States of Matter

Science Year 4 States of Matter Scientists

Become experts in States of Matter! Develop and showcase an understanding of all areas of states of matter, including how materials can change from one state to another, through a large range of simple practical enquiries. Take on the challenge to demonstrate your knowledge to visitors of a Science Fair.

Session 1 Solid or liquid?

Objectives

Children begin to investigate the differences between solids and liquids by examining and comparing the properties of sand and water.

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

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions, using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  4. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral explanations.
  5. Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Discuss what they are learning and to develop wider skills in spoken language.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Information text: Write an information booklet about solids, liquids and gases, summarising the properties of these states of matter and the evidence for your understanding.

You Will Need

Additional Resources

  • Lots of empty containers
  • Spoons for stirring
  • Dry sand
  • Pieces of wood, metal & plastic
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Stones
  • Fruit
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Milk and honey
  • Vinegar
  • Juice
  • Shaving foam
  • Small pots of jelly
  • Cameras/tablets for recording video (1 per group if possible)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand that materials can be classified into different states and begin to use simple practical enquiries and scientific evidence to support findings.

Activities

  1. Identify what they know and what they want to know about states of matter.
  2. Discuss and explore the properties that make a material a solid or a liquid.
  3. Use these features to classify different materials.
  4. Explain understanding of the properties of a solid or liquid to another by using a simple practical enquiry and straightforward scientific evidence.

Investigation - sorting and classifying
Identify misconceptions and classify materials into solids, liquids and gases.

Vocabulary
Solid, liquid, state, matter, particle, grain, category, classify, group, evidence, question, discuss

Session 2 It's a bit gassy!

Objectives

Children will learn more about the fascinating world of gases.

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. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings and labelled diagrams.
  4. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  5. Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Discuss what they are learning and develop wider skills in spoken language.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Answer questions about gas using evidence from scientific enquiries and record findings using drawings.

Activities

  1. Develop understanding of gases through simple practical tasks.
  2. Ask and begin to answer questions about the evidence of gases around us.
  3. Use simple practical enquires and scientific evidence to demonstrate to others the evidence for gases.

Investigation - exploring
Investigate the presence of gases.

Vocabulary
Gas, state, particles, evidence, proof, explain

Session 3 Particle party - temperature taker

Objectives

Children will learn about how particles behave in different states, and use a thermometer to make observations as water changes from one state to another.

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).

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. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  4. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  5. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Count backwards through 0 to include negative numbers.
  • Understand and use a greater range of scales in their representations.
  • Begin to relate the graphical representation of data to recording change over time.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • ‘Prediction, Observation, Conclusion’ table – print & enlarge for whole class to use
  • Independent activities sheets – 1 each (session resources)

Additional Resources

  • Thermometers
  • Coloured ice cubes (blue & yellow)
  • Bowl
  • Coloured pencils for sketches
  • Camera / video cameras

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand, through practical tasks, that materials change state when they are heated or cooled and describe this process using scientific language.

Activities

  1. Use role-play as a model of how a substance can change from one state to another.
  2. Learn to accurately use a thermometer.
  3. Use scientific language to describe to another what happens to the particles when a substance changes state.
  4. Make careful observations over time.
  5. Use a data logger to record temperature over time and interpret the results.
  6. Understand that liquids have a solidifying point (to become solid) and a boiling point (to change to gas).

Investigation - observing over time/exploring
Understand the behaviour of particles in the different states and use a thermometer to observe temperature changes of water.

Vocabulary
Solidifying, freezing, melting, condensing, evaporating, particles, thermometer, temperature, Celsius, Fahrenheit, degrees

Session 4 Evaporation and condensation

Objectives

Children begin to learn about the water cycle and begin to understand the terms evaporation and condensation.

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

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).

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  4. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts and tables.
  5. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  6. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Evaporation Experiment recording sheet

Additional Resources

  • Chalk
  • Camera
  • Squares of material
  • Containers for water (some the same size, some different sizes)
  • Electric fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Cold mirrors (put the maths mirrors in the fridge overnight)

Weblinks
BBC Bitesize info about fair testing from www.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Ask a question about evaporation and set up a practical enquiry that will provide the scientific evidence to answer it.

Activities

  1. Begin to learn about elements of the water cycle.
  2. Ask and investigate questions about evaporation and condensation.
  3. Use scientific language to explain evaporation and condensation to others.
  4. Ask questions and set up a simple fair test to investigate factors that speed up evaporation.

Investigation - fair testing/exploring
Investigate evaporation and condensation.

Vocabulary
Evaporation, condensation, precipitation [‘words ending in -tion’ is a Year 2 spelling objective, and could be revised with these key words], particle, state, liquid, gas, solid, ice, rain, clouds, vapour

Session 5 Make it rain!

Objectives

Children will make it rain in the classroom, as well as take part in a number of other tasks as they learn about the Water Cycle.

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. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  4. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Chronological report: Create a leaflet explaining the water cycle to others, using scientific language, for the local water authority’s education pack.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Know that water moves in a cycle due to changes in temperature causing the water to change from one state to another.

Activities

  1. Continue to develop understanding of the different stages of the water cycle.
  2. Explain the water cycle and changes to water during the evaporation and condensation process.
  3. Demonstrate to another, evidence of condensation and evaporation with a simple practical task.

Investigation - exploring
Understand and explain the water cycle using scientific language.

Vocabulary
Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration, cycle, particle, temperature, change, evidence

Session 6 Welcome to the science fair!

Objectives

Children will set up a visiting science fair and will share their knowledge of States of Matter.

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. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  2. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  3. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Discuss what they are learning and to develop wider skills in spoken language.
  • Use language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

You Will Need

Additional Resources

  • All the resources from the previous 5 sessions
  • A table for each task
  • Lab coats or white shirts for each child (not essential)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To replicate some of the simple practical enquiries and use them to provide evidence to support their learning about States of Matter

Activities

  1. Set up small practical enquiries and tasks to showcase their learning at the class ‘Science Fair’
  2. Demonstrate their scientific expertise about states of matter to visitors
  3. Use scientific evidence to answer questions and to support their learning about states of matter

Investigation
Demonstrate an understanding of states of matter by recreating a range of simple practical enquiries (exploring).

Vocabulary
Solid, liquid, gas, state, particle, evidence