All Things Are Made of Matter

Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass.

Look around what do you see? It is all matter, even you are made up of matter.

Properties That Describe Matter

Properties describe matter. A block of wood, milk, and air all have properties. All the material on earth is in three states-solid, liquid, and gas. The "state" of the matter refers to the group of matter with the same properties. In other words, you group the objects together according to their properties.



The wood block is solid. A solid has a certain size and shape. The wood block does not change size or shape. Other examples of solids are the computer, the desk, and the floor.

You can change the shape of solids. You change the shape of sheets of lumber by sawing it in half or burning it.

From wood to

How might you change the shape of a piece of gum?



Milk is a liquid. Milk is liquid matter. It has a size or volume. Volume means it takes up space. But milk doesn't have a definite shape. It takes the shape of its container.

Liquids can flow, be poured, and spilled. Did you ever spill juice? Did you notice how the liquid goes everywhere and you have to hurry and wipe it up? The liquid is taking the shape of the floor and the floor is expansive limitless boundary (until it hits the wall). You can't spill a wooden block. You can drop it and it still has the same shape.

What about jello and peanut butter?

You can spread peanut butter on bread, but peanut butter does not flow. It is not a liquid at room temperature. You have to heat peanut butter up to make it a liquid. When you or your mom makes jello, it is first a liquid. You have to put it in the refrigerator so that it becomes a solid. These are yummy forms of matter with properties of a liquid and a solid.



Run in place very fast for a minute. Do you notice how hard you are breathing? What you are breathing is oxygen? You need oxygen to live. That's why you can only hold your breath for a certain amount of time.

You can't see oxygen. It's invisible. It is a gas. A gas is matter that has no shape or size of its own. Gases have no color.

Gases are all around you. You can feel gas when the wind blows. The wind is moving air. Air is many gases mixed together.

Matter Is Everywhere!

Water is everywhere-even in the air!

What are the following familiar objects? How can you describe them if you didn't know what they were?

People describe objects in many ways using size, shape, colors, and textures. Describing objects by using

  • size (place images here)
  • shape
  • color
  • texture

uses an object's properties. A property describes how an object looks, feels, or acts. The objects shown here have different kinds of properties:

Name one property of the birthday present?

Properties of all objects

  • Objects take up space.

All objects take up space. Your computer is taking up space on the desk. You are taking up space on the chair.

  • Objects have mass.


Mass is how much there is of an object. Mass is related to how much something weighs. Mass and weight are two different things. The unit for mass is a gram. A nickel has the mass of about one gram.

Objects that take up space and have mass are called matter. Everything around you is made up of matter. Chocolate cake is made up of matter. You are made of matter.

If you are having trouble understanding matter, look all around you. You can see matter makes up the walls of your house and your classroom. Matter is large and matter is small.

Properties of Matter

Properties of Matter

Remember all objects take up space and have mass. You use your sense of taste and smell to tell the difference between spinach and an orange.

Physical Properties

Physical properties- The measurement of mass and other characteristics that can be seen without changing how that object looks are its physical properties. When you look at oranges, you know that they are oranges because of their color, shape, and smell. Mass, color, shape, volume, and density are some physical properties. The answers to the question about the present are physical properties.

Density is an important physical property. Density is the mass of a substance per unit volume. Volumeis the amount of space an object occupies

Chemical Properties

Chemical properties- These are properties that can only be observed by changing the identity of the substance. A piece of paper burns and turns to a black substance. After the flame goes out you can no longer burn the new substance. The chemical properties have been changed.

Properties Are Constantly Changing

Properties are constantly changing...

Matter is constantly changing. Ice in your soda melts, glass breaks, paper is ripped. When ice in your soda melts where does it go? What does it become?

If you remember, ice is water in the solid state.

Name the forms of matter you see.

Properties of Matter Song


(sung the tune of "Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be")

Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Sol-id or li-quid or gas?

A sol-id has weight, takes up space,
Has a cer-tain shape.
Li-quid has weight, takes up space,
But con-forms to the ves-sel in which it is put.
So a sol-id and li-quid
Look dif-f'rent to me.

Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Sol-id or li-quid or gas?

A gas is in-vis-i-ble, but we can prove
It has weight, takes up space,
Have you seen a bal-loon filled with gas,
Where the mol-e-cules spread and they spread
In-to all of the spa-ces you see?

Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Sol-id or li-quid or gas?

So mat-ter is an-y-thing that takes up space,
And a sol-id can be ver-y hea-vy or light
And a li-quid can change in-to so-lid and back a-gain.
Gas-es will float in the air

Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Sol-id or li-quid or gas?

Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Oh, dear, what can this mat-ter be?
Sol-id or li-quid or gas?

States of Matter Quiz

Try our states of matter quiz and find out how much you know about matter as a solid, liquid or gas. Do you know how to describe matter changing from one state to another? How about what condensation and melting points are?

Find out with our states of matter questions and answers.

1. When a solid changes to a liquid it is called what?

2. True or false? Liquids are easy to compress.

3. When a gas changes into a liquid it is called what?

4. True or false? The particles of a gas are packed tightly together.

5. When solids reach their melting points they become what?

6. True or false? Plasma is a state of matter.

7. When a gas reaches its condensation point it becomes a what?

8. True or false? Solids do not take the shape of the container they are in.

9. What is it called when a solid changes directly into a gas?

10. True or false? Gases are hard to compress.

States of Matter Quiz Answers

1. Melting

2. False

3. Condensation

4. False

5. Liquids

6. True

7. Liquid

8. True

9. Sublimination

10. False