Teach Matter Right This Year

Every year I feel like I spin my wheels in regards to science. If you’ve followed me for a while- you know that I LOVE science. It makes my teacher heart so happy. I have written quite a bit of blog posts about science. You can find information about the Nature of Science right here! This blog post is going to tell you all about my favorite activities to do during matter for 5th graders!

Welcome picture for Matter in 5th grade
welcome to Matter in 5th Grade

Matter in 5th Grade

Matter in 5th grade world is an entirely new ball game. It’s more than just a solid, liquid, and gas.

Students need to understand the important pieces of each element. For example, students need to know that a solid will always keep its size. This is also know as volume. The item keeps its shape. There are no flow of particles. I love bringing this to life because it really solidifies the difference.

Solid Examples
Solid Example

The best is when we try it with liquid. I get several different containers and transfer the liquid back and forth. I even toss it in the air so they can see that the shape is completely different. Matter for 5th grade is no joke.

Mixtures & Solutions

We also get into mixtures and solutions. This year, the kids struggled. We were seriously on the struggle bus. We needed to do something more meaningful. I gave the kids a TON of supplies, glue, paper plates, straws, pipe cleaners, tape, and pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I then tell the students they are about to go GOLD MINING! They are going to have to make a sifter to separate that gold out.

Things they can doThings they cannot do
Research ExamplesLook at another groups examples
Poke holes (don’t give them ideas)Try with water
Let them practice with sand

These kids showed up! The day of implementation, we poured water into their sifter. We also poured fake gold (that I got from St. Augustine years ago) and we watched to see if the golf was sifted. Some times the students water went down the drain, some didn’t. It was a great activity because the kids were able to see where they went wrong and what they could have done better on.

Physical and Chemical Changes

Physical and Chemical changes is some of the hardest pieces to understand for kids. I let the kids watch how elephant toothpaste is made, how the statue of liberty has changed, and even how things rust.

Matter for 5th grade can be insanely hard. Students struggle constantly and if you don’t have the right support, students will fall into the field of the unknown. Okay that’s a little harsh- but it’s so much better to tackle the learning head on then to let the learning slip by.

In case you want to skip the planning piece, you can check out my Power of Science Unit 2 on TpT.