Access Point #: SC.4.P.8.In.1

Compare objects and materials based on physical properties, such as size, shape, color, texture, weight, hardness, odor, taste, and temperature.
General Information
Number: SC.4.P.8.In.1
Category: Independent
Big Idea: Properties of Matter

A. All objects and substances in the world are made of matter. Matter has two fundamental properties: matter takes up space and matter has mass.

B. Objects and substances can be classified by their physical and chemical properties. Mass is the amount of matter (or "stuff") in an object. Weight, on the other hand, is the measure of force of attraction (gravitational force) between an object and Earth.

The concepts of mass and weight are complicated and potentially confusing to elementary students. By grades 6-8, students are expected to understand the distinction between mass and weight, and use them appropriately.

Clarification for grades K-2: The use of the more familiar term ‘weight’ instead of the term “mass” is recommended for grades K-2.

Clarification for grades 3-5: In grade 3, introduce the term mass as compared to the term weight. In grade 4, investigate the concept of weight versus mass of objects. In grade 5, discuss why mass (not weight) is used to compare properties of solids, liquids and gases.

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Lesson Plans

Observing a Physical Change:

In this lesson, students are shown the difference between physical and chemical changes by dissolving and crushing seltzer tablets. Students learn to recognize that physical changes involved changes in size, shape, or texture, while chemical changes involve the formation of a new substance.

Type: Lesson Plan

Does Soap Float?:

In this science inquiry lesson, students will form hypotheses and carry out an investigation in order to answer a central question: Does soap float?

Type: Lesson Plan

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Physical Properties & Physical Change in Solids | Curious Crystals | Inquiry in Action:

In this investigation, students will carefully look at four known household crystals. After observing and describing the crystals, students will be given an unknown crystal, which is chemically the same as one of the four known crystals but looks different. When students realize that they cannot identify this crystal by its appearance alone, they will suggest other tests and ways to compare the crystals to eventually identify the unknown crystal. The other activities in this investigation are examples of tests students can conduct on the crystals. After a series of these tests, students will gather enough evidence to identify the unknown crystal.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

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