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Lesson Plan

Properties of materials: density, stickiness, elasticity, foaming

Introduction of observing molecule movement, and watching their movement in warm and cold water. Investigate properties of molecules from a selection of activities. Discuss properties at the molecular level where possible.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)

Watch the motion of molecules, by looking at fat droplets in milk being bumped by water molecules. This can be a small group activity, or set up on the side of a classroom for students to visit in their own time.

Watch how molecules move faster and slower in cold and warm water respectively. Best as a demonstration at the start or end of the lesson.

The following activities, or a selection of them, can be stations that the students rotate through.

Build molecule models, to see how molecules are different shapes, are made up of different atoms, and have different functions.

Experiment with density and buoyancy with Directed challenge 2, then discuss why things float and sink in terms of how closely packed the molecules are in solids, liquids and gases.

Make glues from household materials, and understand their molecular nature - that these kind of glues work because long molecules reach into the tiny cracks in the materials to hold them together.

Classify common materials by how rigid, elastic and malleable they are, and discuss differences at the molecular level.

Test materials for how well they make foam in water, then discuss the molecular nature of foaming molecules. Foam-making molecules have a water-loving part and a water-hating part, so that they surround air bubbles and stabilize them to form foam.

Test materials for how well they conduct electricity. This is a property of materials that have free electrons, that can make a current.


isas did Brownian motion, Warm and cold water, Glue followed with additional free experimentation including making ooblek, then elastic/rigid classification including home made silly putty.
Tyee did Brownian motion (as a set up on the side to visit during the lesson), then stations to rotate through: buoyancy (density of molecules), glue (stickniess), molecule model free play (molecule shapes), foam (intermediate students only).

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Gr 7
Alane Lublow
Becky Evermon
Daphne Gurney
Hannah Langille
Lia Cuccurullo
Nellie Wong
Nina Hooker
Scott Malin
Taz Ismail
Site tested: 
ingridscience afterschool
Tyee Elementary
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: