In this unit, we will learn about matter – the atoms and molecules that make up everything around us. We will see how matter can be described, identified, and classified based on both its physical and chemical properties. Through experiments and demonstrations, we will be able to observe and describe many of these properties, as well as how properties can be changed through physical and chemical processes.
Earth’s water is also recycled and distributed around our planet through a series of physical changes called the water cycle. This unit will also examine the stages of the water cycle and its importance in providing the water needed to sustain life on Earth.
Lesson 1: What is Matter? In lesson 1, we talk about matter as being anything that has mass and takes up space. Matter as combinations of atoms and molecules makes up the world around us. Matter generally exists in one of three states: solids, liquids, and gasses. We will look at these states and the transitions between each. In this lesson, we will also be discussing how we can measure the mass, or amount of matter in an object. An objects mass can be measured using a balance scale. We will also look at the measurement of volume – the amount of space that an object takes up. Liquid volumes can be measured using graduated cylinders, while the volume of solid objects can be measured through a process called displacement. The ability to accurately measure mass and volume are important skills for many of our lab activities, and students will have the opportunity during this lesson to practice measuring the mass and volume of several different objects. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 2: Density In lesson 2, we will be studying density, an important physical property of matter. The property of density measures the amount of matter in a fixed volume. An objects density shows the relationship between the mass and volume of an object or substance. Density is measured in grams per cubic centimeter. This means that for a substance with a density of 1g/cc, one cubic centimeter of the substance will have a mass of one gram. In a very dense material, the molecules will be packed tightly together; but in a less dense material, there will be more space between molecules. In this lesson, we will compare the density of a variety of different materials, as well as calculate the density of several substances. Using substances with known densities, we will also predict and test the buoyancy of those substances. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 3: Physical Properties of Matter In lesson 3, we will begin to explore several properties of matter. All matter has properties – characteristics that allow it to be described and classified. All properties of matter can be classified as either physical properties or chemical properties. In this lesson, we will begin our study of properties of matter by looking at physical properties. Physical properties are the characteristics that can be observed and measured without chemically changing the object or substance. Physical properties include characteristics like color, density, melting point, and more. We will be examining and measuring physical properties of a variety of objects and substances during this lesson. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 4: Chemical Properties of Matter In lesson 4, we will be looking at chemical properties of matter. Unlike physical properties, observing a material’s chemical properties requires a chemical reaction that results in a change to the material. Understanding a substance’s chemical properties allow us to predict how it will react with other substances and energy sources. Chemical properties can help us to predict how a substance will react with fire, acids or bases, oxygen, or other chemicals. Observing chemical properties during and following reactions also allow us to better understand and describe chemical reactions that occur. During this lesson we will examine and test the chemical properties of several different substances. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 5: Changes in Matter In Lesson 5, we will investigate the types of changes that can happen to matter. Although the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy teaches us that new matter is not being created in our universe, the matter that makes it up is constantly undergoing changes. These changes in matter can be classified as either physical or chemical changes. Physical changes are changes that happen without a chemical action. These changes do not change the chemical composition of a substance and are often easily reversible. Chemical changes, on the other hand, happen as a result of a chemical reaction. These changes occur on the molecular level and result in the formation of a new substance. During this lesson students will also have the opportunity to demonstrate their own examples of physical and chemical changes in matter. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 6: Earth’s Water Cycle In Lesson 6, the final lesson of this unit, we will be learning about Earth’s water cycle. Earth’s water is essential for life on our planet. In this lesson, we will learn about the ongoing process by which water is moved, recycled and reused around our planet by natural processes. The water cycle is made up of the processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. Other processes such as runoff and transpiration also play important roles in our water cycle. We will look at each component of the water cycle in detail, as well as the water cycle’s importance to life on Earth. It is these processes that allow plants and animals to have the water that they use every day. Download PDF Notes
Resources and Other Documentation
Unit 6 Guided Notes The guided notes for each unit provide students with a printable copy of notes summarizing the content from each class. Blanks are inserted into the notes where key facts or content should appear. As information is covered during class, students should write missing content into the blanks to complete the guided notes. These guided notes may also be used as a review tool for unit tests. Students may print a copy of the guided notes and fill in the missing content. This can be checked using the complete PDF notes for each lesson.