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States of Matter

In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

4:22 Classification of Matter

4:05 P1: States Of Matter (Revision)

3:58 Misconceptions About Temperature


Compare Contrast and Debate

Background: Water is often used as an example for “states of matter” because water is so common. Almost everyone in the USA beyond 10 years old knows and understands that ice melts into water and water evaporates into steam in the air. When teaching about “states of matter” – perhaps students would benefit from an example other than water. But then again, using using a familiar example can be helpful.

  • Position A: High School students should be presented an example OTHER THAN water to become familiar with “states of matter.”
  • Position B: High School students should be presented water as an example of states of matter because it is already well understood.

Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Engage in scientific argument from evidence.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Stability and Change.