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Energy and States of Matter

Grades 3 - 5

Begin with a refresher on physical and chemical properties and changes. Then explore the role of energy in changing matter from solids into liquids or gases and back again. Guide students through an exciting exploration of states of matter wrapped up in 5E lesson plans where students investigate through active learning then apply their new knowledge to the phenomena of icy, wet, humid weather on Earth.

Leveled Readers are available in four Lexile Measures, distinguished by a color key on the back of each reader.

Lexile Levels
Lexile Measure Range 900-1050
Lexile Measure Range 750-900
Lexile Measure Range 600-750
Lexile Measure Range 450-600

Driving Question

How are changes in the state of water involved in thunderstorms and other weather events?

Anchor Phenomenon

Adding or taking away energy from water causes it to change from solid to liquid to gas and back again.

  Investigative Phenomena
–Focus Questions
Real-World Phenomena
Lesson 1
Properties of Matter
Focus Question How can matter be described? Real-World Phenomena
  • Artists' materials show that different kinds of matter have different properties.
Lesson 2
Changing Matter
Focus Question What happens when energy is added to or removed from matter? Real-World Phenomena
  • Recycling processes utilize both physical and chemical changes.
Lesson 3
Conservation of Matter
Focus Question What never changes about matter? Real-World Phenomena
  • The recycling of water in the closed system of the International Space Station shows how matter is conserved.
Lesson 4
Solids, Liquids, and Gases
Focus Question How do solids, liquids, and gases compare and contrast? Real-World Phenomena
  • Water is unique in that it exists in all three states at normal Earth temperatures.
Lesson 5
Focus Question What is melting and why does it happen? Real-World Phenomena
  • Energy moves from warmer matter to cooler matter, causing the particles in matter to move more rapidly.
Lesson 6
Focus Question What is freezing and why does it happen? Real-World Phenomena
  • As energy moves out of liquid matter, the particles within slow down, eventually resulting in the matter becoming solid.
Lesson 7
Evaporating and Condensing
Focus Question Why do evaporation and condensation happen? Real-World Phenomena
  • The movement of energy into and out of matter causes it to become a liquid or gas.
Lesson 8
Weather and Energy
Focus Question How does energy affect the weather? Real-World Phenomena
  • Weather phenomena can involve water in all three states—solid, liquid, and gas.