Marvelous Matter!

We have been knee deep in everything MATTER-related these past few weeks.  We've explored the properties of solids, liquids and gasses.... looked at how states of matter changed and did a TON of fun experiments.  We also did a LOT of writing - predictions, hypotheses, lab reports, sharing results.. it was a blast and my kiddos really learned a lot. 

We focused on three main texts for this unit:

I used a bunch of ideas from Hope King's "As a Matter of Fact" unit, as well as Science for Kids' "All About Matter" (aligned to the NGSS!).  I also added a few extras from ideas I found on Pinterest or other sites.  Here's a peek into a little of our fun!

I started out with a quick assessment of what everyone already knew about matter.  They completed this thought sheet: (click on it to download)
Their definitions of matter were hysterical.  Everything from "what is important" to "what you believe in".... to one smart thinker who said, "It must have to do with liquids, solids and gasses because that's what's on the page!"

First we explored solids - nothing too exciting here.  We sorted by properties, tested if they rolled or stacked, could sink or float, were magnetic or not...

Next came our exploration of liquids.  We started by observing three different liquids and discussed their properties.  We used words like "viscous" and "fluidity" - they LOVED being so scientific!
Then we used what we had learned to make predictions for our "Drop Races" - which liquid would flow the fastest and why?  Each group had a sample of 3 liquids and used the eye dropper to make a "small puddle" of each on the plastic tray.
On the count of 3, my little scientists tipped their trays to see what would happen. 

We wrote about our experiment an our results in our science journal. 

Another favorite activity was our "Rainbow Jar."  (I got the idea from HERE.)

We started by observing a variety of liquids and noticing how they were similar and different - especially in their thickness.  Then we predicted what would happen if we poured a layer of each into a jar.

Here's the beginning...

And here's the final product!

My kiddos were amazed at how well the layers stayed separated.... and the first question they had was, "What would happen if you freeze it?"  Soooo.... of course we did!  (Disclaimer - we decided to try freezing small cups of each liquid, rather than the entire rainbow jar.  This worked beautifully and we got results so much faster - thank you to our wonderful cafeteria staff for use of their freezer!)

Listening to their prediction about the rubbing alcohol was very interesting.  Most thought it would freeze quickly, but one little scientist said she thought it might freeze, but be really fragile and easy to crack.  Great thinking!  And they were all amazed when the alcohol didn't freeze at all.....

Gasses were a BLAST to learn about - literally!  We started our focus on gasses with a simple observation.  What would happen if a certain kind of solid (namely, an antacid tablet) was placed in a liquid (water)?

After testing it out individually, we worked in groups to test how the antacid tablet would react with other liquids - and got some fun and interesting results!  We tried dish soap, soda, milk, orange juice and corn syrup.

Then we moved on to a "Matter is Poppin'" experiment.  What would happen if you put Pop Rocks into soda?  Again, more thinking, discussing, hypothesizing and writing!  Then, the big test!

I purposely chose Mountain Dew as one of the sodas to test, thinking it would blow the balloon WAY up... nope... the Coke one actually did better. 

After that, my kiddos were able to use what they knew from the soda experiment to make their predictions and come up with a hypothesis for the soda rocket (Mentos and soda).  The results?
WOW! I never expected it to really go that high!

All in all, our matter science unit was a big success!  Oh - and after we finished our unit I found this great idea from Mrs. Foxwell of First Grade in Foxwell Forest:
Too late for me to use this year, but I will definitely be making these with my little scientists in the fall!

Well, I'm off this week on spring break and I am soooo looking forward to it!  It has actually been warmer and spring-like around here the last few days.  I'm hoping to reconnect with my Kindle and enjoy some good reading!

1 comment

  1. Wow this looks like so much fun and it looks like your students had a blast learning!!

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