We started our chemistry unit this year with a study of the States of Matter – Solids, Liquids and Gases. Today, I’m going to share four hands-on activities we did about air.
We started the unit with a discussion of the states of matter: solids, liquids and gases.
The kids had to brainstorm as many examples as they could in two minutes. Then they shared their examples. I then asked them to count how many they had listed – and challenged them to beat their previous number! I set the timer again for two minutes and they wrote furiously!! We used the printable from our States of Matter packet for this activity. Then they filled out the notebook page with pictures of various solids, liquids and gases.
Several years ago, the kids made interactive-notebook pages about the 3 States of Matter
We reviewed the characteristics of the three states (we only briefly mentioned plasma, the fourth state, though my oldest went on to read up about it online!). Each day, the kids had to sort the characteristics into the correct groups (from our States of Matter Packet):
I asked the kids if air has weight or if air takes up space. They weren’t sure, so we did a couple of activities that gas, indeed, has weight and takes up space.
Take a ziploc bag. Seal it most of the way with a straw on one end. Place a couple of books on the bag. Have your student force air into the bag through the straw demonstrating that air takes up space!
In this activity, we talked about the composition of our air. I asked the kids what gases they thought made up most of our air, they tossed out oxygen, carbon-dioxide and hydrogen. Then we talked about the actual composition of air which surprised them!
I went over how to make a bar graph and a pie graph (using markers as an example)And then I gave them the “What is in our air? handout and had them create graphs demonstrating the actual composition of air:
So, that’s about it for today. Next time I will share some of the activities we did as we learned about some of the characteristics of liquids (adhesion, cohesion, surface tension, etc.)
Over the summer I created a States of Matter Packet. I am not quite ready to share it (maybe in another couple of weeks maybe?), but wanted to share some of our fun hands-on activities in the meantime!
Coming Soon! 45+ Page Three States of Matter Packet
Chemistry Packet: Introduction to the Periodic Table
I am excited to share our new chemistry unit with you! As you know, we love hands-on activities and I want to show you some of the fun ways we explored the periodic table and touched on topics like valence electrons, Bohr Diagrams, Lewis Diagrams (electron dot diagrams), ions, isotopes, and more!
Some of the topics we explored included:
- Building the Periodic Table
- Bohr Diagrams & Understanding Valence Electrons
- Periods, Groups & Families
- hydrogen & the alkali metals, alkaline Earth metals, halogens, noble gases
- Atomic Number, Atomic Mass & Chemical Symbols
- Lewis Diagrams
- Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals
- Unusual Element Symbols
- Trends of the Periodic Table
- Electron Configuration
We did this unit together when the kids were 10, 12 and 14. I think this unit is best for middle school and up (perhaps as a supplement to for high schoolers being introduced to chemistry for the first time).
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Other chemistry posts that may be of interest:
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Matter is Neither Created Nor Destroyed — Acids and Bases
Don’t miss our FREE chemistry packet from last year:
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Mixtures, Chromatography, DNA Kit
- Chemistry Unit: Periodic Table – The chemistry unit we did last year as we learned about the main groups of the periodic table
- Alkali Metals — reactive
- Alkaline Earth Metals
- Noble Gases
- Chemistry Unit: Bohr Diagrams (this post has a free printable)
- Explosion of Colors in Milk Experiment and Other Chemistry Fun!
- Chemistry Unit: The Size of Atoms
- States of Matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas — Learning Activities
- Chemistry: Molecule Movement Experiment and Chemistry Review Worksheet These notebook pages are free.
- Science Experiments: Water Molecule Attraction
- Building Molecules Chemistry Activity This also has some free notebook pages about building molecules: