Grade Levels: 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Matter Changing States, and supports the standard of developing a model that describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display this image from the movie (timestamp: 0:42):

Ask students:

  • What do you notice about the water in each picture?
  • What do you think causes water to become ice or steam? 


  • Read the description on the Matter Changing States topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Did You Know?” “Way Back When,” or “In Depth.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Matter Changing States Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about matter changing states while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie that answers this question: What happens to water molecules as thermal energy is added or removed?
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the process of water changing from a solid to a liquid, and from a liquid to a gas. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a game where players determine whether  information describes solids, liquids, or gasses. 

More to Explore

States of Matter: Basics: Students observe matter change between solid, liquid, and gas phases in this interactive simulation. 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of matter with these topics: States of Matter, Property Changes, and Measuring Matter

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments