Classify and compare substances on the basis of characteristic physical properties that can be demonstrated or measured; for example, density, thermal or electrical conductivity, solubility, magnetic properties, melting and boiling points, and know that these properties are independent of the amount of the sample.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 8
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 which gives it inertia.

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


Florida Standards Connections: 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
    Explore and describe the densities of various materials through measurement of their masses and volumes.

  • Clarification :
    Students will classify and/or compare substances on the basis of their physical properties and/or explain that these properties are independent of the amount of the sample.

    Students will describe density and/or calculate and compare the densities of various materials using the materials’ masses and volumes.
  • Content Limits :
    Items may require use of the density formula to calculate density, mass, or volume when comparing substances.

    Items that assess conductivity, solubility, or magnetic properties will be at a conceptual level only. Items will not require calculations for these topics.

    Items addressing solubility may include the terms solvent, solute, and saturation. Items may assess the concept of saturation.

    Items will not require memorization of the specific melting points and/or boiling points of substances.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Temperature will only be shown in degrees Celsius (°C).

    Scenarios requiring calculation of density must include the density equation.
  • 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.3.P.8.1, SC.3.P.8.2, SC.3.P.8.3, SC.3.P.9.1, SC.4.P.8.1, SC.P.4.8.2, SC.4.P.8.4, SC.5.P.8.1, SC.5.P.11.1, and SC.5.P.11.2.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: Matthew has six cubes of different materials. Each cube has a mass of 10 grams (g). Matthew sorts the cubes into two groups using one physical property.

    Which physical property did Matthew most likely use to sort the cubes into two groups?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice