Marvelous Matter

I love teaching matter! We finished up our 5 week unit last Friday with a Marvelous Matter Mixture aka Coke Floats! This post is really a sharing of files and pictures of our activities. Most of these activities are included in my Marvelous Matter Activities for Little Scientists on TpT! I just got it listed this morning.
Our curriculum goals (at least until next year when we move to NC’s Essential Standards) include the 3 states of matter: Solid, liquid, and gas, their properties that make them different, and how they can change chemically or physically. To be exact they are:
*Identify three states of matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas.
For this goal I used Solids, Liquids, and Gases, Oh My from Lesson Plan SOS. After learning what the 3 states of matter are over a 3 day span (I do one type per day), we began this magazine project. I haven’t used it before, but I really liked it. We used old mags to find examples of each type. I am glad they added Combinations. Most matter we are around tends to be combinations of 2 types.
*Observe changes in state due to heating and cooling of common materials. *Explain how heat is produced and can move from one material or object to another. We played the Great Ice Race. This is an idea I got from our old science kit. Student pairs get an ice cube in a Ziploc baggy. I let them try to melt it anyway they can think of (within reason-no beating on others or destroying property!) Some sit their bags on the window seal, others sit on them, or rub them between their hands. Some put them under the lamp bulbs! They check in when there are NO remnants of the ice cube left and I record the times on the board. It can take anywhere from 4-15 minutes! Then we talk about what we tried and how those who used body heat tended to win. I have them rub their hands on their little pant legs, then rub them together to create friction. This friction can melt the ice quicker than leaving it alone.
We also sat a cube on a paper plate at each table group. They students described the properties of the ice then drew it. We went along as the ice melted then repeated the process with water and it’s properties.
Another fun activity was creating Matter Superheroes. We played the matter games on BBC and then talked about items we could use to change matter from one state to another. (I also intro chemical and physical changes at this time). They included some of these tools on their heroes belts. They’re adorable!
*Show that solids, liquids and gases can be characterized by their properties. We watched some great videos on United Streaming. There are 2 in particular that do a great job of explaining differences between matter.
Next I handed each group a bowl of items (they all had a stick of gum, a shell, piece of wire, straw, hair bow, a piece of coral or sand dollar, and other random things I found in my closet! It won’t matter. They were all solids of course. We did a quick review of the 5 senses used when describing properties, then they had at it. Each student chose 5 items from the bowl to describe.
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Later on we discuss why solids don’t change shape, liquids move and pour, and gases float around. We made molecule models using round cereal (I used Cheerios) and watch The Magic School Bus Meets Molly Cule.
*Investigate and observe how mixtures can be made by combining solids, liquids or gases and how they can be separated again.
This is where the Coke Floats came in handy…and delicious! Students observed me pouring the Coke, of course we saw all the carbonation, then, as the ice cream is added, the gas levels really begin to rise! I made a small float for each kiddo to eat while they did the Marvelous Matter Mixture sheet labeling the 3 states of matter in a float.
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*Observe that a new material is made by combining two or more materials with properties different from the original material.
For this you gotta make Oobleck! There’s just no way around it! I use a printable from Teacher’s Clubhouse after reading the book. Just a warning if you’ve not read Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck…it is long!
Lastly, I play matter SCOOT! If you don’t know about scoot, then scoot up closer! I first read about it on Second Grade Teachers’ Club. You set out {numbered} flash cards, math problems, vocab, anything you need to review. You could even set our items to identify. Kids sit at their desk and move to the next one when you say “Scoot!” Depending on your class it how long you need to allow (and what you have asked them to do). For Matter Scoot, they need no more than 30 seconds. I set out these cards and a Scoot answer sheet. If you have more kids it’s ok. They get a break time! I include little prompts for some that need explanations. Then it’s assessment time!
matter unit1

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