Rachel Teasley
English Language Arts, Other, Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson
Lower Elementary
  • 2nd Grade
  • Lesson Plan
  • Properties of Matter
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Properties of Matter

    Properties of Matter


    This lesson is about the properties of matter, and it is geard towards lower elementary school students (specifically for 2nd grade). This lesson has many scaffolds for all learners including pictures, sentence frames, and precision partnering discussions. It also incorporates many engaging opportunities for students to learn these skills in a hands-on and engaging way!

    All cited sources can be found on the bottom of this lesson plan.

    Title Image: "Solid~Liquid~Gas" by Ajith_chatie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


    In this lesson, students will learn about the different properties of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and complete a writing assignment about the differences between the properties. This lesson plan has all of the resources teachers will need, as well as the vocabulary routines for each vocabulary word.

    • This lesson should take about 8 days. 
    • The format will be synchronous learning, with the ability to have students review in an asynchronous way. 
    • This lesson was created by myself, Rachel Teasley.


    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of the properties of matter and how those properties change from one form to another. You will need to have access to technology that can be displayed for Nearpod, as well as students' background knowledge of how to log on to Nearpod. 

    You will need knowledge about key people/concepts/vocabulary/formulas before teaching this lesson, such as the vocabulary words matter, solid, liquid, form, and change. You will also need to establish precision partners and precision groups ahead of time. 

    Nearpod will be used for the technology portion of this lesson. You may also want to make sure your students' computers are fully charged, and they have access on their computers. 


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to classify different types of materials based on patterns of their observable properties. 
    • Students will be able to read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings. 
    • Students will be able to write an informative text in which they will introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement. 

    Success Criteria:

    • Students will classify pictures to determine what type of property they are, and explain their classification to a classmate.
    • Students will read a passage about the different properties of matter, using expression, accuracy, and appropriate rate while reading.
    • Students will write an informative paragraph, describing the different properties of matter, using facts and definitions and providing a topic and concluding sentence.


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of objects the type of objects they can pick up and objects they cannot pick up (examples include a toy, water, a seat, air). They do not need to know that these items are solids, they just need to be able to understand the characteristics of what makes an object solid (e.i. it has a shape, it cannot fill an entire space (that is liquid). The teacher can start with a KWL chart in the front of the room. This allows the teacher to also see what the class knows and wants to know about the properties of matter. You can use this as an indication of what to go over prior to teaching the lesson.
    • Make sure you look over the resources attached to the bottom of this section: States of Matter Anchor Chart. You will need this resource throughout the lesson, so make sure you familiarize yourself with it and remember where it is located.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    • Provide many picture examples of solids, liquids, and gases. Make sure to have videos available to show students the examples of properties, as well. Make sure to have the sentence frames displayed in the front of the room during the vocabulary routine, and precision partners are established for diverse learners to put their thoughts into complete sentences. When students start reading, make sure students are partnered up and read chorally with their partners. Also make sure to guide students in looking at the available pictures while they are reading. Before starting the writing process, make sure guided sentence stems are available on the four square and on the lined paper. 

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction

    Vocabulary Words: matter, gas, liquid, solid, form, change

    Materials: Nearpod "Properties of Matter", sticky note pads (one per student), chocolate Hershey bars (1 small bag), graham crackers, slow cooker (or anything that is allowed at your school that will cook the chocolate slowly), main idea and details graphic organizer, four square, rubric, and sentence frames.

    *An attachment of the "Properties of Matter" presentation has been added in case there are any issues with Nearpod. 


    Day 1 :

    *Teacher displays the Nearpod slide and goes over the vocabulary routine for the word: solid.

    Teacher Question: What kinds of solid examples can you think of?

    Teacher writes the word “solid” on the board. Students write or draw pictures of solids on a sticky note, and tape them under the word solid on the board. Students share examples in class. The teacher completes the vocabulary routine with the PowerPoint for liquid and gas. The teacher also completes the same routine with writing the word on the board, having students draw or write an example, and examples are shared with the class.

    Nearpod: Think/Pair/Share

    Students will use the interactive part of the Nearpod. Students will share if they think a picture is solid, liquid, or gas. They will use the sentence frames to form their thoughts when talking with their partners.


    Day 2 :

    Teacher: Scavenger Hunt

    The teacher will review the words solid, liquid, and gas on the vocabulary slides of the Nearpod. Then, the teacher will take students on a Matter Scavenger Hunt around the school. Students will draw pictures or write down examples of solids, liquids, and gases on sticky notes. Students will then share their examples in the class when they come back. The teacher will write the words solid, liquid, and gas on the board. Students will stick their sticky note pictures on the board, and the class will discuss some of the examples together.


    Day 3 :

    Teacher: Anchor Chart

    The teacher will introduce an anchor chart that will show the different states of matter. The anchor chart will also include the process of how the properties of matter change. The teacher will include examples, such as saying “If I take an ice cube out of the fridge, and leave it on the counter, what will happen?” Students will then say what happens to the ice cube and the state of matter it becomes. The teacher will demonstrate this question by putting an ice cube in a cup, and have students observe what happens to the ice cube in the cup as the teacher is talking.


    Day 4:

    Substance Thoughts:

    The teacher will show a picture of an ice cube. They will ask students to think about how they can change the ice cube's property from a solid to something else. After students think for 15 seconds, the teacher will ask students to share their ideas with their partners. The teacher will then call on a pair and ask them to share how they would change the property of the ice cube. The teacher will repeat this activity, but with a picture of a plastic toy. After the sharing portion, the teacher will ask students to think of an object in their heads. Students can write it on a sticky note or draw it on their boards (if the teacher wishes). The teacher will then ask students to think about how the property of the object can be changed. As students are thinking, the teacher can display a sentence frame: My object is a ________________. The property of it is a ___________. I can change its property by _____________.

    The teacher will allow students to share with partners, then the teacher will call on students to share with the class.

    Candy Melt Activity:

    The teacher will show students hard Hershey candy. They will discuss what properties make up the candy bar, and predict if the candy bar can change properties and why. The teacher will put the chocolate bars in a slow cooker and let the chocolate melt until it is pure liquid. Students will observe the new property of the chocolate, and discuss why that happened. The teacher can then pass out graham crackers and let students enjoy dipping the snack into the chocolate mix. Students will compare this activity to the ice cube experiment that the teacher showed the previous day.


    Day 5:

    States of Matter Fluency Passage

    The teacher will pass out the states of matter reading passage: Water Takes Three Forms. Students will read the passage with the teacher.

    Students will fill out the main idea and details graphic organizer together. The teacher will scaffold ways to help students find notes in the passage about the facts of each state of matter. 


    Day 6:

    Substance Song:

    The teacher will show students the properties of matter anchor chart. The teacher will tell students they will create their own song for the properties of matter. The teacher can start by tapping their thigh to a two-count beat. The teacher can also scaffold by starting the song with these lyrics:

    "A solid...a solid is _(hard)_____. It can be ___(picked up)____ or it can be ____(dropped down)_____. BUT if...but if it gets ____(hot)____. The property will change, and the change will be ___(liquid)____. A liquid...a liquid is ___(watery)_____. It can fill up a ____(cup)___.." and so on. The students will create the song with the teacher, and they will sing it with the beat of the sound the teacher is making.

    Graphic Organizer to 4-Square:

    Students transfer the main idea and details of the graphic organizer to the four square sheet. The teacher will scaffold the steps of filling out the four square in order to help students transfer the information from their graphic organizers.


    Day 7 :

    4-Square Transfer:

    The teacher will share out student examples in class for about 5-10 minutes.

    Students will share their four squares with other students. They will transfer their four square writing to lined paper. The teacher will make sure to provide students with the rubric and go over the expectation of what should be included on the writing.


    Day 8 : 

    Rubric Corrections/Final Draft:

    Students self-correct using the rubric with their papers (using one pen color). After all students are finished self-correcting, the teacher will tell them to pass their papers to another student (pre-planned for precision partnering).

    Students will have a peer correct their paper using the rubric (using a different color pen). Students will receive their writing back from their peers, and look over the mistakes that their classmate found. If students have any questions, they can ask the teacher. 

    The teacher will correct the papers of all of the students, using the rubric (using a third color pen). This may need to be one-on-one correcting with the student by the teacher, or whatever way works best for the teacher. The teacher will go over the mistakes that each student made, or provide ideas for what the students should include on their papers. Once the students have all of the mistakes corrected, they will write their final draft on lined paper. The teacher will check the paper one more time, and go over the writing (if there are any mistakes) with the students.

    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    1. Students will first demonstrate mastery with precision partnering on the carpet. With the use of sentence frames and pictures provided by the teacher, the teacher will be able to make observations with groups of students who are understanding the science vocabulary in the lesson.
    2. The next formative assessment is the scavenger hunt post its. The teacher will be able to check for mastery of written or drawn pictures of the vocabulary as students are walking around the school. For additional assessment, the teacher will be able to observe and check if students are able to identify their observations with the academic vocabulary on the board.
    3. The next assessment is the candy melt, in which the teacher will be able to again observe conversations between students to see who is able to understand the properties from the activity and describe them.
    4. Reading the passage and filling out the graphic organizer will allow the teacher to check students' understanding in not only the academic vocabulary, but also taking definitions and facts from the vocabulary and implementing those in the graphic organizer.
    5. The four-square is a way for the teacher to check and make sure students' thoughts are organized and including the writing standards in this lesson (topic/concluding sentences, using facts, captialization).
    6. The writing on lined paper is the summative assessment. This will be the overall test to see what students have learned from the entire science lesson (academic vocabulary, facts and definitions, using complete sentences, expression thoughts in complete sentences). The rubric is a way for students to check their writing to correct themselves and their peers. It also holds them accountable for what they are learning and the expectations for the assessment.

    Cited Resources

    Title Image: "Solid~Liquid~Gas" by Ajith_chatie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

    "Water Takes Three Forms" reading passage: Kreisman, R. (no date) Water Takes Three Forms, ReadWorks. Available at: (Accessed: 23 July 2023).

    Main Idea Graphic Organizer: (No date) Comprehension - FCRR. Available at: (Accessed: 24 July 2023).

    States of Matter Anchor Chart: Amanda (2019) 9 must make anchor charts for Science, Mrs. Richardson’s Class. Available at: (Accessed: 23 July 2023).

    Four Square: Four square writing method - free printable template worksheet (no date) Welcome to Student! 100% free teaching materials for students in kindergarten through high school--lesson plans, worksheets, PowerPoints, outlines, interactive games, puzzles, and so much more! Available at: (Accessed: 24 July 2023). 

    Nearpod Photos:

    "Melting" by Trinity is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Animal glue liquid" by Simon Eugster – Simon / ?! 15:03, 10 May 2008 (UTC) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

    "Natural Gas" by todbaker is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "blackberry watermelon popsicle" by stu_spivack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "toy car, perched" by grendelkhan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "milk" by stu_spivack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Rainbow" by Stephen Hynds is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Chair" by DBduo Photography is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Clock on East Montague" by North Charleston is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Ingoldmells roller-coaster" by ☺ Lee J Haywood is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Blue Water" by fox_kiyo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "paint bucket" by shadysidelantern is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Honey Show 2" by Vicky Brock is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Smoke" by Centophobia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Fire" by Luca Bove is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Clouds" by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "The volcano, Popocatepetl (Nahuatl for 'Smoking Mountain', on the east side of the Valley of Mexico, errupts on Dec.2018" by Chilangabacho is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

    "Helium" by Beige Alert is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Love Coffee" by Ahmed Rabea is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Tomato Juice" by liber is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Tree" by subflux is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Fog" by sumidiot is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "coconut pumpkin soup" by stu_spivack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Snowflake" by Gui Seiz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    "Dandelion" by Steve Dawson. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.