids try to classify it. It has properties of both solids and liquids. http://www.kinderteacher.com/oobleck.htm
Gloop http://www.squidoo.com/slime_goop_recipes Another semi-solid. The note of the website suggests halving the recipes.
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/MatlSci_p014.shtml This is a link to a more in depth look at colloids and why they act the way they do. Just in case your kids ask questions about these things, you can read this and look super smart when you answer their questions!