The Three States of Matter

The Three States of Matter

Author: Nicole Osborn

California Science Content Standard: Grade Three - Physical Science

1. Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another.

1e. Students know matter has three forms: solid, liquid, and gas.

This tutorial is for third grade students and explains the three states of matter and their properties.

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What is Matter? What is State of Matter?

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.

State of matter is what matter looks like, feels like, and how it acts.


You will learn the three states of matter and how you can recognize each one by its properties.




A solid is usually hard but often can be soft. Solids have a definite shape, meaning the shape will not change unless you do something to it . The molecules in a solid are stationary and are packed tightly together. Some examples of solids are: a desk, a ball, a book, and a pillow.




Liquids flow and take the shape of the container they are in. Liquids have a definite volume but not a definite shape. The molecules in a liquid move around slowly and are farther apart than the molecules in solids. Some examples of liquids are: water, the ocean, lava, and honey.




Gases do not have a definite shape or volume. Gases can fill a container of any size or shape, no matter how big the container is. The molecules will spread out to fill the whole space. The molecules in gases are moving constantly or fast and are very far apart. Some examples are: helium in balloons, bubbles in soda, and the atmosphere of the earth.

Learn How Matter Can Be Changed From One Form to Another

This video can be used for all ages and explains how matter is changed from one form to another by the phases it goes through.