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  • In this activity, students develop a concept map to summarise current ideas about states of matter.

    Most students are familiar with three states of matter – solid, liquid and gas. This activity introduces them to two new states – plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates.

    Rights: © Copyright 2014. University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved.

    States of matter concept map

    States of matter concept map showing the classical states along with two other states known as plasma and Bose-Einstein condensate. As students construct concept maps, they make sense of the ideas and the relationships between them

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • identify key ideas about states of matter from a written article
    • display the ideas in a concept map
    • identify and discuss similarities and differences between concept maps
    • recognise that concept maps are a useful method to communicate scientific knowledge.
    • appreciate that science knowledge about states of matter has changed over time.

    Download the Word file (see below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • discussion questions
    • sample concept map.

    Nature of science

    Science knowledge about states of matter has changed over time. Current ideas have built upon earlier work carried out by scientists.

    Related content

    Before starting this activity we recommend reading these articles:

    This collection is full of ideas and resources to help explore why states of matter, well, matter!

    Activity ideas

    Slumpy solids or lumpy liquids explores a range of common household substances to determine if they have the properties of a solid, a liquid or both.

    Use this unit plan, aimed at middle primary, to experiment with various liquids, including non-Newtonian fluids, to see how their viscosity is changed by stress or force.

      Published 12 April 2010 Referencing Hub articles
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