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This lesson provided by:
Author: Miriam Adams
System:Cullman County
School:Hanceville Middle School
Lesson Plan ID: 23940

Physical and Chemical Changes, A Demonstration


Students will compare and contrast physical and chemical changes. They will view a website describing the components of cosmetics. Students will aid the teacher in preparing a dessert made with physical and chemical changes.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
SC(8) 7. Describe states of matter based on kinetic energy of particles in matter.
SC(9-12) Physical Science5. Describe physical and chemical changes in terms of endothermic and exothermic processes.
SC(9-12) Chemistry1. Differentiate among pure substances, mixtures, elements, and compounds.
TC2(6-8) 9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
TC2(6-8) 11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
Local/National Standards:

National Science Education Standards: PROPERTIES AND CHANGES OF PROPERTIES IN MATTER A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the sample. A mixture of substances often can be separated into the original substances using one or more of the characteristic properties. Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different characteristic properties. In chemical reactions, the total mass is conserved. Substances often are placed in categories or groups if they react in similar ways; metals is an example of such a group.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will explain the difference between physical and chemical changes. Students will associate chemical and physical changes with daily products.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will identify physical and chemical properties. Students will be able to differentiate between a physical change and a chemical change.

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

A heat source such as a burner or hot pot may be used (As an alternative, cooking may be done at home or in the consumer science department at your school)

Peanut butter (2/3 cup per class)

Chocolate chips (1/2 cup per class)

Cool Whip or equivalent (1 small tub per class)

Muffin Cups (1 per student)


Large spoon

Can opener

Vanilla wafers (1 per student)

Plastic spoons (1 per student)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet capability, projector or TV with audio visual connection


On the day prior to the demonstration, remove the label from the sweetened condensed milk and place the unopened can in a pot. Cover the can with water. Boil for 45 minutes. You will need one can of milk per class period. Allow the can to completely cool before opening. Students should be familiar with the term physical and chemical change. A physical change in a substance doesn't change what the substance is. In a chemical change where there is a chemical reaction, a new substance is formed and energy is either given off or absorbed. Ask students to bring product packaging from foundation, lipstick, powder, etc.

1.) Tell students that today we will look at everyday uses of products that are made by physical and chemical changes. We will also prepare a dessert that is made using physical and chemical changes. Project the web article attached. Girls will particularly enjoy seeing the history of makeup along with a description of the chemicals used in the process.
(Science News for Kids-Makeup Science)
This website provides a history of cosmetics. The chemical and physical characteristics of makeup are also addressed.

2.) Ask the students to observe the ingredients list on the cosmetics packaging. Allow them to speculate as to the reason behind some of the ingredients. Anticipate answers such as coloring, preservatives, and moisturizers.

3.)Ask students for examples of physical and chemical changes. These terms should have been defined in a previous lesson. In the process of the discussion, be sure to bring in that physical changes can be reversed and chemical changes are irreversible.

4.) Ask for examples of physical and chemical changes that occur in schools. Students may mention exercising in PE or cooking in the lunchroom. This might be a good time to discuss the concept that while many of the changes in food are chemical in nature, some changes are physical. An example would be cutting up lettuce for a salad. If heat is involved, the change is chemical.

5.) Tell the students that today we will utilize both physical and chemical changes to prepare a mixture. Explain to the students that their makeup ingredients respresent a mixture. Ask students for a definition of a mixture. A mixture consists of two or more substances mixed together without chemical bonding taking place.

6.) Ask students to list in their journal examples of physical and chemical change.

7.) Begin to prepare your mixture by opening an unheated can of sweetened condensed milk. Open the room temperature can of heated milk and allow the students to compare and contrast the chemical change that has occurred in the heated can of milk. The heated milk should be thicker and brown. You have made caramel.

8.)Pour the caramel into a bowl. You may want to bring in the term viscosity at this point. If the term has not been addressed by this point, you may introduce it by asking students for differences in physical characteristics between the "uncooked" milk and the "cooked" milk. Students should notice that the "cooked" milk is thicker or more viscous. Viscosity is the resistance of a liquid to flow.

9.)Add 1/2 (approximately) of a cup of smooth peanut butter to the caramel. Have a student stir with a spoon. State that we are now creating a mixture and causing a physical change.

10.)Add one container of Cool Whip (or like product). Have the student stir again.

11.)Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and continue stirring.

12.)Have other students place muffin cups on a flat surface and place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each. Place a spoonful of your mixture in each muffin cup. Serve to each student along with a plastic spoon.

13.)Review the terms physical change, chemical change, mixture, and viscosity as the kids eat their dessert. Be sure to write the recipe on the board so students may prepare their science lesson for family members.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
Assessment Strategies:

As a homework assignment, have the students keep a journal listing the foods they consume at each meal for a three day period. By each item they should tell whether the food item resulted from a chemical change, physical change, or a combination of the two.


Students would enjoy having a cooking contest. Each student could bring their product to school and detail the physical and chemical changes required to make the item. Prizes could be awarded for best appearance, best taste, most physical changes, etc.


Some students may not be able to eat the mixture prepared so some other physical and chemical change may be provided for them to enjoy. Students may need extra time to write in journals.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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