States of Matter

Science Year 3/4 What's the Matter?

The Dartspring Science Museum is setting up an exciting new section for visitors which is all about States of Matter and they need your help. They need some good ideas to teach people the differences between solids, liquids and gases. Can you demonstrate what happens to matter when it is heated and cooled and how this happens in the local environment? The museum café wants to serve special themed foods and drinks and they need your help to develop this idea. Are you up to the challenge?

Session 1 Is it solid or liquid?

Objectives

Carla is the head curator at the Dartspring Museum. She wants to open a new section on states of matter and needs some help to create exciting hands on activities for children. Are you up to the challenge? Today your job is to discover the difference between solids and liquids and help create a sorting task.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  2. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Plenary PowerPoint
  • Classification sheet
  • Y3 and Y4 Task Sheets

Additional Resources

  • A collection of different materials to explore
  • A sand tray or large tub with a selection of items to explore it with, e.g. a jug, funnel, sieve or colander, cup, bowl
  • A water tray or large tub with a similar selection of items to above
  • Plastic bottles, labelled and filled with various liquids or small solids
  • A plastic jar of honey or tin of golden syrup with a spoon in it
  • Plasticine or modelling dough
  • A tub of gloop (a packet of cornflour mixed with water to make a thick liquid) with a stirring spoon in it
  • Fabrics, a bowl of shaving foam, wooden bricks and pebbles
  • Labels/sticky notes for each material

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Explore a number of different materials and classify them as solids or liquids.
  • Discuss and decide what properties make a solid and a liquid.

Activities

  • Actively explore the properties of a range of materials, discuss them and classify each as either a solid, a liquid or a “hard to classify material” (Yrs 3&4).
  • Either create a set of sorting cards that describe the properties of liquids and solids (Yr 4) or explain the properties of 5 “hard to classify materials” (Yr 3).
  • Begin to understand why solids and liquids behave differently by looking at a simple explanation of how particles are arranged in each (Yrs 3&4).

Investigation - exploring, observing, classifying and indentifying
Meet the staff at the Dartspring Museum. Will you agree to help? Make sure you know the difference between solids and liquids. How can you explain this to visitors? Can you devise a sorting task or quiz to help them learn?
Year 3 - Classify a variety of materials and describe the features of each.
Year 4 - Make a list of properties of solids and liquids and devise a visitors task

Vocabulary
States of matter, material, solid, liquid, gas, natural, manmade, classify, molecule, atom, bonds

Session 2 Gas! Gas! Gas!

Objectives

Carla has used your findings from last session to make a Solids and Liquids Challenge for the museum. She wants to try it out on you! Will you be able to solve her puzzle? Today she wants you to develop some activities for visitors that teach them all about gases. Your job is to write instructions and explanations for the task.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
English
Pupils should become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Challenge and Teaching PowerPoints
  • Challenge Resource
  • 6 Activity Sheets

Additional Resources

  • A strip of 6 squares per pair or group
  • Resources to support your investigation tasks
  • Digital weighing scales
  • Empty plastic water bottles with caps
  • A4 paper
  • A few feathers, a sponge, paper tissues and balloons
  • A large storage tub half filled with water
  • A selection of scented items, e.g. strawberries, orange slices, chocolate, scented candle, herbs, spices, some perfume or aromatherapy oil
  • Blindfolds

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Actively investigate the nature of gases through a variety of hands on tasks.
  • Draw conclusions about the nature of gases and relate findings to scientific principles.

Activities

  1. Do a Solids and Liquids puzzle to consolidate scientific knowledge introduced previously (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Investigate the nature of gases through a variety of practical activities (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Discuss the scientific phenomena and what this tells us about gases (Yrs 3&4).
  4. Either write simple instructions for others to undertake a simple investigative activity (Yr 3) or write an explanation of what the activity reveals about the nature of gases (Yr 4).

Investigation - analysing secondary sources, exploring
The staff in the museum shop need some help developing a new type of sweet to sell called Granite Slab (Granite is the name of the local rock). Discover the properties of gases through a variety of exploratory activities. Make Granite Slab and identify the solids, liquids and gases used in the process.
Year 3 - Write notes on exploration and observations from tasks.
Year 4 - Make notes from tasks and list the properties of gases.

Vocabulary
States of matter, material, solid, liquid, gas, air, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, molecules

Session 3 Changing state

Objectives

Carla wants to serve themed food and drink in the museum café that shows visitors how matter can change state. Can you help by investigating what happens in a jug of water when ice is added and what happens in a bowl of ice cream and chocolate sauce?

Science Objectives
i) Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)

Working Scientifically

  1. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Instructions on playing Solid, Liquid, Gas
  • 2 Change Diagrams

Additional Resources

  • Some clear plastic cups containing 2 or 3 ice cubes
  • A jug of tap water at room temperature
  • A data logger with temperature probe
  • A thermometer
  • For the game: a large playing space, something to simulate a large container, a tambourine, dice, a printout of the changing state diagrams, game instructions
  • Ice cream, scoop, bar of chocolate and spoons
  • Plastic jug and small plastic bowls
  • Microwave oven

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand the arrangement of particles in different states of matter.
  • Describe the changes in state seen in ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Activities

  1. Use a data logger to record the temperature of water in a jug before and after the addition of ice (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Play an active game to simulate the arrangement of particles in solids, liquids and gases (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Observe and record the changes in state in a dessert of ice cream and chocolate sauce by making an annotated drawing (Yr3) or writing an explanation (Yr4).

Investigation - exploring over time
The café staff want to serve foods and drinks that show people how materials can change state. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of hot soup as it cools and ice cream as it melts. Freeze some fruit juice to make a slushy. Use data loggers.
Year 3 - Use given key vocab e.g. melting, cooling, freezing in a scaffolded task.
Year 4 - Explain findings using key vocabulary.

Vocabulary
Solid, liquid, gas, change, state, bromine, ice, freeze, melt, heat, energy, solidify, vapour

Session 4 Explore evaporation and condensation

Objectives

What causes washing to dry on a line or puddles on the playground to disappear? Discover the mysterious process of evaporation that is invisible but essential to life on Earth. Your challenge is to set up a fair test to discover the factors that speed up the process.

Science Objectives
i) Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).

ii) Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Teaching PowerPoint
  • Teachers’ Notes
  • Group Task Sheet and Y3 Task Sheet

Additional Resources

  • Clear jug of water and electric kettle
  • A round cooking dish, e.g. casserole
  • A sheet of cling film and some ice cubes
  • A plate (large enough to sit over the top of your cooking dish)
  • Black backing paper or a black cloth
  • Any equipment needed for fair tests to investigate the rate of evaporation, e.g. identical dishes/pots (Petri dishes, margarine tubs or ice cream containers), measuring jugs, rulers, timers, string, pegs, washing line, paint, brushes, paper

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Recognise and name evaporation and condensation as changes of state.
  • Design and set up a fair test to find the factors that affect the rate of evaporation.

Activities

  1. Observe water changing state through a practical demonstration and use the correct scientific terms for these changes (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Set up a fair test in groups to investigate the factors affecting the speed of evaporation (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Either draw up a table to record the results of their investigation (Yr 4) or explain how water changes state using given scientific vocabulary appropriately (Y3).

Investigation - exploring over time, fair testing
The museum want to make a special display on water and how it can change state. Learn the elements of the Water Cycle and associated new vocabulary of evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Ask questions and set up fair tests to investigate the speed of evaporation.
Year 3 - Make predictions and with support and try to explain results in scientific terms.
Year 4 - Make predictions and explain results in scientific terms.

Vocabulary
Evaporation, condensation, condense, water vapour, invisible, liquid, change state, energy, particles

Session 5 The water cycle

Objectives

Did you know that the water you drink is exactly the same water as the dinosaurs drank! But how? Investigate the water cycle by creating a sealed indoor garden that you never have to water! Explain how it works using scientific vocabulary.

Science Objectives
i) Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
  3. Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Teachers’ Notes
  • A diagram of the water cycle
  • Enlarged version of Year 4 task sheet
  • 2 differentiated task sheets for Years 3 and 4
  • Lyrics to the Water Cycle song

Additional Resources

  • A large transparent storage box with a lid and a large bag of compost
  • Some plants to make a garden inside the box
  • Some small rocks, shells, pebbles or gravel to create ‘paths’ or interesting features in the garden
  • A couple of small trowels or old spoons and a watering can
  • A reel of duct tape

Weblinks
Class clips - simple explanation of the water cycle from www.bbc.co.uk
Water Cycle song from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Report on the findings of their Fair Test and draw scientific conclusions.
  • Understand and explain the water cycle using appropriate scientific vocabulary.

Activities

  1. Present findings from their fair test to discover the factors that speed up evaporation (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Make a sealed indoor garden that creates an internal water cycle that mirrors what occurs naturally on planet Earth (Yrs 3&4).
  3. Describe the water cycle independently using scientific vocabulary (Yr 4) or using given key vocabulary (Yr 3).

Investigation - exploring over time, problem solving
The museum want to display some bottle gardens because they have heard that they won’t need to water them. Create some bottle gardens. Is it true that you don’t need to water them? Why might this be?
Year 3 - Explain the water cycle by arranging labels and explanations.
Year 4 - Explain the water cycle by writing labels and explanations.

Vocabulary
Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, water cycle, water vapour, invisible, change state

Session 6 What's the matter?

Objectives

It’s time to test your knowledge on States of Matter by taking part in a quiz. Then, Carla has one last challenge for you. Can you help the Dartspring Museum by designing an exciting activity that helps visitors use the knowledge and scientific words they have learnt at the museum?

Science Objectives
i) Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.

ii) Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).

iii) Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Quiz, Answers and Task PowerPoints
  • Teachers’ Notes
  • Quiz and Answers Sheets
  • Vocabulary Support Sheet

Additional Resources

  • A range of resources for children to use to create their own game, puzzle or quiz on States of Matter including the following:
  • Access to computers, printers and the internet
  • Pens, pencils, felt pens, marker pens
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Large sheets of white paper, card, coloured card and paper
  • Magazines & catalogues (for collage)
  • Printed list of topic related vocabulary to support groups if needed.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Assess knowledge of all the scientific vocabulary and concepts covered in this block of learning.
  • Design an exciting learning activity for others using scientific knowledge and vocabulary.

Activities

  1. Take part in a quiz to assess their knowledge of all the scientific vocabulary and concepts covered in this block of learning (Yrs 3&4).
  2. Design and create an exciting game, puzzle or quiz for others that helps to teach and reinforce the scientific concepts and vocabulary of States of Matter (Yrs 3&4).

Investigation
It’s time to collect together all your information and resources for the museum. Review all the learning. Work in groups to create some exciting activities on States of Matter for the visitors e.g. a quiz, a game or a task
Year 3 /Year 4 - Work in a mixed aged group

Vocabulary
All vocabulary introduced during this block of learning