States of Matter

States of Matter

Terms and Definitions

Students should know the following terms and definitions:


solid - state of matter with particles that have a definite shape and a definite volume

liquid, - state of matter with particles that have a definite volume but no definite shape

gas - state of matter with particles that have no definite shape and no definite volume

matter - anything that has mass and takes up space


mass - the amount of matter in an object (related to weight)

volume - the amount of space an object takes up

balance - a scientific tool to measure the amount of matter in an object (the object's mass)

molecule - matter made up of two or more atoms joined together (water is a molecule H2O


At 0 degrees C (32 degrees F) ice melts - changes from a solid to a liquid


at 0 degrees C (32 degrees F) liquid water freezes to form a solid

0 degrees C is both the melting point and freezing point of water


At 1oo degrees C (212 degrees F) liquid water boils to form a gas


at 100 degrees C (212 degrees F) water vapor (gas) condenses to form a liquid

100 degrees C (212 degrees F) is both the boiling point and the condensing point of water



element - matter made up of only one kind of atom 

periodic table - chart used by scientists to organize the elements

chemical changes - examples:  burning, bubbling, color changes are all chemical changes (rust is a chemical change)

physical changes - examples:  boiling, melting, freezing, ripping, crushing, breaking, cutting, bending are all physical changes 

chemical changes - a change in a substance which changes the chemical nature and properties of a substance

physical changes - a change in which the substance itself is still the same substance (chemical makeup does not change)


atom - the smallest particle that can still be identified as the matter it came from

nucleus - the dense area in the center of an atom

proton - positively charged particle in the nucleus of an atom

neutron - neutrally charged particle in the nucleus of an atom

electron - negatively charged particle/s that circle the nucleus of an atom


density - a measure of how closely packed an object's atoms are (bowling ball has more atoms packed into it than a basketball)

mixture - a combination of two or more substances that are not permanently combined (example:  Raisin Brand)

solution - a mixture in which all parts are mixed evenly (example:  iced tea)

combustibility - a measure of how easily a substance will burn

reactivity - the ability of a substance to go through a chemical change



The following websites are helpful and fun:

General Chemistry and States of Matter

a.  Chemistry for kids

b.  States of Matter from the BBC

c.  States of Matter activity from Scholastic

d. Study Jams from Scholastic - Matter

e.  Visual of atoms of matter

f.  Science kids States of Matter activities


Games from Quia

1.  Rags to Riches game 1

2.  Matching terms

3.  Rags to Riches game 2

4.  Quia custom game

5.  Another Matching game from Quia

6.  Rags to Riches game 3

7.  Matching game 3

8.  Rags to Riches game 4

9.  Matching game 4


Have Fun and Good Luck with the games!