States of Matter Around the World

Science is universal. Take the states of matter for example. No matter where you go in the world matter will still be matter. We are currently studying states of matter and of course I have been thinking, “How can I take this study international?”

Well I think I have found a way. Students are gearing up to start a big science project that integrates science and technology. Using information they have learned so far about the three states of matter we focus on, solid, liquid and gas; students will go on a scavenger hunt outside around the school to take pictures of the different states using iPads. Students will also take turns recording on a graphic organizer their findings. (matterrecordingsheet) Students will take turns in the role of tech assistant, recorder and detectives.

Once they have taken pictures of the three states of matter, they will then use them to create an iMovie. Students will need to work cooperatively to create the movie using a title, pictures, captions and voice overs. This gives students a great chance to not only share science information, but practice using nonfiction text features in a meaningful way. It just so happens we are covering nonfiction text features in class this week in reading so the timing couldn’t be better!

Solid/Liquid: water, feet, and fish eating dead skin in a mall in Thailand

So how can I take this science lesson international you might be wondering? Well as a model I will make my own movie to show students what I expect them to create. Rather than use pictures from around our school, I will use pictures from different trips I have taken around the world that include examples of the three states of matter. This will be a great way to do some cross curriculum work, science and social studies rolled into one. In second grade we talk about the seven continents in social studies, so I will be able to talk about the three states of matter while also touching on countries from the different continents. This one activity will lend itself to discussions long after we finish talking about matter.


Solid:Mountain, trees, buildings in Greece
Gas: Mist floating through the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica


I am so excited to get this project started and students seem just as thrilled. This will be a great way to integrate not only multiple content areas but other 21st century skills as well. Thanks to TeachersPayTeachers I also have a great resource to teach students iPad Essentials- Movie Making. This was an essential purchase as it comes with video tutorials, graphic organizers and even vocabulary cards to make movie making a snap. It really is one of my favorite TpT purchases. I just love when I can find a way to bring travel to a lesson!

I’d love to hear what you think. Do you teach matter at your school? If you do, would you have students do an activity like this? If this activity interests you, feel free to use the graphic organizer linked on this page!




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