# Lesson 4: Solid, Liquid, Gas: What's the Difference?

## Activities

### Activity 1: Modeling Different States of Matter

Materials: construction paper (kit), glue stick, hole punch
In this activity, you will use small circles punched out of construction paper to represent particles in solids, liquids, and gases. You should assume that the particles represent the same material in different states of matter.

To prepare for the activity, use a hole punch to punch 100-150 holes out of construction paper. You can choose the color, but the circles you create should all be the same color. Keep the hole punch and leftover paper handy in case you need to make more circles.

There are two options for this activity. Ask a parent which option you should complete.
This activity has two options. In the first option, a table provides students with various attributes of the three states of matter and gives them a sheet with an illustration of jars representing solids, liquids, and gases. Option 2 is the more advanced option, where students must use the Atoms book or other resources to complete a chart about the attributes of the three states. They must also create their own diagram or illustration. Tell your child which option to complete.

#### Option 1

Use the "Modeling Different States of Matter" activity sheet for this activity; follow the steps listed for each state of matter. Feel free to refer to "Attributes of Classical States of Matter" table as needed.
 Attributes of Classical States of Matter Gas Liquid Solid assumes the shape and volume of its container assumes the shape of the part of the container that it occupies particles can move/slide past one another retains a fixed volume and shape rigid — particles locked into place compressible lots of free space between particles not easily compressible little free space between particles not easily compressible little free space between particles flows easily particles can move past one another flows easily particles can move/slide past one another does not flow easily rigid — particles cannot move/slide past one another
##### Solid
1. In the container marked "solid" on the activity sheet, use a glue stick to place punched-out holes in a straight row; use the boundaries of the container as a start and stop point.
2. Create a total of five rows.
3. Keep track of how many dots you used and record the number.
##### Liquid
1. Count out the same number of punched out holes that you used for the "solid" container.
2. Place the dots in the container marked "liquid" -- do NOT use a glue stick.
3. Gently move the activity sheet.
4. Keep in mind that a major difference between a solid and a liquid is not space but rather the fact that the individual particles can move/slide past one another.
##### Gas
Take the number of punched holes used for the solid container and divide it by twenty (20) — you may have to estimate if the number is not evenly divisible by 20. (Note: This division is not meant to be an accurate reflection but is used for the sake of illustration.) Next, place the punched holes in the container labeled "gas."
When you are done, answer the questions on the "Modeling Different States of Matter Follow Up" page.
Student Activity Page
Student Activity Page
 Answer Key - Option 1 In looking at the jars, what is a major difference between a solid and a gas? A solid and a liquid? Answer: The number of particles in the same space is much less for a gas than a solid. There are fewer particles for the same space when comparing a liquid to a solid. Both liquids and gases can take the shape of their containers with a liquid much more easily observed. What is a major difference between the particles of a solid, a liquid and a gas (HINT: The answer can have liquids and gases in the same category)? Answer: The particles in a solid do not freely move as they do with a liquid and a gas.

#### Option 2

In this activity, you will investigate and list characteristics of the three states of matter. Using your book (pp. 16-21) and other available resources, list the characteristics of gases, liquids, and solids with an emphasis on what makes each state of matter unique from the others. Complete the chart provided on the "Modeling Different States of Matter" (Option 2) activity sheet.

For the second part of the activity, create a diagram or illustration that represents the differences between solids, liquids, and gases. Use the colored dots you punched out to represent the particles of each state of matter. (You may want to use a glue stick to affix the dots to your diagram.)
Student Activity Page
 Answer Key - Option 2 In looking at the jars, what is a major difference between a solid and a gas? A solid and a liquid? Answer: The number of particles in the same space is much less for a gas than a solid. There are fewer particles for the same space when comparing a liquid to a solid. Both liquids and gases can take the shape of their containers with a liquid much more easily observed. What is a major differnce between the particles of a solid, a liquid and a gas (HINT: The answer can have liquids and gases in the same category)? Answer: The particles in a solid do not freely move as they do with a liquid and a gas.
In this lesson, your child has looked more closely at the difference between states of matter. This lesson will be beneficial as the unit progresses. Your child has been asked to imagine and create in order to make connections among the classical states of matter. Remind her to think about what conditions are necessary for the states to occur and that each state of matter occurs at the atomic level. Ask your child to consider the illustration and the characteristics of each state of matter.

You can use the activity pages and answer key from Option 1 as an assessment guide.