Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the States of Matter Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic States of Matter, and supports the standard that the atoms in gases, liquids, and solids move and interact differently with changes in temperature or pressure. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display a chart labeled “water” with three columns: solid, liquid, and gas. Prompt students to think about what they know about water in its liquid, solid, and gaseous state. 


  • What do you know about water when it is a solid, liquid, or gas?
  • What do each of these states have in common, what is different?
  • What do these states feel like or look like?

As students share prior knowledge, add to the chart in the correct column.


Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

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


Students express what they learned about states of matter 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 video diary from the point of view of an atom in a water molecule. In your movie, answer this question: What do you experience as the water is heated or cooled?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying the features of the different states of matters. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a comic where the characters are water molecules talking about what state of matter they are in and describing their movement.

More to Explore

Matter Changing States: Learn more about liquids, gases, and solids by exploring this BrainPOP topic. . 

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments