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Identify Materials Based on Properties Fifth Grade


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Students will design and investigate household materials to determine the properties of the mystery substances and then to determine what the substances are. Students will learn about the properties of matter through investigation. Students will love these four investigations! This unit starts with the use of phenomena and students will use science and engineering practices to solve the mystery.

This resource includes four investigations on properties of matter

Lab One: Mystery powders

Lab Two: Is it water-soluble?
Lab Three: Planning an Investigation
Lab Four: Does Weight of Matter Change?

This resourcefully addresses the NGSS standards for 5th grade PS1A Structure and Properties of Matter from the DCI Matter and Its Interactions:

NGSS 5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

NGSS 5-PS1-2. Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.

Standard 5.2.2 Ask questions to plan and carry out investigations to identify substances based on patterns of their properties. Emphasize using properties to identify substances. Examples of properties could include color, hardness, conductivity, solubility, or a response to magnetic forces. Examples of substances could include powders, metals, minerals, or liquids. (PS1. A)

Standard 5.2.4 Use mathematics and computational thinking to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or combining substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. Examples could include melting an ice cube, dissolving salt in water, and combining baking soda and vinegar in a closed bag. (PS1.A, PS1.B)

The resource includes lab directions and teacher prep, recording sheets and follow-up pages, lab safety instructions, and a multiple-choice quiz at the end of the unit. Answer keys are included for all of it!

Students will identify substances based on their properties through a series of investigations. Students will also learn that when changes occur in by mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. Students will learn about lab safety when handling mystery substances and support their claim with evidence gathered from the investigations.

Science Concepts Include:

Properties of Matter


Designing an investigation

Science lab safety

Conservation of Weight

Identifying materials based on their properties

Students will use the following Science and Engineering Practices:

Asking Questions and Defining Problems.
Developing and Using Models.
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations.
Analyzing and Interpreting Data.
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking.
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.
Engaging in Argument from Evidence.
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.