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Teaching Matter concepts to ELL students as Reading in Content

Teaching Matter concepts to ELL students as Reading in Content


1.I can define matter.

2.I can identify and compare solids, liquids, and gases.

3.I can identify some properties of matter.


As an introduction to the states of matter, read the first page on the   Promethean board.

Students will be asked to identify solids, liquids, and gases by selecting samples(from the grab bag of objects that represent :solid,liquid &gas)of each and placing them under the correct category.

Students will explain the reason for the grouping using the descriptions of a solid, liquid, and gas. The teacher will give corrective and affirmative feedback. . Create a class chart with the title, Matter. Under Matter write the definitions of matter from the book just read: 1. Matter is anything that has mass (it can be weighed). 2. Matter has volume (it takes up space).


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Matter Interactive Vocab.

This is the Matter lesson I created on my Promethean board, but in order to insert it into Sophia site I must change it to pdf form.


Source: Banlang ESL Teacher

What Three Forms can water take?






Pure water is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Water can occur in three states: solid (ice), liquid, or gas(vapor).

Solid water—ice is frozen water. When water freezes, its molecules move farther apart, making ice less dense than water. This means that ice will be lighter than the same volume of water, and so ice will float in water. Water freezes at 0° Celsius, 32° Fahrenheit.

Liquid water is wet and fluid. This is the form of water with which we are most familiar. We use liquid water in many ways, including washing and drinking.

Water as a gas—vapor is always present in the air around us. You cannot see it. When you boil water, the water changes from a liquid to a gas or water vapor. As some of the water vapor cools, we see it as a small cloud called steam. This cloud of steam is a miniversion of the clouds we see in the sky. At sea level, steam is formed at 100° Celsius, 212° Fahrenheit.

The water vapor attaches to small bits of dust in the air. It forms raindrops in warm temperatures. In cold temperatures, it freezes and forms snow or hail.

Source: The story of drinking water FAIR FAX WATER

Matter Lesson Plan


1. Introduce the three states of matter

 2. Start with a grab bag.  Let everyone take an item out of the bag of

    solid objects.

 3. Describe solid objects and talk about color, shape, size, weight,

    space, and what is it used for.

 4. Fill in Table 1 with the children as we are doing the exercise.

 5. Ask the class what is left in the bag after everything is taken out.

 6. AIR! pass out objects with air in them, such as balloons, and balls.

 7. What is air?  It is a gas.

 8. Talk about what gas does.  Use Table 1.

 9. Fill a clear container with water and take a cup stuffed with a

    paper towel in the bottom.  Push the cup straight down in the water.

10. Does the towel get wet?  No!  Why?

11. What is the water in the container?  Liquid.

12. Use Table 1 to discuss what a liquid does.

13. Tell the children that solids, liquids, and gases are the three

    states of matter.

14.(Extension learning) Which one of these couldn't I have an example of and why?

15. Just say, there is another form of matter that we do not talk about

    much, it is a gas called plasma.

16.(Extension Learning) Make cookies.  Ask how many solids, liquids, and gases are in the


17. Use a bar graph and chart the information.

18. After we have made the cookies evaluate and see if the children

    can name all the states of matter.

19. Recipe for the cookies are as follows:


 No Bake Cookies


          one half cup of butter

          two cups of sugar

          one half cup of milk

          two tablespoons of cocoa

          one fourth teaspoon of salt


          Bring this to a full boil and remove from the heat.

          add one half cup of peanut butter while it is still

          hot, also add one fourth teaspoon vanilla flavor, and

          three cups of Quick Oats.  Use a tablespoon and spoon

          the cookies onto wax paper.

The student knows that objects can be grouped according to their physical characteristics (for example, shape,  texture, form, size).

As students to categorize the objects for the chart, they should verbalize why each object is grouped where it is. Use this as a formative assessment of students' abilities to use physical properties to group objects and provide both affirmative feedback, such as: Exactly! The juice is a liquid and the box the juice is in is a solid. Give corrective feedback, such as: The juice box is a solid, but what about the juice in the box? Could the box of juice be in two categories? What do you think? Formatively assess the students' abilities to manage their information as they categorize each object.

* Divide the chart into three sections labeled Solid, Liquid, and Gas. Definitions of each state should be written under the label.

Solid - A solid has a shape of its own. It is not runny when poured.

Liquid - A liquid takes the shape of its container. It is runny when poured.

Gas - A gas takes the shape of its container. It cannot be poured.

Questions to help kids thinking:

What do you already know aboutsolid, liquid and gas?

What takes up space?

What has weight?

What has shape of its own?

What takes shape of its container?

What has definite volume?

What has no definite volume?


Students will have an active role in creating the chart. I, the teacher should be asking guiding questions that allow the students to discover the different definitions and characteristics. The information on a chart made with student input will be remembered by the students and will encourage their independent reading.

Vocabulary words, heat, heating, cool, cooling, cold, freeze, solid, liquid, gas, steam, water, ice, can be used during working with words. These vocabulary words can be categorized by word meanings, vowel sounds, syllable number, phonic blends used, silent letters, etc.

2. The vocabulary words can be illustrated.

3. Sing the song Matter Everywhere.

       4. No bake cookies activity

Exit slip


What did we learn today?

Let’s summarize what we learned together today.

Each and every one of you needs to talk.

Throw the ball to the person who did not talk yet.


Everything you can see, touch, and feel is matter.  Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass.  You are made of matter.  Matter can be dead

or it can be alive. 


Solid - Any material or substance that is not a liquid or gas. A solid has a definite shape and volume.  A cube, sphere, or pyramid are all solids, having length, width and depth.  They are not hollow.


     2. Liquid - A state of matter.  Liquids flow and always take up the shape

  of the vessel into which they are poured.


     3. Gas - A state of matter that has a mass but no shape.  It fills and  takes the shape of a container.  Air is a mixture of gases.


     4. Matter - The material of which all things in the universe are made.

Source: Oxford online picture dictionary and Pearson online ebooks