Properties of Matter Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Looking for a fun way to teach your students about the properties of matter? In this lesson plan, you will find a text lesson that delivers the basics, an activity that demonstrates the changes in the states of matter, and a worksheet to wrap up the lesson.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'matter'
  • identify matter in the states of solid, liquid, and gas
  • distinguish between volume and mass


  • 30 minutes for instruction
  • 1 hour, 15 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.


Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

Key Vocabulary

  • Matter
  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas
  • Volume
  • Mass


  • Water
  • Ice
  • A balloon filled with air and tied off
  • An apple
  • A brick
  • An empty shoebox
  • A rusty piece of metal
  • Heating device
  • Small clear plastic cups
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • A can of frozen lemonade concentrate
  • One liter of lemon lime soda
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon
  • Ladle
  • A worksheet created using this quiz


  • Place the items (except the worksheet) on display for the class and ask them what they have in common, writing their ideas on the board.
  • Now have the class read the 'What Is Matter?' section of the text lesson Properties of Matter Lesson for Kids.
  • Now show the students the water and ask them to identify in what state of matter it is. Do the same with the ice.
  • Next, grab the balloon and ask the class what type of matter is filling it. Untie the balloon and squeeze out the air to demonstrate.
  • Pass the apple around to the class, allowing each student to touch and feel it.
  • Ask the students how they would describe the apple before moving on.
  • Instruct the class to read the 'Physical Properties of Matter' section of the text lesson.
  • Now pass around the brick and the empty shoebox to the class to demonstrate the concepts of volume and mass. Which takes up more space (volume)? Which has more mass (weight)?
  • Ask the class to read the rest of the text lesson now.
  • Invite students to view the rusty piece of metal to demonstrate the chemical properties of matter.

Discussion Questions

  • How many different states of matter exist in this classroom?
  • Are we matter?

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