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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsSPEAKER: The focus of this week is states of matter-- solids, liquids, and gases. In the world around us and in the known universe, matter makes up all that exists. That matter can be classified into three states-- solids, liquids, and gases. In primary science, children are introduced to these states of matter. They need to be given ample opportunity to explore a wide range of each and experience tricky materials to classify, such as sand and jelly. An understanding of particles within matter is not a necessary part of the primary curriculum, however, many schools do introduce the concept as a visual depiction of particles can help them grasp the nature and properties of each state.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsThroughout the week, you will learn more about the three states of matter in order to extend your own existing subject knowledge. You'll be guided through some common misconceptions children may have and discover ways to elicit them through your teaching. Finally, you'll learn how to address these misconceptions by planning activities which helped to reconstruct the children's ideas.

Introduction to solids, liquids and gases

This week we will look at the states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. Children need plenty of opportunities to explore changes in state, such as evaporation and freezing. Although an understanding of particles is not required at primary level, modelling the particles in a substance can help children to understand the nature and properties of each state.

We start this week with some subject knowledge and the particle model of solids, liquids and gases.

Initial thoughts

What do you think are the challenges in teaching states of matter at primary level? Share your thoughts below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry

National STEM Learning Centre