In this lab station activity, students will move around the classroom exploring different topics related to classification and properties of matter such as density, viscosity, solubility, and chemical vs. physical changes. Students will use the materials and instructions provided at each station to classify different types of matter and to conduct demonstrations of various properties of matter. They will record their observations and make inferences. Each topic investigated will be discussed later as a class. This is a great inquiry activity to use as an introduction before teaching students about properties of matter, after having covered classification of matter. As you go through these properties in your lecture, you can refer back to the students’ experiences in the lab stations.
How can I use this?
- Real world application of classification and properties of matter
- Guided inquiry activity to introduce matter properties using phenomena
- As hands-on practice for classification and as demonstrations of the following: density, viscosity, solubility, and physical vs. chemical changes
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
I love lab stations as a way to get students out of their seats, but I especially love these lab stations because they get students using every day objects to apply their knowledge of classification of matter to real objects, as well as provide them an opportunity to explore phenomena related to properties of matter on their own. I love that students can investigate these topics autonomously and easily complete these 6 demonstrations without teacher help. It sets us up for great discussions during lecture as students are able to make meaningful connections between what they experienced in these lab stations and the content being covered in notes/lecture.
What is included?
- 5 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)
- 2 page student handout (PDF)
- 2 page answer key (PDF)
- 6 hands-on lab station cards (PDF) for you to print, cut and laminate for use year after year + editable version of the cards (PPT)
What materials will I need to have in my classroom to set this up?
- : Any 10 objects to classify
- : 1 solid object and 1 liquid object, plus tools to make observations (magnifying glass, digital scale, ruler, thermometer, etc.)
- : Colored pencils, a graduated cylinder, several different liquids (such as water, vegetable oil, rubbing alcohol, Dawn dish soap, dark Karo soap, honey, or syrup) and a few small objects like a marble, plastic bead, and/or cork.
- : 4 graduated cylinders, 4 marbles, 4 beakers or cups, stopwatches, and 4 different liquids (like the ones used for station 3)
- : Digital scale, sugar, salt, acetone, Styrofoam cups, weigh paper to protect the scale, 3 beakers, and a stopwatch.
- : Stack of computer paper and various tools to manipulate it (scissors, markers, etc.)
How much class time will this take?
This activity takes one 50-minute class period.
How does this connect to NGSS*?
This lab station activity touches on concepts related to the following standard:
- : Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
It also incorporates the following science and engineering practices:
- Ask questions and define problems
- Analyze and interpret data
- Obtain, evaluate and communicate information
Lastly, it connects to the following crosscutting concepts:
- Energy and matter
- Structure and function
What if I want more related to this?
What if I have a question?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to answer any questions you have!
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*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.