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Large Open Area Required
Making Matter Move

Suggested Grade Level(s): 6, 7

Content Standard(s):

  • 6 - Science / Social Studies
    • NS.5-8.2:
      Physical Science
  • 7 - Science / Social Studies
    • NS.5-8.2:
      Physical Science

Purpose of Activity (objectives, etc.):

Students will learn about the characteristics of molecules and the three states of physical matter.

Materials/Equipment (Needed):

  • Boundary Marker


  1. Review the characteristics of the three states of matter: Gas - spread out to fill the space, quickly moving. Liquid - closer together and moves quickly, but not as quick as the gas state. Solid - tightly packed together, almost no movement.
  2. On the "go" signal - students will move as a gas - spreading out to fill the boundary area. They should move quickly, never going outside the boundary area and should be spaced apart. Give the "stop" signal after about 1 minute of movement.
  3. Now tell students to change to liquid. This should be slower movements - almost "oozing" and moving closer together, but still not touching. They should move more toward the center of the space as the liquid is more tightly bonded.
  4. After stopping, give the "go" signal and have the students transition to solid. This should be characterized by a "frozen" pose with very little movement and students should be close enough so that everyone is touching.
  5. Once students understand the various ways to move and spacing, have them start and randomly call out different states of matter. They should transition to each on command.


15 minutes

Special Needs Adaptations:

Students with movement challenges, can be assisted by another student

Assessment Idea:

The teacher should be able to observe students that understand the spacing of molecules and the transitions between states by how they are moving during the activity.