Thursday, 24 March 2011

States of Matter - Solids, Liquids and Gases

This is Eve and I playing a 'states of matter' bingo game that I made up. She really got to grips with the three states and their basic properties doing this game. I made it as when we sorted the three states into groups (see the pictures below), Eve was calling solids 'hard' and gases 'oxygen' and I wanted her to get to grips with calling materials by their 'group name' and understanding the basic reason why they are grouped that way. She was quite happy today that gases are there all around us, that liquids flow and that solids stay in one form, even though some can be squashed like sponges.
Eve already played with different liquids last week when we made our own 'marvellous medicines' after seeing George's marvellous Medicine at the theatre. She commented during the activity on how some flow faster than the others and some are slower.

Eve considered the sponge for a long time; I asked her to think out loud and she said "well you use it with water and it's got bubbles in, but when you put it down it stays in one shape so it must be solid" I was impressed with her logical reasoning here! I put a candle in with the solids ready for when we look at materials changing state and we can heat the solid wax to melt it!

I had fun making up a wide range of cards to represent gases and the different ways they might be found, some eve recognised and others she considered for the first time. I used a wide range to set the scene for more detailed explorations of matter. Similarly when I made up the cards for the bingo, I used a picture of molten magma and of liquid mercury to seed the idea that usually 'hard' substances such as rock and metal can be liquid also!

And the surprise bonus of these activities? Solid, liquid and gas are all phonetically spelled so it provided a reading activity too!

Next up? Changing states..... we made some coloured water and filled an ice cube tray today and I asked Eve what she thought would happen when we put it in the freezer. she replied "it will freeze and then it will be a solid, not a liquid anymore! I love that my children love science as I love it too!

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