Classification of Matter Ultimate Card Sort for Pure Substances and Mixtures

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  1. Please see individual files for additional details.This bundle of activities works well with the following:Physical Properties of Matter: Words That May Be Used to Describe & Who Am IClick here to follow my store and receive the latest updates.Original Artwork (©AwesomeScience). For Personal Use
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Contains 222 matter cards to sort, and the flexibility to choose the depth to which your students classify matter:

pure substances, mixtures, elements, compounds, homogeneous mixtures, heterogeneous mixtures, metals, non-metals, metalloids, inorganic compounds, organic compounds, solutions, colloids (foams, solid foams, liquid aerosols, emulsions, gels, solid aerosols, sols, solid sols), suspensions, and mechanical mixtures.

If your students do not understand how matter is classified, they certainly will after this hands-on activity! I am especially proud of this activity and wish I had it when I was learning to classify matter.

Each of the 222 cards contains a description of the matter along with an image. Common names, chemical names, and chemical formulas are provided where appropriate. Images on cards include a mixture of photographs, Bohr-Rutherford, Lewis dot, Lewis structural, molecular models, etc. All images copyright AwesomeScience.

Each of the 24 placemats contains additional information to help guide students in the process of classifying matter.

This activity is flexible and adaptable enough to engage all levels of learners.

You have the option of selecting which cards use and when. You have the option of selecting how far down the classification tree your students go. Have students stop sorting at pure substances/mixtures and then resume sorting later. Have students sort only pure substances and save mixtures for a later date.

Teacher preparation:

  • Print pages (best if printed in color on white cardstock)
  • Cut out cards
  • Distribute to students and – off they go!

***All printed material remains with the teacher.

Once you make your initial investment in printing, cutting, laminating, etc., you will have a resource that will last you a very long time.

Included in this package:

Page 1 - Copyright & Terms of Use

Page 2 - Educator instructions

Pages 3-4 - Student instructions

Page 5 - Student record sheet (optional)

Pages 6-21 - Classification of Matter Placemats (24 in total)

Pages 22-58 - Matter Cards (222 in total)

Pages 59-65 - Answers

To save you valuable time, this product has also been designed to allow for optical mark recognition (OMR) grading methods.

This activity works well with the following:

Physical Properties of Matter: Words That May Be Used to Describe & Who Am I

Classification of Matter: Identifying Atoms & Molecules

Classification of Matter: Elements Compounds & Mixtures

Click here to follow my store and receive the latest updates.

Original Artwork (©AwesomeScience). For Personal Use Only. Uneditable.

Page count does not include Terms of Use and links to supplementary activities.

Copyright ©AwesomeScience 2019 – The Present.

All Rights Reserved by Author.

By using this Resource you agree to the Terms as outlined in the Terms of Service. This Resource is for limited Personal Use only; not to be used, in part or in whole, for commercial purposes. Each Individual License is for use by one specific educator only. Additional licenses must be purchased for each additional educator. Except as permitted in Section 3 to deliver Resources electronically to Permitted Recipients, you may not post or otherwise make the Resource available on any website, application, shared drive or other sites or services.

Total Pages
64 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures. Emphasis is on developing models of molecules that vary in complexity. Examples of simple molecules could include ammonia and methanol. Examples of extended structures could include sodium chloride or diamonds. Examples of molecular-level models could include drawings, 3D ball and stick structures, or computer representations showing different molecules with different types of atoms. Assessment does not include valence electrons and bonding energy, discussing the ionic nature of subunits of complex structures, or a complete depiction of all individual atoms in a complex molecule or extended structure.
Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. Emphasis is on the attractive and repulsive forces that determine the functioning of the material. Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, flexible but durable materials are made up of long chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors. Assessment is limited to provided molecular structures of specific designed materials.
Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


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