ALEX Lesson Plan


What's the Matter - Concentration Game

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brenda Rinehart
System: Shelby County
School: Shelby County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 26201


What's the Matter - Concentration Game



What’s the Matter? is a guided inquiry lesson on classification of matter, physical and chemical properties, and physical and chemical changes.  There are two parts to this lesson: (a) concentration game for definitions and (b) concentration game for matter classification, physical and chemical properties, and physical and chemical changes.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (9-12) Physical Science
5. Describe physical and chemical changes in terms of endothermic and exothermic processes.
SC (9-12) Chemistry
1. Differentiate among pure substances, mixtures, elements, and compounds.
  • Distinguishing between intensive and extensive properties of matter
  • Contrasting properties of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids
  • Distinguishing between homogeneous and heterogeneous forms of matter
  • SC2015 (9-12) Physical Science
    1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties and trends (e.g., reactivity of metals; types of bonds formed, including ionic, covalent, and polar covalent; numbers of bonds formed; reactions with oxygen) of main group elements based on the patterns of valence electrons in atoms.
    SC2015 (9-12) Chemistry
    4. Plan and conduct an investigation to classify properties of matter as intensive (e.g., density, viscosity, specific heat, melting point, boiling point) or extensive (e.g., mass, volume, heat) and demonstrate how intensive properties can be used to identify a compound.

    Local/National Standards:

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    The student will
    (a) identify characteristics of elements, compounds, heterogeneous mixtures, and homogeneous mixtures.
    (b) identify characteristics of physical and chemical properties.
    (c) identify characteristics of physical and chemical changes.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will also gain skills in organization and categorizing.  Students will be introduced to the concepts of intensive and extensive properties of matter.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    61 to 90 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    card stock, color printer, plastic baggies, 2" x 4" labels

    Group sets of matter picture cards, vocabulary cards, definition cards: The teacher will need to copy the picture cards, vocabulary cards, and definition cards on card stock and laminate (optional).  The pictures, vocabulary, and definition cards are saved as PowerPoint slides.  It is suggested that you print them as notes with 9 slides per page.  The cards will need to be cut and separated into labeled plastic baggies so students can easily identify which baggie contains pictures cards, vocabulary cards, and definition cards. The labels are compatible with Avery labels 2" x 4".

    Assessment set of pictures: These will also need to be printed on card stock and cut but should be placed in a separately labeled baggie that the teacher keeps until the end of the activity.

    List of students per group: The teacher will need to track how many successful matches are made per student per group.

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Ability to print Powerpoint slides in color


    The teacher needs to understand how to categorize matter into elements, compounds, homogeneous mixtures, and heterogeneous mixtures.  The teacher also needs to be able to identify chemical and physical properties and chemical and physical changes.  The teacher may need to know intensive and extensive properties if he/she wishes to extend the activity to these concepts. 

    The teacher will need to know the rules of the Concentration Game. The cards are placed face down and then turned over to find a match.  If a match is found the students keep the cards and if a match is not found the cards are returned to being face down.  Students continue until time is called or all matches have been found.

    The activity can be used to gauge students' prior knowledge, teach the concepts listed above, or review the concepts for a formal assessment.

    1. Divide the students into diverse ability groups of two or three.  The teacher can also randomly group students by giving each student a color coded index card as they enter the classroom.  Students with the same color card will be in the same group.  A table or flat top desks in groups of two or three work best for this activity.
    2. Each group will be given a plastic baggie containing the individual baggies for matter picture cards, vocabulary cards, and definition cards.
    3. The students are to place the picture cards face down on one side of the work area and the vocabulary cards face down on the other side of the work area.
    4. Explain the rules of Concentration to the students.
    5. One student in each group turns over a matter picture card and then turns over a vocabulary card.  If the cards match (example match: ice melting picture and physical change vocabulary card) the students display the matched set face up side by side.
    6. Another student in each group attempts to make a match.  The game progresses until time is called or until all matches have been made.
    7. The teacher circulates while the game progresses.  If the teacher sees an incorrectly matched set he/she returns the cards face down to the appropriate work area for the students to try again. 
    8. Once time as been called the teacher can quickly determine how many correct matches each student in each group has made or the students can record this on one of the colored index cards used for grouping the students.
    9. At this point the teacher may need to determine if time permits in the class period to continue or pick up with the activity a second day.  If time does not permit for the students to continue, the picture cards and vocabulary cards need to be returned to the appropriate baggies. 
    10. Place the vocabulary cards face down on one side of the work area and the definition cards face down on the other side of the work area. 
    11. Repeat steps 5 - 8 with the new set of cards.
    12. Once students have correctly matched all the vocabulary cards with the definitions have them add the picture cards to the correct match. 
    13. Students will write the characteristics that distinguish between elements, compounds, homogeneous mixtures, heterogeneous mixtures, chemical and physical properties, and chemical and physical changes by examining the pictures, vocabulary, and definitions. 
    14. The teacher will hand each group an evaluation set of pictures. 
    15. The students will use the vocabulary cards to make headings on the work area of element, compound, homogeneous mixture, heterogeneous mixture, physical properties, chemical properties, physical changes, and chemical changes.
    16. Using the evaluation set of pictures, the students will place the pictures in the appropriate categories. 
    17. The teacher will circulate and determine the number of correctly identified matches per group.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    1. Teacher records correct number of matches per student per group and provides points for a minimum number of matches.  The teacher can assign a score of 10 points for the activity and the group must correctly identify 10 matches to receive full credit. 
    2. Step # 13 is the students description of the distinguishing characteristics can be the evaluation for this activity.
    3. Step # 17 is a good assessment method and can be modified for time and to assess individual versus group understanding.  The pictures can be displayed (LCD projector with PowerPoint slides, interactive white board, etc) and the students must choose the appropriate category.  For example a picture of an effervescent table fizzing should be identified as a chemical change.  The students can respond individually or as a group and submit their papers for grading or if the pictures are copied and handed to each group, the teacher can quickly check each group for accuracy and assign a grade.
    4. The websites listed in the extension can be used as group or individual assessments. 


    If the students move through the activity quickly, the teacher can extend to the concepts of intensive and extensive properties.  Student can also be asked to use the Internet to find additional examples of each vocabulary term and these examples can be used as part of the evaluation. 

    The following websites can be used to practice some of the concepts presented in this lesson:

    1. Video of physical properties
    2. Video of chemical properties


    Students may need to work with fewer vocabulary cards and pictures.  For example the pictures for chemical and physical properties and chemical and physical changes can be separated from the cards for identifying elements, compounds, homogeneous mixtures and heterogeneous mixtures. 

    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.