Lesson Plan

Physical Properties of Matter

  • Grade Levels
    8th Grade
  • Related Academic Standards
  • Assessment Anchors
  • Eligible Content
  • Big Ideas
    • A technological world requires that humans develop capabilities to solve technological challenges and improve products for the way we live.
    • Each area of technology has a set of characteristics that separates it from others; however, many areas overlap in order to meet human needs and wants.
    • Technological design is a creative process that anyone can do which may result in new inventions and innovations.
    • Technological literacy is the ability to use, assess and manage technology around us.
    • Technology is created, used and modified by humans.
  • Concepts
    • A technological design & problem solving process changes ideas into a final product or system.
    • Bio-related technologies are the processes of using biological mater to make or modify products.
    • Bio-related technologies are the processes of using biological organisms to make or modify products.
    • Communication is the process of composing, sending, and receiving messages through technology.
    • Communication is the process of composing, sending, and receiving messages using technological devices.
    • Construction is the process of turning materials into useful structures.
    • Construction is the process of turning raw materials into useful structures.
    • Decisions about the use of products and systems can result in expected and unexpected consequences.
    • Energy and power technologies are the processes of converting energy sources into useful power.
    • Energy and power technologies use processes to convert energy into power.
    • Innovation is the process of improving an existing product, process, or system.
    • Invention is a process of creating new products, processes, or systems.
    • Inventions and innovations must be carefully assessed by individuals and society.
    • Manufacturing is the process of turning materials into useful products.
    • Manufacturing is the process of turning raw materials into useful products.
    • People select, create, and use science and technology and are limited by constraints (e.g. social and physical).
    • People select, create, and use technology.
    • Safety is one of the most important concerns for all technological development and use.
    • Science and technology are interconnected.
    • Technological design & problem solving follows many steps.
    • Technological design & problem solving includes clearly communicated solutions.
    • Technological design & problem solving includes frequent checking.
    • Technological design & problem solving requires hands-on applications.
    • Technological literacy is a lifetime endeavor.
    • Technological literacy is necessary for a productive 21st century skilled workforce.
    • Technological literacy is necessary for a productive workforce.
    • Technological literacy is necessary for all citizens.
    • Technological literacy is required for all citizens in a democratic society for shared decision-making.
    • Technological literacy is the ability to understand, use, assess, design, and create technology.
    • Technological literacy is the ability to understand, use, assess, design, and produce technology (i.e. Invention & Innovation).
    • Technological literacy requires lifelong learning.
    • Technology and society impact each other.
    • Technology and society mutually impact each other.
    • The abilities required in a technological world include understanding, fixing, and maintaining systems.
    • The goal of technology is to meet human needs and wants.
    • Transportation is the process of safely and efficiently moving people and products.
    • Understanding technological systems help us plan and control technological developments.
    • While science is the study of the natural world, technology is the study of the human designed world.
  • Competencies
    • Describe how science and technology work together.
    • Design and develop the ability to create and send messages using technological devices.
    • Design and develop the ability to safely and effectively use tools and materials to build structures.
    • Design and develop the ability to safely and effectively use tools and materials to convert energy into power.
    • Design and develop the ability to safely and effectively use tools and materials to create bio-related products and systems using technology.
    • Design and develop the ability to safely and effectively use tools and materials to create vehicles that transport people and products.
    • Design and develop the ability to safely and effectively use tools and materials to manufacture products.
    • Design and produce solutions to technological problems.
    • Safely use tools, machines, and other devices.
    • Use hands-on skills to create useful products.

Objectives

In this lesson, students will learn that all matter has physical properties through an activity based around water. Students will:

  • describe specific physical properties of all matter (density, viscosity, boiling point, freezing point, conductivity, malleability, ductility, surface tension, and color).

  • compare physical properties of water to all matter.

Essential Questions

Vocabulary

  • Physical property: Physical properties are properties that can be observed or measured without changing the chemical makeup of the substance.

  • Viscosity: Viscosity describes a liquid’s resistance to flow.

  • Density: Density is a physical property that describes how much mass is in a specific volume.

  • Conductivity: Describes how well something conducts electricity.

  • Magnetism: Describes how matter responds to a magnetic field.

  • Boiling/melting/freezing point: The temperature at which a substance boils/melts/freezes.

  • Thermal expansion/contraction: Describes the change in volume as a substance is heated or cooled.

  • Distillation: A separation technique using boiling point.

  • Malleability: Capability to be shaped or molded.

  • Surface tension: A cohesive force between liquid molecules.

  • Ductility: The extent to which a material can be deformed plastically without fracturing.

  • Volatility: A measure of the tendency of a substance to evaporate.

Duration

90 minutes/2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Materials

  • tap water (2L)

  • ice cubes (6-8)

  • paper clips (10)

  • pennies (enough for entire class, working in small groups)

  • disposable pipettes (enough for entire class, working in small groups)

  • presentation board (i.e., whiteboard, interactive whiteboard)

  • distillation apparatus (glassware, water, and food coloring) or use the following link: http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/science10/unita/redon18.html

  • rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)

  • can of regular cola

  • can of diet cola

  • fish tank, partially filled with water

  • honey

  • conductivity apparatus

  • salt water (1L)

  • distilled water (1L)

  • metal samples for lab: zinc and iron

  • metal samples for lab (other than zinc or iron): most metals will work

  • pipettes for lab (8)

  • 10mL graduated cylinders (8)

  • magnets (8)

  • balances (1 or 2 for the class to share)

  • Physical Properties Lab–Student Version (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Student Version.doc)

  • Physical Properties Lab–Teacher Version (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Teacher Version.doc)

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

  • tap water (2L)

  • ice cubes (6-8)

  • paper clips (10)

  • pennies (enough for entire class, working in small groups)

  • disposable pipettes (enough for entire class, working in small groups)

  • presentation board (i.e., whiteboard, interactive whiteboard)

  • distillation apparatus (glassware, water, and food coloring) or use the following link: http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/science10/unita/redon18.html

  • rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)

  • can of regular cola

  • can of diet cola

  • fish tank, partially filled with water

  • honey

  • conductivity apparatus

  • salt water (1L)

  • distilled water (1L)

  • metal samples for lab: zinc and iron

  • metal samples for lab (other than zinc or iron): most metals will work

  • pipettes for lab (8)

  • 10mL graduated cylinders (8)

  • magnets (8)

  • balances (1 or 2 for the class to share)

  • Physical Properties Lab–Student Version (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Student Version.doc)

  • Physical Properties Lab–Teacher Version (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Teacher Version.doc)

Formative Assessment

  • View
    • During the guided instruction portion of the lab, listen carefully to student responses as they brainstorm potential physical properties. Guide students to use everyday experience with water to form proper conclusions regarding water’s properties.

    • The Physical Properties Lab provides an opportunity to assess students’ understanding of the guided instruction. During the lab, rotate between student teams and use the following questions as a guide in determining student understanding:

    • You determined the mass and volume of Unknown 1. Do you think mass and volume are physical properties? Why or why not?”

    • If you increased the amount of Unknown 1, would the density change? Why or why not?”

    • If you were to smell Unknown 2, is that a function of how well it evaporates? Why or why not?”

    • What are some other physical property tests you could perform to aid in identifying the unknowns?”

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Scaffolding, Explicit Instruction
    W:

    The lesson focuses on describing matter based on physical properties. Students may be familiar with several of the properties listed; however, this lesson provides a detailed definition as well as demonstration of each property. Students are evaluated based on their involvement and responses during the demonstrations as well as on the lab.

    H:

    The lesson is replete with demonstrations to grab students’ attention. Through the visuals, students are able to make connections to everyday objects and their physical properties.

    E:

    The lesson’s demonstrations allow students to experience physical properties first-hand and relate them to their daily life. They can relate what they saw during the demonstrations to the questions of the lab.

    R:

    The demonstrations give students experiences that they can apply to more complex situations. For example, as you demonstrate the density of CO2 being greater than that of air, students should relate that fact to fire extinguishers, even though the connection may not be explicitly mentioned during class.

    E:

    Students express their understanding of the lesson’s material during the lab.

    T:

    Some students may benefit from helping with or even conducting a demonstration. The teacher may ask students to write down a hypothesis based on previous knowledge before they perform the demonstration. An extension for students who may be going beyond the standards is provided as well.

    O:

    The lesson is organized so that students are taught basic definitions first and then apply them to an experiment. They are able to interact with the teacher and their classmates during these demonstrations, which culminate in the summary lab and lab questions. The lesson’s material is then applied throughout the remaining lessons.

Instructional Procedures

  • View

    Fill a large glass with water even to the rim. Ask students, “Is this glass of water full? How many paper clips do you think I could add to this glass of water, before the water overflows?” Students will see that you can add many more paper clips to the glass than they thought.

    Follow this demonstration with another quick example:

    1. Give a penny, pipette, and a small jar of water to every fourth student.

    2. Have groups of four (at their desks) first estimate how many drops of water the surface of the penny will hold before the water spills over the sides, and then perform the experiment.

    3. Have students place the penny on the desk and begin to place as many drops of water as they can on the coin until water runs off the surface of the penny.

    For an extension, students could try this same demonstration with isopropyl alcohol or an alkane, such as hexane, instead of water.

    Part 1

    Ask students, “Why do you think you can add several more paper clips to the already full glass of water? Why could you add more drops of water to the penny than you could with alcohol or hexane?” Let students make educated guesses. Some may offer answers such as, the water is denser or it sticks together more. Tell them, “All of the substances that we looked have unique physical properties. The physical property you just explored is called surface tension, which allowed the water molecules to cling to the side of the glass and the penny.”

    Let this answer guide you into a discussion of physical properties. Put the definition of physical properties on the board, overhead or interactive white board. Working with water, ask students to brainstorm other physical properties of water. On the board, make a list of their answers. When you feel that they have exhausted their guesses, circle the ones that are correct and then add properties that were not yet guessed. Define each. Below is a list of some physical properties. You may add to or remove from the list any properties you want.

    • Viscosity: Viscosity describes a liquid’s resistance to flow. Greater resistance is higher viscosity.

    • Density: Density is a physical property that describes how much mass is in a specific volume. D = m/v.

    • Conductivity: Describes how well something conducts electricity.

    • Magnetism: Describes how matter responds to a magnetic field.

    • Boiling/Melting/Freezing Point: The temperature at which a substance boils/melts/freezes.

    • Thermal Expansion/Contraction: Describes the change in volume as a substance is heated or cooled.

    • Malleability: How easily a substance can be molded, bent, and shaped.

    • Ductility: the extent to which a material can be deformed plastically without fracturing.

    • Surface Tension: The cohesive forces between liquid molecules.

    • Volatility: A measure of the tendency of a substance to evaporate.

    Part 2

    Demonstrate some of water’s physical properties.

      Demonstration 1(Boiling Point)

      Set up a distillation apparatus on the front counter. Add tap water and food coloring to the round bottom flask. Let the water distill for a few minutes. Explain that distillation “is a method of physically separating a mixture based on the boiling points of the components in the mixture. The mixture is made from water and food coloring. Water has a specific boiling point (at a given pressure), which is 100ºC. Food coloring has a higher boiling point than water. You will see the water boil first, vaporize into a gas, and then condense back into liquid water (because of the cool water running around the outermost channel). Eventually, you will be left with just dye in the round bottom flask and pure water in the beaker.” If you do not have access to a distillation apparatus, you can show students a distillation animation, such as this one: http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/science10/unita/redon18.html

      Demonstration 2 (Thermal Contraction/Expansion)

      Ask students, “Has anyone left a can of soda in the freezer or in a cold car too long?” Most students have had experience with this and will acknowledge that the can exploded. Then ask, “Of what is soda mainly made?” Students might say sugar, bubbles, and water. Focus on water, which is over 90% of soda’s volume. “Soda is mainly water, which, unlike most liquids, expands when it freezes! This is a physical property of water, called thermal expansion.”

    If you have access to liquid nitrogen, you could fill a balloon with helium and place it in the liquid nitrogen to see that helium contracts when it is cooled, unlike water. If you do not have access to liquid nitrogen, you could demonstrate the same thing by placing the balloon in the freezer for about an hour.

      Demonstration 3 (Density)

      Introduce this next physical property with a glass of ice water sitting on the front table. Ask students what they notice about the glass. Lead them to thinking about why the ice cubes are floating on the liquid water. Remind them that the solid ice and liquid water are the same thing, just in different states. Explain, “Solid water is less dense than liquid water. As water freezes, it expands, creating more volume. Since density is a function of volume, solid water is less dense. Less dense substances will float!” Do a follow up demonstration using isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Fill a graduated cylinder with the alcohol and place ice cubes in the cylinder. The ice will sink because it has a greater density than isopropyl alcohol.

    In a clear tank (an empty aquarium would work) place several liters of water. In front of students, place a can of cola and a can of diet cola into the tank. Explain, “There is considerably more mass per unit volume in the regular cola than the diet cola, causing it to be denser and sink.”

      Demonstration 4 (Conductivity)

      Place a sample of distilled water that you purchased from the store (or use the distilled water from Demonstration 1) in a beaker. Use a conductivity set with a light bulb to show that distilled water is a poor conductor of electricity. Do the same with salt water, which will be a better conductor.

      Demonstration 5 (Viscosity)

      Pour a small amount of honey from a high height (so students can see) into a jar. Do the same with water. Ask, “which substance has a higher viscosity, remembering that viscosity is resistance to flow?”

    Lab Activity

    Use the Physical Properties Lab–Teacher Version sheet (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Teacher Version.doc) to set up the Physical Properties lab and to correct and assess students’ work when they have finished the lab. Assign students to teams. Hand out Physical Properties Lab–Student Version (S-8-5-1_Physical Properties Lab Student Version.doc) to students. In their groups, they should complete the information tables on the unknown substances and answer the analysis questions.

    Extension:

    • For students performing above and beyond the standards, consider discussing fractional distillation, used in the petroleum industry. For details and an animation of this process, go to: http://www.howstuffworks.com/oil-refining4.htm

    • If you have access to dry ice (CO2), you can place about 3 cups of it in an aquarium. Let it sublimate for 10 to 15 minutes. Light a candle. Take a beaker and “scoop” out some of the CO2 vapor. It will look to students as if you are not removing anything. Quickly pour the vapor over the burning candle. The flame will extinguish due to the density of CO2. Relate this to fire extinguishers.

Related Instructional Videos

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DRAFT 11/18/2010
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