PhET States of Matter for 5th Grade * 5-PS1-1

Zip (597 KB|5 pages)
Digital Download
Digital Download
Share this resource

Also included in

  1. This product is 2 pdf files, One that links to the google document which can be posted directly in google classroom. It is an excellent exploration activity for 5-PS1-1.Observing Matter Activity6 station cardsTeachers notesGraphic organizer for Crosscutting Concept ConnectionSample Answers9 Vocabu
    Save $3.00


This simulation guide helps students understand the states of matter at the particle level. Students are able to manipulate the variables that affect the state and understand this concept in a whole new way.

Extension/Elaborate Activity


  • Ana says "I love that the resource shows what students will see on the screen, that makes it more manageable for younger students. Thank you."
  • Melissa says "This is perfect for my 5th graders. I only wish I had this resource sooner! Thank you."
  • Michelle says "PhET labs are always a fun exploration time, and these questions helped to guide the students to the conclusions they needed."

***This requires that students have access to a Chromebook or other computer with internet access to complete the simulation***.

This is a 5 page pdf document that includes:

  • Instruction sheet for teachers
  • Instruction sheet for students in black and white and color
  • Student observation sheet (can be printed at 70% to include in an interactive notebook).
  • Sample student answer.

Standards Alignment:

  • 5-PS1-1: This standards does not specifically state that students should know about the difference in particles for the different states of matter, but asks them to develop a model that demonstrates that matter is made of particles.
    • I recommend doing this as an extension/elaboration piece at the end of this instructional sequence.
    • This simulation is specifically mentioned in the California Science Framework for Grade 5.

  • Other Standards that mention states of matter:
    • SEP: Developing and Using Models
    • 5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
    • 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment

***Students do not have to understand the atomic level composition of solids/ liquids or gasses. They should just know that particles make up matter, regardless of the state.***

PhET Interactive Simulations

University of Colorado Boulder

Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
Report this Resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen. Examples of evidence could include adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, and evaporating salt water. Assessment does not include the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation or defining the unseen particles.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up