The States of Matter
A lesson on the states of matter.
• To introduce students to the three most common states of matter.
To explain the characteristics of each state, including how it is different from the others.
To explain how matter can transition between states.
To provide examples of matter changing state.
To present exercises that test students? understanding of the three states of matter.
When matter is in a solid state, it holds its shape. The molecules of the matter are very close together, and they barely move. The atoms that make up the molecules of a solid are in motion, because all atoms are moving all the time. Even though the tiny atom particles are in motion, the molecules are not free to go anywhere they want. The solid stays in one position. You can hold a solid in your hand.
Many solids do not have much, if any, flexibility. That means they can?t be easily bent or molded into a new shape. For example, a rock can not change its shape unless it breaks. Some solids, like clay, can be molded and changed. But some kind of force must be applied to change the shape.