Matter is made of particles too small to be seen. But if we can’t see these particles, how do we know they exist? In this lesson, students will plan and carry out investigations with air and simple solutions to provide evidence that all types of matter are made of tiny particles that are invisible to the human eye.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
In this lesson, students will be able to plan and carry out an investigation to identify a liquid based on how it interacts on different paper surfaces. Students will also be able to explain that since different liquids are made of different atoms and molecules, they act in their own characteristic way. Students will test four known liquids and an unknown liquid on two different paper surfaces. They will use their observations to identify an unknown liquid. Students will realize that by using a combination of results from two tests, they can successfully identify an unknown liquid. Students will also add water and saltwater to green food coloring on a coffee filter. They see a distinct difference in the way each liquid makes the colors in green food coloring separate.
In this lesson, students discuss the meaning of “chemistry” and “matter.” Students investigate a drop of water hanging from a dropper and drops of water beading up on wax paper. They also look at a molecular animation that models the motion of water molecules. Students are introduced to the idea that matter is made up of extremely tiny particles that are attracted to one another.
In this lesson, students will be able to plan and carry out an investigation to identify a liquid based on how it interacts with water. Students will also be able to explain, on a molecular level, why different liquids act differently when mixed with water. Students will test the water, salt water, alcohol, and detergent solution. All the liquids tested are colored yellow. Students will mix these liquids with water that has been colored blue to see if the liquids have a characteristic way of mixing with water. Students will use their results to identify an unknown liquid that is the same as one of the known yellow liquids. The unknown in this lesson is saltwater.
In this lesson, students will develop a model to describe that matter is made up of tiny particles, too small to be seen. Students will use the model to describe the differences in attraction among the particles of a solid, liquid, and gas. Finally, students will use their models of solids, liquids, and gases to explain their observations in the lesson.
In this lesson, students explore the interaction of two substances and see that they can use what they know about the interaction of particles to explain their observations. Students place an M&M in water and see the colored sugar coating dissolve around the M&M. Students help develop a model to explain that the attraction of water molecules for sugar and color (dye) molecules is a good explanation for why the sugar coating dissolves. Students then test whether the coating dissolves as well in a sugar solution as it does in plain water. They put three or four different colored M&Ms together in water and watch the coatings dissolve. Students will see a distinct “line” where the colors meet. Students use molecular models to make an argument about why the dissolving M&Ms form a line.
In this lesson, students explore the particle nature of matter by first dissolving salt in water, then allowing the water to evaporate, and finally observing the solid salt left behind. After viewing a model of salt, students help develop models for the processes of salt dissolving, water evaporating to form a gas, and salt re-forming as a crystal. The focus is that matter, whether solid, liquid, or gas, is made up of particles; that dissolving and evaporation happen at the particle level; and that models can help explain these processes that we cannot see.
In this lesson, students will be able to develop and explain a particle-level model to describe evaporation and condensation in the context of the water cycle. Students use water, ice, and plastic wrap to model the ocean and cold upper atmosphere. Students use observations from their model to explain the processes of evaporation and condensation that drive the water cycle.
An atom is a tiny particle in matter, and atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Some matter, like your body or your book, is made of lots of different kinds of atoms, but elements are made up of only one kind of atom.
The classroom resource provides a video that will explain atoms and how they are made of smaller particles called protons, electrons, and neutrons. This resource can provide background information for students before they construct their own models and/or carry out their own investigations. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.
The purpose of this lesson is to view salt under varied magnifications so students can begin to construct the understanding that materials may be composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification.