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Title of the Unit:

Solids and Liquids in First Grade

Teacher: Erin Sorenson Grade Level: 1st Duration (weeks): 3-4 weeks

Over-arching CONCEPT Change

Sub-concept: Solids and Liquids

• What is matter?
Essential Questions • What are the properties of a solid?
• What are the properties of a liquid?
• How does matter change state?
• How does the ability of matter to change state make a
difference in our daily lives?

As a result of this unit, students • Everything around us is matter.

will UNDERSTAND… • We can describe solids and liquids using words that
describe their attributes and properties.
• The ability of matter to change from liquid to solid and
from solid to liquid has an effect on our daily lives.
• Many solids and liquids can change state when heat is
applied or taken away.
• Scientists use specific skills in their work.

As a result of this unit, students • Content vocabulary: matter, property, solid, liquid,
will KNOW… change in state, substance, and more (see Colchester
Science Curriculum Draft, March 2007).
• Inquiry vocabulary: experiments, predicting, data
• Objects are made of many types of materials.
• Solids have the properties of hardness, color, and the
ability to maintain shape.
• A solid has a definite shape that will not change when
the solid is moved from one place to another. A force
must be applied or energy exerted to change the shape
of a solid.
• Liquids have the properties of color, tendency to flow,
ability to mix with other liquids, and taking the shape
of the given container.
• Liquids have no shape of their own, but they do have
constant volume—6 ounces of water is the same in a
tall glass versus a short glass (even though it may look
like more or less).
• Some materials exist in both solid and liquid states.
• Heating and cooling can change states of matter.
• The states of liquids and solids remain constant in some
circumstances (ex: solids remain solid when broken;
liquids remain liquid when poured), but may change in
other circumstances (ex: liquids may freeze when the
temperature drops; solids may melt when heated).
• Some solids and liquids can be combined to make
useful substances.
• Water is unique because it is the only substance that
occurs naturally in all three states (solid, liquid, gas) on
our Earth.
• Name two or more properties of solids and liquids.
As a result of this unit, students • Compare/contrast solids and liquids.
will be able to DO…. • Sort and classify items as solids or liquids based on
their properties.
• Use appropriate vocabulary in describing their
investigations, explorations, and observations (ex:
liquids can be viscous, clear, runny, greasy, etc.; solids
can be granular, hard, opaque, etc.)
• Give an example of when the state of a liquid remains
constant. (Do the same for a solid.)
• Give an example of when the state of a liquid changes.
(Do the same for a solid.)
• Name a useful example of mixing a solid with a liquid
in your daily life.
• Name an example of a solid that does not mix with a
liquid in your daily life.
• Ask questions.
• Make observations.
• Carry out simple experiments.
• Interpret data related to changing solids to liquids and
liquids to solids.
• Work independently.
• Work cooperatively.
• Describe how the ability of matter to change states
affects our world.
Pre-assessment • Complete a R-A-N chart (the columns are as follows:
What we THINK we know, Confirmed, New/Revised
Information, Wonderings)
• Sorting activity (one-on-one): Students visit my table
and sort a variety of objects in a basket labeled “solids”
and a basket labeled “liquids.”
• Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
Differentiated Instructional • Brainstorming
Strategies used in the Unit • Children’s literature (both fiction and nonfiction)
• Songs
• Poems
• Activity Sheets
• Graphic Organizers (paper and electronic)
• Learning Stations
• Think-Pair-Share
• Pre-assessment
• Small-group investigations
• Student choice concerning groupings
• Student choice regarding activities
• Tiered assignments
• Choices regarding how to convey new knowledge
(varied assessment tasks)
• Use of technology

Anchor Activities—When students have finished their differentiated activities they will have a
menu of activities from which to choose.

• Browse the Solids and Liquids book tub.

• Write a riddle about a solid or a liquid.
• Use websites with solids and liquids activities:
2/SolidsandLiquids/index.html and
• Make an ABC book of solids and liquids—draw pictures and use invented spelling to
come up with a solid or liquid that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
• Create a collage of solids or a collage of liquids—use pictures of items from
• Complete a Start-Change-End diagram to show the change of a solid to a liquid or a
liquid to a solid (could be a recap of an experiment we’ve done in class or a new idea).
• Sort solids/liquids according to their properties: solids (color, hardness) liquids (color,
• Choose a solids and liquids poem and illustrate/complete to put in your Poetry/Song
• Write a “how to” book about a solids/liquids experiment we did in class or write an
experiment of your own that explores solids/liquids.
• Make up a song or play that will teach the class about solids/liquids or changing states of
• Conduct sink/float experiments.
• Create structures with solid objects of many types.
• Create art using solids and liquids.