States of Matter NGSS MS-PS1-1 5E Lab & Computer Simulation Google Ready


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This product is fun, interactive, engaging and challenging! It’s an NGSS aligned, two block period activity with relatively easy prep and inexpensive materials! I also include 5 pages of very detailed teacher notes, keys and my email if you have any questions. Read below for the details.

This resource is now Google Ready for Distance Learning!!!

This resource is included in my Distance Learning NGSS PS1.A Structure & Properties of Matter Bundle.

You get the following:

-“What’s the Matter?” 5E Lab & Google Version

-“What’s the Matter?” 5E Lab key

-States of Matter Computer Lab

-States of Matter Computer Lab key & Google Version

-5 pages of teacher notes and student examples

-Editable warm up/bell ringer

The following concepts are included:

-States of Matter

-Phase Changes




-Characteristics of solids, liquids and gasses






-Kinetic Energy

-Chemical Properties

-Boiling Point

-Freezing Point

-Melting Point


Materials: Laptop computers (preferably 1 per student but groups of 2 are fine) waxy paper plates or water proof surface, beakers, toothpicks or scoopulas, water, food dye, warm water, cold water and vegetable oil.

Engage: (30 minutes) The intro/engage is just students pushing droplets of water around, which as far as phenomena goes seems dull. However, you’d be surprised how fascinated the students get playing with droplets of water. It’s important to tell them to manipulate the water droplets with chemistry and the behavior of the particles in mind. They then do each task and write down their observations for each task. I then go around and pour a few drops of vegetable oil on each plate and the students then observe how oil and water interacts. The reason I add oil is to plant the seed that different chemicals have different properties. The students then model what they believe is happening as the water and oil interact. In NGSS, a model is a simplified representation of a system that can explain and help make predictions regarding a phenomena. I encourage the students to make models that are mental representations of what the particles are doing.

Explore: (10 minutes) We do a “popcorn reading” for the close reading. I discuss examples and answer questions as we read and reinforce the important concepts for the 5E.

Explore More: I have the students do the “States of Computer Lab” as an optional activity for teachers that purchase this product. My students do parts 1 & 2 for the rest of the block period. (35 minutes)

Warm Up: When my students return for the next block period, we then do the warm up to begin the period and discuss energy and particle movement. I heat up a beaker of water and fill another beaker of room temperature water. The students first predict which beaker of water will evenly distribute the food dye faster and why. We discuss their answers and then I add the food dye to each beaker. The food dye spreads very quickly in the hot water and the food dye in the cold water takes much longer. (20 minutes)

Explore More: After the warm up, the students then spend the next 30 minutes finishing parts 3 and 4 of the “States of Matter Computer Lab”.

Explain: A very important part of NGSS modeling is revising models for metacognition. Make sure you remind students to revise their models after they finish the “State of Matter Computer Lab”. I tell students that for the first model wrong answers are ok, however the revised model must be more accurate and each word must be accompanied by a phrase and an arrow. (15 minutes)

Extend: (15 minutes) has some amazing science simulations! However, depending on what browser you use and what software you have on your computer, it can be fickle and a little tricky. I would check to make sure your computer can support PHET simulations and ask your tech support for help if you need to, it’s worth it!

Evaluate: (10 minutes) After students have finished the computer lab and the modeling, they should be able to do very well on the “Evaluate”.

This bundle includes the following NGSS standards:

· Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms. (MS-PS1-1)

· Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it. (MS-PS1-3) (Note: This Disciplinary Core Idea is also addressed by MS-PS1-2.)

· Gases and liquids are made of molecules or inert atoms that are moving about relative to each other. (MS-PS1-4)

· In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide. In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position but do not change relative locations. (MS-PS1-4)

· Solids may be formed from molecules, or they may be extended structures with repeating subunits (e.g., crystals). (MS-PS1-1)

· The changes of state that occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models of matter. (MS-PS1-4)

If there are any errors or questions, please contact me through TpT or email me at:

Thank you for taking a look!

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