Chemical Properties: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 Properties of Matter
  • 0:58 Chemical Properties
  • 1:36 Chemical Reactions
  • 2:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tamira Butler-Likely

Tamira has taught college Science and has a PhD in Biochemistry.

All things have physical and chemical properties that help us know more about them. In this lesson, we will learn about different chemical properties that a substance can have.

Properties of Matter

Matter is the stuff that's all around us. Anything that has mass and takes up space is matter, so that means you're matter, too! There are two properties that we use to identify and describe all matter: physical and chemical properties. Physical properties are what you can see or feel, like the color or texture of an object. Chemical properties describe how a substance behaves during a chemical reaction. We can't see chemical properties by looking at a substance, like we can with physical properties. The substance has to actually change its makeup for us to be able to see the chemical properties.

How does a substance get these different properties? Well, all matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms. These atoms give a substance its physical and chemical properties. For example, paper and steel are made of different atoms, so they have different properties. Chemical properties tell us about changes that happen with the atoms of an object.

Chemical Properties

There are many different chemical properties that materials can have. They include:

  • Flammability, or how easily something burns
  • Toxicity, or how dangerous (or toxic) a substance is to different organisms
  • Oxidation, or how quickly something reacts with oxygen
  • Half-life, or the amount of time it takes half of the substance to decay
  • Reactivity, or the ability of something to react with other things, and
  • Corrosion, or how quickly a substance is damaged by chemical action

We can't just look at a material and tell how toxic or flammable it is. We have to test the material in chemical reactions to see and determine its chemical properties.

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