Monthly Archives: September 2010

>Experiments for States of Matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas)

>Experiments for States of Matter
Matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas) & Changes of State (Melting, Evaporation, Freezing, Condensation)

Today I have decided to compile & post a list of experiments that I will be conducting in my Grade 5 Science class this year having to do with “Matter & Change”. There are many more experiments of course … but these are my favourite to date. I’d love to hear from others out there in order to “add to my collection” ... nothing beats hands-on learning after all!


Water (Moving through the three states of matter)
Freeze water to make ice (freezing). Boil water to make a gas (evaporation). Show condensation by holding a pie plate over the steam of a boiling kettle. See water droplets form (condensation).

Jell-O (Three Distinct States of Matter)
(This can be done in concert with the above demonstration.)
To “show” the three states of matter in one lesson make Jell-O! Boil water (a liquid). The electric kettle adds heat to the water causing a physical (reversible) change. Students watch as the water turns into steam (a gas). Mix in Jell-O crystals (a solid) with the hot water (liquid). Watch it dissolve. Place in the fridge to remove heat. Removing the heat turns the liquid into a solid (a physical/reversible change). Eat & enjoy!

The Vanishing (Evaporation)
Do this experiment early on as it takes “time”.
Fill 3 clear cups/glasses 3/4 full:
1. Water (With a permanent marker or tape mark the current level. Add marks/tape to show the levels change as the liquid evaporates.)
2. Water & Salt (Mix until salt has disappeared/dissolved. With a permanent marker or tape mark the current level. Add marks/tape to show the levels change as the liquid evaporates.)
3. Pop or Oil or Honey – you get the picture … Just use another liquid that won’t “stink up the joint” (hahahahahahaha!). (With a permanent marker or tape mark the current level. Add marks/tape to show the levels change as the liquid evaporates.)
Place to one side, in a “safe” place, visible to all. Record the rate of evaporation and the differing rates of change. How can you explain the different rates of evaporation?

Frozen Lollypops (Freezing)
To demonstrate freezing. Fill an ice cube tray with orange juice. Cover the tray with clear plastic wrap. Using toothpicks poke holes through the clear wrap. Poke the toothpicks through the center of each of each “cube” so that it stands up straight. Freeze and enjoy!

A Hot Freeze (Freezing)
Questions: Which freezes faster? Hot water or cold water? What is your prediction and why?
Place two containers in the freezer: one full of hot water & one full of cold water. Measure the rates of temperature change & note which freezes faster: hot water or cold water.
Are you able to explain why hot water freezes faster than cold water in the freezer?.

Fishing With String (Melting & Freezing)
Fill a tall glass with water.
Drop 4 ice cubes into the glass. Wait for them to float to the surface. Now it’s time to go fishing. Dangle a piece of string over the glass and gentle lay one end onto an ice cube. Next pour salt over the string & the cube. After 15 seconds lift the string gently. Now look what happens! Initially the salt melts the ice. During the 15 second wait the frozen ice and cold water refroze the area trapping the string. You were then able to life the ice cube out of the water/glass.

Steamy (Condensation):
Take a deep breath and then exhale onto the face of a mirror. Do you see the mirror fog up? (You can do the same thing on  window.) Your breathe is hot and contains water … it is a vapor. When the hot vapor (your breathe) hits the clod mirror (or glass) it cools the vapor at turns it into a liquid. Condensation occurs.

Liquids (Dissolve / Immiscible)
Try mixing various solids with liquids (e.g. salt, sugar, marbles, pebbles with water) to see whether they dissolve or not.
Try mixing various liquids to see whether they are immiscible (e.g. water & milk, oil & vinegar).

Lava Lamp (Immiscible)
Pour vegetable oil into a large, clear pop bottle 3/4 of the way. Fill the rest with coloured water. Close the lid. Now gentle lay the bottle flat on it’s side on a flat surface. Watch the “blobs” of coloured water move through the container. Voila! You have your lava lamp! These two substances (oil & water) do not mix … they are immiscible. They don’t mix because water has more density than oil.

Dancing Raisins (Gases – Molecules)
Fill a clear glasses container with gingerale. Now drop about 8 raisins into the container. The raisins will then dance before your eyes! Why does this occur you may ask? Well, gas finds itself the spaces between molecules. The gas adheres to the raisins. The adhered gas acts likes a life jacket and makes the raisins float to the surface. When the gas bubbles burst(!) the raisins sink once again.

Balloon Blow-up (Gases)
Mix baking soda & vinegar in a balloon. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the neck of a bottle. Allow the baking soda and vinegar the fall into the bottle. They will form a gas called carbon dioxide and the balloon will blow up!
Alternatively pour a cup of water inside a water bottle. Give each student an antacid tablet to crush and add to the water. Stretch the balloon is over the mouth of the bottle. Watch the balloon blow up!

Goop (Thixotropic Mixture)
Find a clean surface (that can get dirty!). Mix cornstarch & water. Stir. Keep adding water until the mixture looks like cake batter. You’ve made “Goop”! Now try picking up the mixture, rolling it around and then dropping it back in the flat surface again. You will see that Goop will act as a solid under certain circumstances and as a liquid under others. It’s a thixotropic mixture!

Roasting Marshmallows (Chemical Change)
Roast some marshmallows and enjoy … It’s a science experiment as well! Roasting Marshmallows is an example of a physical change (e.g. heat/burning, change in colour, smoke, irreversible).

The Vanishing (Chemical Change)
Place a raw egg in a glass jar. Pour vinegar over the egg until it is completely covered. Watch the changes over the next couple of days! A chemical reaction occurs between the egg and vinegar immediately: gas bubbles (carbon dioxide) appear all over the egg.  Over time another reaction occurs: the egg shell dissolves leaving only a think membrane behind.
Hey Sugar (Chemical Change)
To show a chemical change first mix sugar and water until the sugar completely disappears/dissolves. Then scoop the moisture onto a metal spoon. Hold the spoon over a flame. What happens? The mixture starts to bubble, evaporate & burn. There is a change in colour and consistency (it becomes like corn starch). This change is  irreversible. It is a chemical change.

>Heroes: Terry Fox: A Writing Activity (for all ages)

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Terry Fox: Poetry Activity (for all ages)

1. What makes a hero? Brainstorm qualities on the SmartBoard. Students decide for themselves which qualities are the most meaningful, and rank them.
2. Write a “Hero Recipe”. Simple & easy for all ages: Take any recipe and substitute all “foods” with the qualities of a hero. Give those foods with the highest measure those qualities individual students ranked the highest (e.g. no two poems should be exactly the same(?)). 
Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Hero Recipe
• 3/4 cup Bravery
• 3/4 cup Loyalty
• 1 cup Determination
• 2 large Gallantry(s)
• 1 teaspoon Dedication
• 2 1/4 cups Valor
• 1 teaspoon Conviction
• 3/4 teaspoon Fortitude
• 2 cups Courage
Create an attractive frame & post around the room! Let’s look, read and be inspired!
Sites to help with your brainstorming session:
PS This activity could also be used to honour any/all heroes (e.g. Martin Luther King Day)