Compare and contrast the basic properties of solids, liquids, and gases, such as mass, volume, color, texture, and temperature.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 5
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
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. 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.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes


Investigate the concept of weight versus mass of an object. Discuss why mass (not weight) is used to compare properties of solids, liquids and gases. Annually assessed on Grade 5 Science FCAT 2.0. Also assesses SC.3.P.8.1, SC.3.P.8.2, SC.3.P.8.3, and SC.4.P.8.1.

MAFS.K12.MP.5: Use appropriate tools strategically; and, MAFS.K12.MP.6: Attend to precision.


  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    Measure and compare temperatures of various samples of solids and liquids.

    Measure and compare the mass and volume of solids and liquids.

    Compare materials and objects according to properties such as size, shape, color, texture, and hardness.

    Measure and compare objects and materials based on their physical properties including: mass, shape, volume, color, hardness, texture, odor, taste, attraction to magnets.

  • Clarification :
    Students will compare and/or contrast the physical properties of solids, liquids, and/or gases.

    Students will describe or classify a material as a solid, liquid, or gas.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will not address or assess particle behavior in each state of matter or between states of matter.

    Items will not address or assess the water cycle.

    Items may refer to common tools used to measure basic properties of solids, liquids, and gases but will not assess specific knowledge of the tools.

    Items will not assess the difference between weight and mass.

    Items will not assess unit of measure.

    Items will not require unit conversions to compare data.

    Items will not address or assess density as a property.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Dual thermometers showing degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius must be used if the scenario requires an illustration of a thermometer.
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.K.P.8.1, SC.1.P.8.1, SC.2.P.8.1, SC.2.P.8.2, SC.2.P.8.3, SC.2.P.8.4, SC.2.P.8.6, and SC.1.E.5.3.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Kyle and Jan are comparing two samples of matter. They make a table of the properties of each sample.

    Which property provides the best evidence that both samples are solids rather than liquids?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice