Solids  and  Liquids  (STC)
In Solids and Liquids, students get to shake, rattle, and roll (not to mention drip, squish, and stir) an assortment of objects and materials while engaging in science explorations clearly linked to their everyday lives. Through the explorations, students deepen their understanding of the characteristics and behavior of solids and liquids. Through comparing and sorting on the basis of a variety of properties, students enhance their critical thinking skills.

The unit begins with solids. Students examine solids and sort them using criteria of their own choosing. Discussion of these criteria leads to the concept of properties. Then, lessons focus on individual properties of a set of solid objects. Student groups observe or test the objects for the following properties:

•Color and shape.
•Whether the objects roll or stack.
•How far the rolling objects travel after going down a ramp.
•Hardness (here, students utilize comparisons).
•Whether the objects float or sink in water.
•Whether the objects are attracted to a magnet.
•After these investigations, students sort the solids and have their partners guess the sorting criteria.

The investigation of liquids begins with students exploring the look and feel of two different liquids. Then, in their investigations of several liquids, the students do the following activities:

•Examine drops under a hand lens to observe size and shape.
•Observe the behavior of liquid samples on waxed paper.
•Manipulate and observe a small liquid sample in a plastic bag.
•"Race" drops of two liquids down a slick surface.
•Observe the results of adding various liquids to water.

A final lesson gives students the opportunity to summarize their observations of both solids and liquids and to make comparisons through discussion and Venn diagrams. And, it gives you another opportunity to assess the growth in their understanding.

You may order kits for your classrom by visiting our ordering page.