Everything is made of matter! Ancients believed that all matter was made up of the four elements of: earth, air, water and fire. Matter has mass and takes up space. The atom is the smallest unit of matter. Matter is made from molecules of elements in different combinations. As of the 1990’s, matter is known to take five forms: solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, and condensates. Matter can change states when forces like temperature are applied. The closer the molecules are to one another, the harder the solid is. Solids hold their shape, liquids take the shape of the container. All organic matter contains carbon and comes from living organisms like plants and animals. Inorganic matter is substance of mineral origin that is not characterized by primarily carbon-based structures.
Activity 1 Make A Matter Quilt
Walk away from your computer. Be sure to take your digital camera. Walk around your block and take a close up picture of as many examples of matter as you can find. Don’t forget natural matter such as dirt, grass, air, water, tree bark, wood, stones, sand, plants, water and sky. Photograph any man-made materials that you might see, including sidewalk concrete, asphalt, brick, glass, iron, steel, rubber and plastic. Bring your images back to the computer, download them and print them out. Cut the photos into squares saving the extra edge piece. Using the squares, paste the different matter onto a piece of poster board and create a matter quilt.
Activity 2 Make A Material Matrix
Using the saved pieces of your material photos, first organize the materials into organic and inorganic (natural and man-made) materials. Take a vertical piece of paper, and title it MATTER MATRIX. Below the title draw a line. Under the line on the left side, paste the first material piece. Draw a line under the photograph piece all the way across the paper. Make vertical columns for solid, liquid, gas, plasma and condensate. Add your other material photographs to the left hand column. For each material, fill out the form and measurement (ounces, grams, liters, etc.). If need be, research the characteristics on the web.
Activity 3 What? Water!
Look at the different properties of water. Draw the chemical structure of water. What is the difference in molecules when water is frozen, liquid, or gas? How does a material change when it is heated or cooled?
Matter can take two forms.
Atoms are closer together or farther apart in different states.
Toxic materials should be avoided.
Organic matter comes from plants and animals.
Matter takes up space.
- States of Matter
- Into the Heart of Matter
- Matter Forms
- Houston Solid Liquid Gas
- Strange Matter
- Comparing Solid and Liquid
- Solid, Liquid, Gas
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