In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about states of mater and solid, liquids, and gases. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. States of Matter topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Solids, Liquids, and Gases
Remind your students that liquids take the shape of their containers. Experiment pouring liquids into containers of different shapes and sizes. Then have students pour the same amount of liquid into each container. How do the shapes change? Why do some containers appear to have more liquid than others?
As an extension, help students blow air into balloons to make different shapes. Balloons can be small, large, tube-shaped etc. Encourage students to make balloon animals to show how gas can be moved and contained. Compare how liquids and gases fill their containers.
Review with your students that mass is the amount of matter in an object. Explain that some objects may seem very large but have little mass. For example, a balloon is bigger than a key, but the balloon has less mass. A foot of yarn is longer than a marble, but the marble has more mass. Brainstorm different examples. If possible, have small groups use balance scales and gram measurements to compare the masses of different objects.
Discuss different properties of objects, such as color, texture, smell, etc. Then have students choose objects and write riddles that describe their properties. Encourage your students to write riddles for solids, liquids, and gases. Have students read their riddles and invite volunteers to guess the object. For example, a student might say: “What is solid, wooden, tall and attached to our wall?” Encourage students to think about how the objects are alike and different from each other.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Solids, Liquids, and Gases
Walk with your child around your home and find objects that are solids, liquids, and gases. Solids can include furniture and clothing, liquids can include condiments and juices in your refrigerator, and gases can include aerosol cans such as hair sprays and air fresheners. Encourage your child to describe the properties of each kind of matter and write down his or her observations in a notebook.
Together examine the properties of different liquids in your home and compare and contrast them. You can investigate liquids such as water, heavy cream, juice, glue, rubber cement, etc. Which liquids are thick? Which are thin? Which spread quickly on a surface? Which are clear? Which liquids are harmful (toxic) and which are healthy? Which things look solid, but can be turned into liquids? Encourage your child to write his or her observations and ideas in a Venn diagram, compare-and-contrast chart, or other graphic organizer.