Properties of Matter

Students engage in multiple scientific practices and explore the properties of matter through hands-on, teacher-created labs and activities as they begin to critically analyze the world around them.

Unit Summary

In this science unit, students explore matter and the different properties of matter. Over the course of the unit students learn how to describe and classify different kinds of materials by observable properties, particularly by color, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency. Students are then challenged to think about which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose—for example building a house or creating a desirable dog toy. Finally, students explore how some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot. The unit ends with a culminating project that requires students to synthesize everything they have learned about properties of matter in order to solve a design problem and then compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each object performs. The majority of learning in this unit is done through hands-on, teacher-created labs and activities. The different labs and activities engage students in multiple scientific practices—particularly planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence, and using mathematical thinking. It is our hope that this unit, paired with others in the sequence, will help students begin to critically analyze and observe the world around them. Because this unit is primarily labs and projects, there is not a heavy reading or writing focus. Decide which standards and skills to spiral on reading and writing days based on data from previous units.

Texts and Materials

Core Materials

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • Why is it important to understand what things are made of?
  • What is matter?
  • How do scientists classify matter?
  • How do the properties of matter determine their use?
  • How does matter change?

Writing Focus Areas

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There are no new Focus Correction Areas for this unit. At this point in the year, it is assumed that the majority of students are scoring a 3 or 4 on the reading response rubric. Targeted mini-lessons should be planned based on class and individual student needs.

Language Focus Areas

  • uses correct end punctuation
  • spells grade-level words correctly
  • uses complete sentences
  • uses correct capitalization

Writing-About-Reading Focus Areas

  • makes an accurate claim that demonstrates comprehension of the text (spiral)
  • includes some inferential or critical thinking
  • uses the most relevant and accurate details, facts, and other varied evidence from the text
  • uses specific vocabulary from the text (spiral)
  • groups information into a paragraph structure that introduces a topic and provides details (spiral)
  • uses some linking words and phrases (spiral)

Vocabulary

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Text-based

matter, materials, property, solid, liquid, gas, shape, color, texture, flexibility, classify, absorbency, absorbent, hardness, strength, reversible, irreversible,

Intellectual Prep

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Build Background Knowledge

  • Research and learn about different properties of matter.
    • Color, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency
  • Research and learn about reversible and irreversible changes in matter.

Internalize the Text and Standards

  • Read and internalize unit science standards.
    • What do students need to understand to show mastery of the standards?
    • Are there any clarifications in the standards to describe what students should be able to do?
    • Why is mastery of the standards important for students?
  • Become familiar with the scientific practices that are used in the unit. How will students interact with the different practices? Why?
  • Identify lessons that require materials and labs. Order materials in advance to ensure the lesson can be executed effectively.

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Matter can be solid, liquid, or gas.
  • Materials (and matter) have different properties.
  • Objects can be sorted and classified by properties. Observable properties include color, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency.
  • Properties of small objects do not change when the pieces are used to build larger objects.
  • Temperature can affect the state of matter of an object.

Lesson Map

1

  • How Things Are Different pp. 1 – 9

    RI.2.3

Define “matter” and describe three different types of matter by using key details to describe scientific ideas from a text.

2

  • How Things Are Different pp. 10 – 15

    RI.2.3

Explain how the properties of a material impact the job it does by using key details to describe scientific ideas from a text.

3

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-1

    2-PS1-2

Classify objects based on properties and then analyze the data to describe how different properties help a material meet its desired purpose.

4

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-1

    2-PS1-2

Classify objects based on properties and then analyze the data to describe how different properties help a material meet its desired purpose.

5

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-1

    2-PS1-2

Classify objects based on properties and then analyze the data to describe how different properties help a material meet its desired purpose.

6

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-1

    2-PS1-3

Classify objects based on properties and then analyze the data to describe how different properties help a material meet its desired purpose.

7

  • Homes Around the World

    2-PS1-2

    RI.2.3

Explain which properties are most important to consider when building a house and why by using key details to identify which properties are best suited for an intended purpose.

8

2 days

Project

    2-PS1-2

    RI.2.3

Design a model dog toy that has a least three properties that a dog would like by determining which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose and explaining why.

9

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-4

Describe the difference between reversible and irreversible changes and give an example of each by constructing an argument with evidence that some changes to materials caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

10

Project

  • Project materials

    2-PS1-4

Construct an argument with evidence that some changes to materials caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

11

Project

    2-PS1-4

Construct an argument with evidence that some changes to materials caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

12

Project

    2-PS1-4

Construct an argument with evidence that some changes to materials caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

13

4 days

Project

    K-2-ETS1-3

Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same design problem and compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each object performs.

14

Discussion

    SL.2.1

Analyze and debate unit essential questions by stating a claim and supporting the claim with evidence from the entire unit.

Common Core Standards

Engineering Design
  • K-2-ETS1-3 — Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Language Standards
  • L.2.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.2.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.2.4 — Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

  • L.2.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Matter and its Interactions
  • 2-PS1-1 — Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. Clarification Statement: Observations could include color, texture, hardness, and flexibility. Patterns could include the similar properties that different materials share.

  • 2-PS1-2 — Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose. Clarification Statement: Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency. Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.

  • 2-PS1-3 — Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. Clarification Statement: Examples of pieces could include blocks, building bricks, or other assorted small objects.

  • 2-PS1-4 — Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot. Clarification Statement: Examples of reversible changes could include materials such as water and butter at different temperatures. Examples of irreversible changes could include cooking an egg, freezing a plant leaf, and heating paper.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.2.3 — Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

  • RI.2.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

  • RI.2.5 — Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

  • RI.2.7 — Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.

  • RI.2.8 — Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.

  • RI.2.10 — By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2—3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
  • RF.2.4 — Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.2.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.2.2 — Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.2.3 — Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

  • SL.2.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Writing Standards
  • W.2.2 — Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

  • W.2.5 — With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

  • W.2.8 — Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.