Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Gas
Balloons in various shapes and sizes
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Place the bottom of a funnel into the opening of the balloon. You may need to stretch the
opening of the balloon a little bit so that it fits.
2. Pour the yeast and the sugar into the balloon through the funnel.
3. Fill the measuring cup with warm water and carefully pour the water into the balloon.
4. Remove the funnel from the opening of the balloon.
5. Tie a knot in the balloon to keep the water-and-yeast mixture inside. Measure your balloon.
6. Place the balloon in a warm place and wait.
7. Measure your balloon again.
The balloon begins to get bigger and bigger. The yeast uses the sugar and warm water to grow and as
it grows it expands and gets bubbly. By being ―bubbly‖ the yeast gives off carbon dioxide, the same gas
that your body produces when you breathe, and the gas inflates the balloon.
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Gas
Clear drinking glass
Two or three raisins
Dry pasta, buttons and beads
1. Slowly, pour the club soda in the glass until it is ¾ full. Ask the children to describe what
they see. (There are bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass up to the top.) Now is a
good time to talk about what bubbles are. Explain that bubbles are pockets of air in a liquid.
Inside, a bubble is filled with a gas.
2. Drop the raisins in the glass. What happened to them? (They should sink, at first, to the
bottom). Ask your child to think about why they went to the bottom. (They are heavier, or
denser, than the water).
3. Watch the raisins for a few minutes. What’s happening? (The bubbles attach to the raisins so
then the raisins bob a bit and slowly float back to the top. Once they get to the surface, the
bubbles pop, and the raisins sink back to the bottom again.). The bubbles are less dense than the
soda, and so they ―carry‖ the raisin to the surface. Once the bubbles pop, the raisin is denser
than the soda once again, and so it sinks. (Note: After a while, the soda will begin to lose its
carbonation and will go flat. When this happens, the raisins will just sink to the bottom).
4. Predict if button, pasta, and beads will also dance in the water.
Targeted Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Gas
4 inch lit candle
1. Place the jar on a table and place candle about 2 inches behind it and light it. The flame
should be entirely centered behind the jar, not over to the side, and not taller than the jar.
2. Invite the children to make a scientific guess—a hypothesis—about this candle. If your child
blows hard on the jar, not the candle, will anything happen? Will the candle flame stay the
3. Now ask a student to blow hard on the jar on the opposite side of the candle, so that the jar is
directly in front of her with the candle directly behind it.
4. What happens when she blows on the jar? The candle should go out immediately! (If it
doesn’t, move it a little bit forward so it’s closer to the back of the jar). How did this happen?
The air separated when it hit the sides of the jar and flowed around its curves to come
together again and form a stream that hit the candle.
When air comes into contact with objects, it flows around the contours of the object it hits,
creating forces that can lift kites and blow out candles. This property is what makes flying a
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Friction causes Heat
Hands, feet, arms legs
1. Have the children put their hands together and start rubbing them to slowly.
2. Begin rubbing them a little faster. They should begin to get warmer.
3. Next, try rubbing your hands up and down your arms really fast.
4. The children will then have the opportunity to verbalize the difference.
Targeted Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter – Air’s pressure changes when it is heated.
Bowl with cold water
Coins, nickel, quarter, half-dollar (must be bigger than the bottle opening)
Glass coke bottle (with a small opening/mouth)
―What happens to air’s push when you heat it up?‖ prediction chart
1. Fill a bowl with some cold water and place the bottle neck and coin in the bowl of water
to chill them. This helps to make an airtight seal when you place the coin on the top of the
2. Place the coin on the top of the bottle.
3. Wrap your hands around the bottle and wait for several seconds.
4. Remove your hands from the bottle and wait. Why does the coin jump?
5. When you hold the bottle with your hands, the air inside the bottle heats up. The warm
air pushes harder than the cool air that is outside the bottle so it forces the coin up. When
the air inside the bottle cools down the coin will stop jumping.
Can You Sink an Orange?
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter
The particles in a solid are fixed in a pattern so the shape and volume cannot be
changed unless chopped, cut or chiseled
A plastic bowl
A small orange or fruits that have a peel
1. Fill the bowl with water and drop in an orange. What happens to the orange?
2. Invite the children to try to sink the orange and brainstorm ideas why it won’t sink.
3. Take the orange, peel it and place the peeled orange back in the bowl of water.
4. Have the children share ideas about why they think the fruit sink.
The orange sinks because the orange peel if full of trapped air pockets, therefore making the orange
light for its size (so it floats). When you remove the peel (including the air pockets) the orange weighs
a lot for its size. Then it sinks because the orange is denser than the water.
Floating and Sinking
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Solids are both porous and non-porous; solid are
fixed in a pattern so the shape and volume cannot be changed unless chopped,
cut or chiseled.
Pencil, Ruler, Paper clip
Raw egg and a cooked egg
Fruits, vegetables, crackers, candies
1. Introduce the children to all of the materials used in the experiment.
2. Fill a sink or a bucket with water and slowly lower one item into the water.
3. Document object sank or floated and test the next item.
4. Compare the results with the predictions. The children will take notes and/or record your
discoveries in a notebook.
Item Float Sink
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Solids The particles in a solid are fixed in a
pattern so the shape and volume cannot be changed unless chopped, cut or
Materials: Large empty glass container (jar, vase)
2 cups of water
1. Fill the large mayonnaise jar with the golf balls or rubber balls all the way to the top. Ask this
question: Is the mayonnaise jar full?
2. Fill the mayonnaise jar up with the little pebbles or rice and shake the jar lightly so that
the pebbles roll into the open spaces between the balls. Is the mayonnaise jar full?
3. Fill the mayonnaise jar up with the sand and shake the jar slightly so that the sand fills
the empty spaces around the golf balls and pebbles/rice. Is the mayonnaise jar full?
(The sand has filled up every bit of space left.)
4. Now pour the water into the mayonnaise jar and watch as this liquid effectively fills the
empty space between the sand. Ask this question: Is the mayonnaise jar full?
Finally the empty mayonnaise jar has been filled completely.
Three Layer Float
Target Skill: Exploring Properties of Matter-Solid/Density
Vegetable or baby oil
Tall clear glass or vase
1. Fill on third of the cup with honey.
2. Fill the next third with oil.
3. Fill the last third with water.
4. Wait for all three substances to settle.
5. Carefully drop in the coin, then the grape and then the cork.
Each of the three liquids has different densities, therefore making three separate layers. All three
items (grape, coin and cork) have different densities and therefore float in separate layers according
to their density. The densest goes to the bottom and the least dense goes to the top.