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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

States of matter

National curriculum content

  • Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.
  • Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled.
  • Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle.


Lesson objectives

LO1: Explain how particles move in solids, liquids and gases.

LO2: Understand that gases have mass and describe how they move.

LO3: Observe materials changing state when heated or cooled.

LO4: Define and describe evaporation and condensation.

LO5: Explain the difference between reversible and irreversible changes.


What we want children to know

  • How to develop simple descriptions of the states of matter from a variety of everyday objects
  • Know the changes which happen to water when it is heated or cooled
  • How to group and classify a variety of different materials and explore the effect of temperature on different substances
  • Know the difference between reversible and irreversible changes. 


What skills we want children to develop

  • Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  • Set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.
  • Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  • Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions.
  • Record findings using simple scientific language drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables.
  • Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  • Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  • Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.
  • Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.



Boiling point, boiling, condensing, evaporation, freezing, freezing point, gas, liquid, matter, material, melting, melting point, solid, temperature