What’s the MATTER with YOU!?
Solid? Liquid? Gas? Figuring out the contents of the six balloons was a fun way to investigate the question: What are the properties of solids, liquids and gases?
A big idea we discuss: Some properties help us classify matter as solid, liquid, or gas. What does this mean? How do we use the information we discover to help us figure out how to classify matter?
Six balloons. What’s in them?
Here’s what they found on DAY TWO:
flour, dish soap, rice, water, air, and carbon dioxide
Oh what fun we had! You know you’ve had a great lesson when the room looks like a bomb went off in it. It was awesome.
Which substances were solids?
How can you tell when something is a solid? What were the properties of the solids while they were in the balloon?
The pieces kept their shape, and individual grains of rice could be felt. They made some noise when moved in the balloon. When the solids were pushed or squeezed in the balloon, sometimes the balloon stayed in the new position.
What were the properties of the solids outside of the balloon?
The pieces could be picked up by hand, piled and dug into with a spoon, and held in a cup. The pieces didn’t change shape when they were in a container or moved around. Rice didn’t fit in the syringe; flour clogged it.
How did the flour (a powder) differ from the rice? Could you see individual particles in the powder when using magnifying lenses?
Powder consists of very small, loose solid particles. Particles can be separated from each other and keep their own shapes. Powders share some characteristics of liquids, because they can be poured, but they form mounds, not flat pools.
Which substances were Liquids?
What made you think the substance in the balloon was a liquid?
The liquid flattened out inside the bottom of the balloon when it was resting on a table. When the balloon was pushed, the liquid made the balloon bulge. There weren’t any hard pieces inside.
What were the properties of the water outside of the balloon?
It could be poured, it could be stirred to make waves, and it could be squirted through a syringe. The water could be stirred more easily than the dish soap. The water couldn’t be mounded or piled up like the solids could. When it was at rest in a spoon or a cup, the water filled the bottom of the container in a pool with a flat surface. It couldn’t be squeezed into less space inside a syringe when students held a finger over the syringe opening.
Which were Gases?
What were the properties of the gases inside the balloon?
They felt lighter than the liquid, but one gas might have felt heavier than the other. There weren’t any bumps or hard pieces inside. When the gases were pushed or squeezed inside the balloon, it would bulge out, but the balloon wouldn’t stay that way. What happened to the gases when they opened the balloons?
They escaped into the air in the room. What could they do with air and a syringe?
They could capture air from the room and easily push it through a syringe. They could squeeze air into less space inside the syringe when holding a finger over the opening.
Vocabulary Words: gas, investigation, investigative question, liquid, observation, observe, powder, procedure, property, solid, state