Lesson Plan

Fact of the Matter

Students will explore properties of solids, liquids, and gases and determine a way to keep a material from changing a state of matter.
Anna P.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

Classify materials into solids, liquids, and gasses.

Determine a way to prevent a change in a state of matter.

Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

BrainPOP Jr.
From $175

Students will watch the BrainPOP jr. video titled Solids, Liquids, and Gases to learn more about the properties of each state of matter. 

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Conversing

After the video is complete, the class will discuss the idea of matter and the differences between the three states. A discussion will be had about each form of matter:

Solids: Solids have a definite shape, they do not flow to take the shape of their containers.

Liquids: Liquids flow, do not have a definite shape because they take the shape of their container, but do not fill all parts of their containers.

Gases: Gases fill all parts of their containers and do not have definite shape.

3 Guided Practice

BrainPOP Jr.
From $175

Students will be given a variety of materials in groups to sort into each group. The materials will be sorted into the following groups:

Solids: Chocolate chips, sand, rubber bands, cloth, wire, plastic tube, wood sticks.

Liquids: Dish soap, water, corn syrup.

Gases: Air in vial, air in bubble wrap.

Students will discuss some unsure items such as the bubble wrap and the sand. 

After sorting the objects into each state of matter, students will watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie titled Changing Matter to learn about how states of matter can change. A discussion will be had on the vocabulary and the ideas of changing states of matter.

4 Independent Practice

Students will be faced with a problem based on the idea of forms of matter changing. First, students will see a melted popsicle outside on the blacktop. Then they will be faced with a problem: We are going to be having popsicles outside today, but we can't have them for another hour. I forgot to bring a cooler or ice...How can we keep them from melting?" 

Students will find a variety of materials including: paper, paper towels, cardboard, bubble wrap, cloth, foil, paper bag, plastic bag, string, etc. Students will make a hypothesis of which material will best insulate (a word learned in a previous science unit) their popsicle to keep it from melting. Students will choose their material and do what they think they need to in order to stop it from melting. Students will use their videocamera to record a short excerpt every 15 minutes on what is happening with their popsicle. At the end of the hour, students will record a final excerpt of themselves with their popsicles and how thier hypothesis worked. Students will put their video into an Magisto movie and upload it to Schoology in the media album titled Popsicle Dilemma.


5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Other — Reflecting

Students will write a reflection on how well they did with the Popsicle Dilemma in a Schoology discussion titled How Did Your Hypothesis Work? Students will discuss if their hypothesis worked or did not work. They will discuss which material could have helped it work better.