KET's Everyday Science is funded in part by Kentucky Power and the American Electric Power Foundation and PNC Bank.
Everything we see is made up of matter; it’s what gives things volume. Matter is comprised of three states: solids, liquids, and gases. Look at your desk at school. That’s a solid. The milk you drink for lunch? That’s a liquid. And helium—that invisible substance that fills birthday balloons—is a gas. This video helps young children begin to understand the three states of matter and their properties.
This resource is part of the KET Everyday Science collection.
One of the most basic scientific concepts is that everything is made of matter. Matter exists in three states: solid, liquid, and gas. (There is also a fourth state, plasma, that is similar to gas.) Each of these states of matter has properties or characteristics that help us identify it.
For example, although a pencil is lighter and takes up less space than a notebook, both have a definite shape. That is why they are both solids. One of the properties of a solid is its definite shape.
The milk you drink takes the shape of the cup or glass into which it is poured. If you spill it on the floor, it will spread out over a large area. You can see the milk, but it has no shape of its own. This is one of the properties of a liquid.
Unlike solids or liquids, gases can easily be compressed so that they fit into smaller spaces. They also can expand into larger spaces. Think about the smell of cookies baking in your kitchen. The air in your house—a gas—allows that delightful smell to spread far away from the oven.
Water is a unique substance, because we encounter it, almost daily, in all three states of matter. You drink a glass of water with dinner or after playing outside. When water is frozen, it turns into ice, a solid, and you can put it in a drink to make it colder. Perhaps your parents heat water to make coffee or tea. When water is heated long enough, it changes from a liquid to a gas. When water changes from a liquid to a gas, that process is called evaporation.
Evaporation is part of the earth’s water cycle, which is how our planet uses and reuses water. The sun provides energy through heat that causes water found in oceans, lakes, rivers, puddles—just about anywhere—to become warm and evaporate. When water evaporates, it changes from a liquid to a gas called water vapor.
Water vapor rises into cooler air and forms clouds. As the vapor cools and the clouds grow larger, water droplets in the clouds become too heavy to stay suspended in the atmosphere. The water vapor changes back into a liquid and falls back to earth in the form of rain or other precipitation. Once again that water becomes part of oceans, lakes, rivers, and puddles.
solid, liquid, gas, vapor, evaporation, steam
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.