Science has never been my favorite or strongest subject. I always found it fascinating, but I never could remember the details very well. That’s one of the things I love most about homeschooling – I’m re-learning of things I forgot. Or maybe I never knew them, but regardless they sure are fun to learn!
Since science is one my lesser subjects, I have a hard time finding and sticking to a curriculum for my younger children. My oldest has always loved science and math, so he easily found subjects to research and learn on his own. And now that he’s almost in high school, he pretty much does his schoolwork on his own.
Even though I don’t remember too much about what I learned in science, one of my favorite topics was the different states of matter. They were so fun to learn about and explore. There are three primary states of matter for kids to research and learn about – solid, liquid and gas.
What is Matter?
Simply put, matter is anything that has mass and takes up space (volume). Everything you can physically touch is made up of matter. The more matter it has, the bigger it is and therefore the more mass it has. Mass is how heavy an object is without gravity. That means it weighs the same on Earth as it does in space. There are three primary types of matter – solid, liquid and gas. The density of particles in objects are what determines which type of matter it is.
What is a Solid?
In a solid object, the particles are packed tightly together. All solids have a definitive shape, volume and mass. You can physically touch and even hold solids. Solids do not change shape on their own, but rather only when forced, as in crushed or broken.
Solids can also become liquid when melted and liquids will become solid when frozen. Likewise a solid will become a gas through sublimation, which is the transformation of a substance immediately from the solid form to the gas phase. In sublimation it does not pass through the liquid phase.
What is a Liquid?
Liquids are fluids that have no specific or defined shape, but rather take the shape of the container in which they are located. Their volume remains constant so long as the temperature and pressure are constant. A change in either can alter the state. Most solid elements increase in volume when they become liquid. However, water is an exception to this rule.
A liquid can also transform to a gaseous state through evaporation. This is done through gradually heating the liquid to its boiling point while maintaining consistent pressure. It can also happen when maintaining a constant temperature and gradually reducing the pressure.
What is a Gas?
The gaseous state is possibly the hardest to recognize. The molecules in the gas phase are free to bounce and move around, which allows it to fill the container in which it resides. It also conforms to the container, so its shape is flexible and fluid-like.
Check out all our Science printables!
Super Science: Matter Matters!Change It!: Solids, Liquids, Gases and You (Primary Physical Science)What Is the World Made Of?: All About Solids, Liquids, and GasesWhat’s the Matter in Mr. Whiskers’ Room?Solids, Liquids, And Gases (Rookie Read-About Science)Many Kinds of Matter: A Look at Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Lightning Bolt Books ® ― Exploring Physical Science)Joe-Joe the Wizard Brews Up Solids, Liquids, and Gases (In the Science Lab)Matter: Physical Science for Kids (Picture Book Science)
Experiments to Explore the States of Matter
Solid to Liquid to Solid by Sciencing
8 States of Matter Experiments from How Stuff Works
20 Kid-Friendly Science Experiments on Gas from Kiwi Co.
States of Matter Science Experiments from Steve Spangler Science
3 Air Pressure Activities for Kids from Gift of Curiosity
Straw Rockets from Gift of Curiosity
States of Matter – Chemistry for Kids from Inventors of Tomorrow
States of Matter Experiments for Kids from Study.com
Ice tray experiment: changing states of matter – Think like a scientist from Open University (YouTube)
Fun with Solids, Liquids and Gas from the Quirkles (YouTube)
States of Matter – Experiments from Robbie P. Jr. (YouTube)
There are three primary states of matter for kids to research and learn about – solid, liquid and gas. Use this printable pack as they study, research and experiment with the different states of matter. This pack includes a poster page, matching activity, flashcards, and notebooking pages.
Download the States of Matter Printable Pack
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