Big Idea 8: 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. Hence, the more familiar term of "weight" is recommended for use to stand for both mass and weight in grades K-5. 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.

General Information
Number: SC.1.P.8
Title: Properties of Matter
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.1.P.8.In.1
Sort objects by observable properties, such as size, shape, color, or texture.

Supported

SC.1.P.8.Su.1
Sort objects by an observable property, such as size, shape, or color.

Participatory

SC.1.P.8.Pa.1
Identify common classroom objects by one observable property, such as size or color.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Assessment

Using simple items, colored shapes, students use a binary classification system to divide objects, then justify their scheme.

The task assesses primary students' abilities to perform process skills such as classification by using observable differences and similarities.

This task is designed to take students approximately 8 minutes to complete.

Type: Assessment

Lesson Plans

Design a Tub Toy - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts floating and sinking in an engineering design challenge.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter Man:

Students will be able to build a model of a snowman by using different states of matter. They will be able to use their prior knowledge of understanding that almost everything is made of matter. Then, they will use information learned to design and create a "Matter Man" and its environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Terrific Toy Company:

The Terrific Toy Company needs the help of students to sort toys into value packs. The students will use observable properties of the toys to sort them and create three example packs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sink or Float?:

This lesson helps students explore different objects that may sink or float. The teacher will begin the lesson with two candy bars. The students will be able to touch and feel the weight of the candy bars and make predictions on whether the candy will sink or float. After the teacher performs the investigation students will be broken up into groups of three to four and will look at ten different objects and predict if they will sink or float. The students will record their predictions. Fill out a table with there findings and write about why there predictions were correct or incorrect. By the end of the lesson students should understand what a prediction is. They should also understand that objects with more air float.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 4:

Through exploration and discussion, the students will identify whether an object sinks or floats as a property of matter. Students will also sort objects by whether the object sinks or floats. This lesson is part 4 of a 4 part unit on Properties of Matter. During each lesson, the students will explore specific properties of matter through hands-on activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 2:

Through exploration and discussion students will identify texture as a property of matter. Students will develop vocabulary related to describing texture. Students will sort objects by texture. This lesson is part 2 of a 4 part unit on Properties of Matter. During each lesson students will explore specific properties of matter through hands-on activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE Part 3:

Students will classify matter by temperature. Students will explore and come to conclusions about the temperature (hot or cold) of matter. This lesson is Part 3 of a 4-lesson unit on the Properties of Matter.

Type: Lesson Plan

Matter is EVERYWHERE:

Students will identify matter that is in their environment. Students will sort objects by the observable properties size, shape, color. Students will explore and come to conclusions about the size, shape, and color of matter. This lesson plan is part 1 of a 4 part unit which addresses properties of matter. (The properties of temperature, texture, weight, and ability to sink or float will be addressed in subsequent lessons).

Type: Lesson Plan

Name That Fruit!:

In this lesson, students, will read three informational texts about fruit. Students will identify key ideas and details in each text and use illustrations to help them identify the key ideas. This lesson also incorporates a science standard that asks students to sort objects by color, shape, and size. After reading each text, students will participate in several hands-on activities to sort fruit.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Main Idea Matters! (A Lesson on Liquids) 2 of 3:

This lesson teaches main idea and details incorporating a science lesson on liquids.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rocks, Rocks, Everywhere:

The students will be able to sort rocks based upon color, hardness, texture, layering and particle size.

Type: Lesson Plan

Classifying Candy 1:

Students will develop two binary classification systems using concrete objects. The classification systems will be based on two different properties of the concrete objects.

The task assesses students' abilities to make simple observations and apply their understanding to classification.

This task is designed to take students approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sink or Float? Inquiry Investigation:

Students will predict which objects sink or float in water. They will observe, describe, and keep records about what happens when objects are placed in water, and determine whether there is consistency in their own and classmates' results. They will generate ideas about characteristics of materials that sink or float, and will ask questions about physical properties of matter.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shell Sorts:

A resource as plentiful as seashells on the beaches of Florida provides a great springboard for teaching about sorting objects by texture, size and shape. Your students will never look at these beautiful objects in the same way!

Type: Lesson Plan

Float or Sink?:

This lesson builds on lessons regarding the different properties of solids by having students explore how different objects float or sink when placed in water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Properties of Solids:

This lesson (intended to be used with other sorting lessons) allows students to understand the basic concepts of matter and properties of solids. This lesson involves the creation of a vocabulary chart with a child-friendly definition of matter and a Thinking Map with the varying properties of solids that students can use to sort different objects. Students explore two different objects and record their observations about the objects' properties.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sink or Float:

Students make predictions and test and sort a variety of objects based on whether they sink or float.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sorting Matter:

Students will recognize that matter can be sorted by various properties.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weighted Eggs:

Students arrange 5 plastic eggs (with objects of different weights inside) in order from lightest to heaviest.

Type: Lesson Plan

Build a Better Boat:

This lesson gives the students an opportunity to recognize the properties of objects (sink and float) as well as working collaboratively to solve problems. This lesson incorporates design challenge aspects at a level that is appropriate for young students who are just beginning their formal education.

Type: Lesson Plan

Main Idea: Where is Matter?:

This lesson teaches main idea and details incorporating a science lesson on matter.Teachers will utilize a KWL chart to help assess students' background knowledge, as well as what they want to learn, and what they have learned at the end of the lesson. An informational text entitled What is the World Made of? All about Solids, Liquids, and Gases will be used throughout the lesson. As a summative assessment, students will write a summary which identifies the main idea and key details from this text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Sorting Part 4: Sinking and Floating:

Make and test predictions to see if different items sink or float in water in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 4 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 3: Temperature:

Learn all about temperature and use temperature to sort different types of food in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 3 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 2: Weight:

Learn about weight and use weight to sort different types of sports balls.

This is Part 2 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 1: Size, Shape, Color, and Texture:

Sort bugs and other critters by their different attributes, including size, shape, color, and texture, in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 1 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

Float or Sink?:

In this water activity, learners test which objects float and which sink. Learners discover that objects behave differently in water. Learners are also introduced to the idea of "predicting" and record their predictions and observations on a chart. This activity is part of the curriculum Explore Water, related to Peep and the Big Wide World, a preschool science series on public television. The activity starts on page 41 of the PDF.

Type: Teaching Idea

How Big is a Blue-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, given pictures of whales, the student will sort the whales by size. Given a rope marked with several whale lengths, the student will compare the lengths of these whales.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sorting Solids:

Students are asked to sort solids in a variety of ways and justify their reasoning for sorting the solids.

Type: Teaching Idea

The Weight of Water-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will discover that seawater is more dense than fresh water.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Observing and Sorting:

In this unit, students learn to make observations that clearly distinguish specific objects from others and how to sort items by different attributes (eg, color, size, weight).

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Sorting Part 4: Sinking and Floating:

Make and test predictions to see if different items sink or float in water in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 4 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 3: Temperature:

Learn all about temperature and use temperature to sort different types of food in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 3 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 2: Weight:

Learn about weight and use weight to sort different types of sports balls.

This is Part 2 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sorting Part 1: Size, Shape, Color, and Texture:

Sort bugs and other critters by their different attributes, including size, shape, color, and texture, in this interactive tutorial.

This is Part 1 in a four-part series about sorting.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plan

Shell Sorts:

A resource as plentiful as seashells on the beaches of Florida provides a great springboard for teaching about sorting objects by texture, size and shape. Your students will never look at these beautiful objects in the same way!

Type: Lesson Plan