This past week, we finished our second chemistry unit on the Properties of Matter. We explored physical properties (which do not change what the object is) and chemical properties. We did a lot of hands-on activities exploring density and determining the density of various materials.
At the beginning of the year, we spent time first exploring the different states of matter. Then, in this unit we dove into more detail about how matter is classified. Just as scientists classify the living world, they also divide the non-living world into categories. We looked closely at matter: pure substances and mixtures.
- Elements & Compounds
- Overview of the Periodic Table
- Physical and Chemical Properties
- Activities on Density
- Mixtures: Solutions, Colloids and Suspensions
- Solutions: Solvent, Solutes, Saturation Point
We knew from our previous unit that matter is everything that has weight and takes up space. We went on to talk about elements, compounds and mixtures. Elements, of course, consist of just one type of atom while compounds are made of one type of molecule.
We read from a couple different science books including this one: Elements and Compounds, Building Blocks of Matter (affiliate link).
We also worked through a number of worksheets I made for the kids. (And we used review cards to go over the material we had learned as we progressed through this unit.)
We spent time talking about the organization Periodic Table again. (We did a chemistry unit last year that went into detail about the Periodic Table last year as well. I’ll link to some of those posts below). We talked about the four main groups – alkali metals, alkaline Earth metals, halogens and noble gases.
And, we also spent time talking about metals vs. non-metals. The kids really enjoyed talking about the major elements we have in our body and those that are toxic to humans!
We also spent one day talking about molecular vs. structural formulas again.
Here are a couple of those (of course, the packet contains the answer sheets as well).
Next, we went on to talk about the physical properties of matter. We spent several days brainstorming this list… how we can tell different substances from another. Things like… Size, Density, Mass, Volume, Color, Freezing point, Boiling point, Viscosity, Flexibility. Over the course of several days we wrote out our list (and continued reviewing some of our chemistry cards).
Then, came the really fun hands-on part of this unit! We did a number of activities on density. I won’t go into much detail here (I explained these in the packet), but we did activities a density cube set and equal mass, different substances set.
We also spent time building molecules in this unit:
We purchased a number of science materials specifically for this unit.
Are these totally necessary? (I know many homeschoolers are on a tight budget.) Well, at this point I have two middle school-age kids so I really felt like doing some lab work with calculations (and a lab report) were important skills for them to build. At the very least, you would need a graduated cylinder and a scale to be able to make calculations about density.
Also, it is really important that kids start to become familiar with how molecules are put together. This will be really important as they move into high school chemistry.
Materials we used in this unit: (These are affiliate links)
- Molecular Model Kit for building molecules (see pages 72-84 in the packet)
- Graduated cylinder set: We got this glass graduated cylinder set: Karter Scientific Glass Graduated Cylinder 3 Piece Set 10, 50 & 100ml
- We got the Density Cube Set but this set of 10 would work well too: Density Cube Set. I saw cheap sets, but was worried when people said the dimensions of the cubes were off. Carolina.com (a science supply company also has Density Cube sets.)
- Equal mass set (Diverse materials): There are different options available. We got this one ETA hand2mind, Equal Mass Diverse Materials Set, (41785). This set has brass, aluminum, nylon, PVC, and clear acrylic.
- We also had a scale that could measure in grams. We purchased the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. This kitchen scale has been perfect for our needs (and we’ve used it pretty regularly for science in the past couple of years).
We spent just one day talking about chemical properties – things like rust, tarnish, radioactivity, etc. The kids will go over this in much more detail in another couple of years.
In the last part of our unit we talked about mixtures. We talked about the difference between solutions and suspensions. I had the kids do a worksheet about homogeneous (with examples like water and mouthwash) and heterogeneous mixtures (with examples like pizza and sand) to help them understand that some things mix thoroughly and others don’t.
We went over the difference between a solute and a solvent… and did a couple of hands-on activities to explore those.
As I said above, we spent time each day going over the material in this unit. Some things were new and challenging for my kids. As with most of our units, I’m sure we’ll have to return to this material again in a couple of years!
This Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter Unit was mainly for my older two kids who are currently 10 and 13, Grades 6 and 8. This packet has been updated and is now 100 pages.
The cost of the Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter Packet is $6.99. This unit is a PDF download.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions or problems! ~Liesl
Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!
New! Chemistry BUNDLE purchase these 4 units together
- States of Matter Packet
- Properties of Matter Packet
- Electricity & Circuits Packet
- Chemistry Packet
Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link.
$23.99 Chemistry BUNDLE (States of Matter Packet, Properties of Matter Packet, Electricity & Circuits Packet, Chemistry Packet)
You can also purchase these 4 packets separately
Click on the link to see more details about each of these units:
Electricity and Circuits Packet: Two other physical properties are whether a substance is a conductor or an insulator. It made sense then to move into a unit exploring electricity and circuits. I have more than a dozen hands-on activities planned for this unit… everything from building simple and parallel circuits, to doing paper circuits and building a small motorized robot! Stay tuned for that! Here’s a sneak peek:
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post and in the chemistry packet 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 Unit: The Periodic Table
- Chemistry Unit: Bohr Diagrams – free printable
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Matter is Neither Created Nor Destroyed — Acids and Bases
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Mixtures, Chromatography, DNA Kit
- 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.