Teaching about solids, liquids, and gases is so much fun!! It’s one of my favorite science units to teach all year! We did a couple of fun activities that were really engaging and the kids loved it!
1. Anchor Charts about Matter
One of the first things we talk about is what is matter and what is the difference between volume and mass.
Then we discuss the definitions of solids, liquids, and gases and how their particles move in each substance.
These anchor charts are actually from the teacher next door!
Grab these posters for free from my TPT Store.
2. Solids, Liquids, and Gases Particles Activity
To help students understand this concept a little more, we do an activity using cereal to represent the particles for solids, liquids, and gases! We used Fruit Loops, but any type of circular cereal would work!
Here’s an example of a completed project!
Of course, we displayed them outside our classroom for everyone to see!
They were so proud of their work!!
3. Changing the States of Matter Activity
Then we did an activity with chocolate chips. I wanted the students to be able to observe how solids change to a liquid and then back to a solid. Part of our unit on the states of matter also includes sources of heat, so I wanted to tie that into this lesson as well.
First, we tried to use body heat to melt the chocolate chips.
Students each got a small bag of chocolate chips and used their hands to rub each bag.
It worked a little.
Next, I had students brainstorm other ways to melt the chocolate chips. Of course, several said we could microwave them (which would be electricity) or put them on a stove (which would be burning). Since we didn’t have access to either of these options, I had students continue brainstorming and finally, someone thought of using the sun’s heat!
We placed our bags out in the sun for about 10 minutes…which worked perfectly!!
They were so amazed it was warm! 🙂
Finally, we discussed ways for our now liquid chocolate to turn back into a solid.
And everyone agreed that putting it in the freezer was the best option.
They got to eat their chocolate, which of course made it “The Best Day Ever!”
Don’t you love it when kids say that?!
Chocolate Chip Activity found at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure.
4. More Resources
For more on my Matter and Sources of Heat units, check them out in my TPT Store
Deb Hanson says
Yes, I DO love it when something makes my students say it's the "best day ever" – it just makes me smile. Looks like more learning fun is being had in your class!
Love the chocolate experiment! What a great idea!
Elementary Engagement says
Thank you for sharing some great ways to demonstrate the properties of matter! I love the models made of cereal, and of course, you can't go wrong with anything that includes chocolate!
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Jennifer Laffin says
Such a very cool activity! We teach this topic in the spring and I'll have to make a note of it. Who can resist chocolate?
Mrs. Laffin's Laughings
Collaboration Cuties says
The cereal is a way better idea than what I tried this year for molecules…I won't even say what I tried… ;O)
I love the chocolate idea too! Thanks for sharing your ideas!
The chocolate experiment is great! What a great way to get the point across and when they are done they get to eat the chocolate!! It's a win, win!!
Fifth Grade Wit and
Amanda Schreiber says
The chocolate experiment would of course make it the "best day ever" love it! I might have talk our science teacher into this experiment so I can have some samples of the experiment 😉
Love the idea!
My Shoe String Life
Great post! I am going to have to refer back to this when we get to our matter unit! Thanks for the great ideas!
Becca Sadler says
Searching different elementary blogs for science lessons and your blog's science activities have been one of the best I've found (Summer 2019). So super thank you for your time way back when typing up your science content posts!
Julie Bates says
I used your chocolate chips idea to round out our homeschool co-op lesson on solids/liquids and thermal energy. The kids LOVED it. I used candy melts because that’s what I had on hand. Thanks for the awesome idea!
Rachel Vincent says
Candy melts are a great idea! They probably melted better! So glad the kids loved it!