Changing matter

Requires Adobe Flash Player
Start Activity

Aims and objectives
This activity aims to model kinetic theory by demonstrating that matter is made up of small particles which are constantly in motion - the higher the temperature the faster the particles move.

Previous knowledge
Although the resource introduces kinetic theory from scratch, pupils will need to understand the concept that matter is made up of particles.

In the classroom
The kinetic theory of matter states that matter is made up of small particles which are constantly in motion. The higher the temperature the faster the particles move. In a solid the particles are close together, moving very little, and attract one another strongly. In a liquid the particles are further apart, moving and as a result the attraction between each particle is less. In a gas the particles are very far apart, moving fast and there is no attraction between them. The animation attempts to model this relationship and t he questions are provided to promote discussion based upon the kinetic model.

The kinetic model of matter is an important idea that can be tackled at a variety of levels. To link the animation to NC 'Scientific Enquiry' it would be useful to emphasise that the animation is trying to model how matter behaves and as a model it will have flaws. As part of this discussion the pupils' attention should be drawn to the assumptions at the beginning of the animation.

Used with an interactive whiteboard, this resource will provide an engaging entry for the whole class into kinetic theory. The assumptions at the start of the activity can promote class discussion while the questions at the end of the activity provide direction for further research opportunities.

Support materials description: Resource type:
The Changing_Matter.pdf illustrates the principals of kinetic theory using pictures from the activity. Pupils are asked to describe what is happening during each stage in their own words. This gives teachers an assessment opportunity to measure pupil understanding and ability to use appropriate scientific language. Changing_matter.pdf

Curriculum references
Science – KS3:
Sc1; 1a, b; 2a, d;
Sc3; 1a, b; 2a-c

© 2003 Netmedia/Birmingham City Council [ Return to TOP ]