In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about changing states of matter. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Changing States of Matter topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Changing States of Matter
Particle Dance Party
Have your whole class model the particles that make up solids, liquids, and gases. To model solids, have students make a shape and link arms together. They can dance in place but keep the whole shape. To model liquids, students can place their hands on each other shoulders and walk slowly around the room. They can dance and observe that they have more space to move. To model gases, have students dance about the room without touching each other. They should observe that they have much more room than before and are able to spread out freely.
Ice Cube Meltdown
Bring in a bag of ice for your students. Divide the students into small groups or pairs and have them find the fastest way to melt an ice cube. Remind your students that heat can change matter and adding more heat might make matter change faster. They may want to put the ice cubes in a sunny spot, warm them up in their hands, or just put them in a cup on their desks. Have students time how long each method takes. Which method was best? Have groups discuss and share their observations and findings with the class.
Evaporating into Thin Air
Divide students into small groups and have them pour a cup of water. Make sure they label the cup with their group name. Then have them record the height of the water level with a ruler. Have students place the cups in a sunny spot outside. Throughout the day have students measure the water level. What happened to the water level? This experiment can be done over the course of a week.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Changing States of Matter
Do all liquids freeze at the same rate? Do an experiment to find out together! Find or make different liquids with your child, such as water, milk, juice, rubbing alcohol, and saltwater. Pour small amounts of different liquids into labeled cups. Then put them in the freezer. Every fifteen minutes, have your child check on the liquids. Which freezes the fastest? Which is the slowest? Have your child make predictions.
Condensation and Evaporation
Take a walk with your child and find examples of condensation and evaporation. For example, you might find condensation form on the windows of cars or homes. You might find clothes drying on a clothesline. You might see a fountain spewing water into the air. Have your child take pictures or draw pictures of examples and write a brief description in order to create a reference book.