This is a jam-packed post with ideas for teaching your students about eight properties of matter. Properties of Matter is my FAVORITE content to teach at the beginning of the year because they will use and apply what they learn all year long!
1. Relative Density
Relative Density Lab: Will Coke and Diet Coke both react the same when placed in water (sink or float)? Students make a hypothesis, plan, and conduct the experiment. Students record observations and results, then write a conclusion. (We know the volume of the cans is the same…I will make sure we determine the mass using a triple beam balance.)
Journal Entry: Draw a labeled diagram to explain the results. (We have been working on sentence stems as a reflection. We are now working on diagrams.)
I also LOVE Submarine from Experiencing Matter. Students have to determine what will make their “submarine” sink and float, leading to them drawing conclusions about mass and relative density.
“Mass”ive Rocks: Double Pan Balance Lab- Students determine the mass of five rocks using a double pan balance. Extend the activity by putting gram cubes on the side with the rock and having students subtract to find the mass.
Double Pan Balance Cut and Paste Notebook Activity– To follow up on the extension, students cut out a double pan balance, gram cubes, and a toy car.
Journal Reflection: How did you determine the mass of objects with the double pan balance?
Under the Sea: Displacement of Water Volume Lab- Students determine the volume of sea animal toys by calculating the displacement of water. Students record and graph data. Talk about how 1 milliliter equals 1 cubic centimeter.
Journal reflection: How did you determine the volume of the objects using the displacement of water?
4. Electrical Conductivity
5. Thermal Conductivity
For thermal conductivity, we tested which materials insulate and conduct heat best with ice cubes in various containers in a tub of warm water. We timed how fast each melted. We also used Candy Labs (on TpT) to observe how different materials allowed chocolate to melt.
Solubility is a lot of fun because students can test candy (!) and other items to see if they dissolve in water.
7. Physical States of Matter
Create States of Matter Anchor Chart as a class
Show students marbles in a petri dish to represent molecules in each of the 3 states of matter. Students act out the states of matter in groups, moving and spreading out to represent the states. Students complete states of matter fold-up in pairs with examples, definitions, and diagrams.
Journal Reflection: How do we classify substances by state of matter?
This was a station activity for students to test various materials for magnetism. They made predictions, tested each material, then recorded their data. A great way to take this to the next level is to explain what the SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES are among the items that are magnetic or non-magnetic.
I REALLY recommend “Are All Metals Magnetic conductors?” from Experiencing Matter. In this activity, students plan an experiment with your guidance.
My Science Notebook Photos
Want to see what my interactive notebook looks like for our Properties of Matter unit?