ALEX Classroom Resource


Matter Is Made of Tiny Particles

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Matter Is Made of Tiny Particles


Content Source:

American Chemical Society
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


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.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
1 ) Plan and carry out investigations (e.g., adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, evaporating salt water) to provide evidence that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
P4.3: Matter exists in several different states; the most common states are solid, liquid, and gas. Each state of matter has unique properties. For instance, gases are easily compressed while solids and liquids are not. The shape of a solid is independent of its container; liquids and gases take the shape of their containers.

NAEP Statement::
P4.4: Some objects are composed of a single substance; others are composed of more than one substance.

NAEP Statement::
P8.1: Properties of solids, liquids, and gases are explained by a model of matter that is composed of tiny particles in motion.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Disciplinary Core Idea: Matter and Its Interactions
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Provide evidence based on investigation results that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Investigation
  • Variable
  • Data
  • Hypothesis
  • Conclusion
  • Matter
  • Describe
  • Observe
  • Evidence
  • Immensely
  • Bulk matter
  • Particle
Students know:
  • Matter is made of particles too small to be seen Matter too small to be seen still exists and may be detected by other means.
  • Gasses are made of matter particles that are too small to see, and are moving freely around in space (this can explain many observations, including the inflation and the shape of the balloon, and the effects of air on larger particles or objects).
  • The behavior of a collection of many tiny particles of matter and observable phenomena involving bulk matter (e.g., an expanding balloon, evaporating liquids, substances that dissolve in a solvent, effects of wind).
  • There is a relationship between bulk matter and tiny particles that cannot be seen.
Students are able to:
  • Identify the phenomenon under investigation.
  • Identify evidence that addresses the purpose of the investigation.
  • Collaboratively plan the investigation.
  • Collect and analyze the data.
Students understand that:
  • Natural objects exist from the very small to the immensely large.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Matter and Interactions

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.1- Recognize that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Tags: gas, investigation, liquid, matter, particles, solid
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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  This resource provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver