Minecraft-States-of-Matter-554x368.png

States of Matter

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

Science

Students create particle models of the 3 states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) by using 64 blocks configured in different ways inside closed jars.

avatar Submitted By: Shane Saxby

September 11, 2019

Skills

  • Critical Thinking

Supporting Files

States of Matter - Sample World


An exemplar for teachers but could also be shown to students either: before, during or after the task. Unzip, then double-click.

Learning Objectives

  • To relate the properties of solids, liquids and gases to the arrangement of their particles.

Guiding Ideas

All matter is made of particles. As particles are heated, they vibrate back and forth at an atomic level. As they vibrate, they bump into each other, creating a repulsive force. There are also attractive forces between particles.

Using the Particle Model, explain the properties of:

a) Solids

In solids the attractive forces are much stronger than the repulsive forces, resulting in the particles being tightly packed in a set volume and locked into a set shape.

b) Liquids

As heat is added the repulsive forces increase to the extent that the particles are no longer locked together (so take the shape of their container) but are still tightly packed and have a set volume.

c) Gases

As more heat is added, the repulsive forces become much stronger than the attractive forces. The particles are forced apart and take the shape and volume of the entire container. There are great spaces between the particles, so it is possible to compress a gas.

Student Activities

Option 1 - Less Prescriptive Lesson (students may work individually or in teams of up to 3)

  1. Create models of a solid, liquid and gas of the same substance using the particle model.
  2. Place each in a separate closed container.
  3. Use one type of block to represent a particle. Use the same block to represent the particles of each state of matter.
  4. Label each with signs or slates.
  5. On a board answer the following: Using the particle model, explain the properties of: a) solids; b) liquids; c) gases
  6. Submit evidence of your learning to your teacher.

 

Option 2 - More Prescriptive Lesson (students may work individually or in teams of up to 3)

  1. Create models of a solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam) using the particle model.
  2. Place each in a separate closed container made of glass. Each of the 3 glass containers should be a hollow 10x10x10 block cube. These glass containers can be more quickly created using the following slash command: /fill ~1 ~ ~ ~10 ~9 ~9 glass 0 hollow
  3. Use one type of block to represent a particle of water. Use the same block to represent the particles of each state of water.
  4. Create an ice cube of 4x4x4 (64) blocks on the bottom of the 'solid' container.
  5. Create a layer of water 8x8 (64) blocks on the bottom of the 'liquid' container.
  6. Create a cloud of steam with 64 blocks places at random places in the 'gas' container. Ensure there are spaces between the particles.
  7. Label each with signs or slates.
  8. On a board answer the following: Using the particle model, explain the properties of: a) solids; b) liquids; c) gases
  9. Using the camera, take photos of: a) model of ice; b) model of liquid; c) model of steam; d) boards that explain the relationship between the particle model and the properties of each of the states of matter.
  10. Using the portfolio, export your photos to .pdf and submit to your teacher.

Performance Expectations

Students will create 3 separate models, each enclosed in a container.

The solid will have a definite shape and have particles touching each other. It will be at the bottom of the container.

The liquid will be at the bottom of the container and will take the shape of the bottom of the container. All of the liquid particles will be touching each other.

The gas particles will occupy random places within the container. There will be spaces between the particles.

Each of the models will use the same type of block to represent the particles in each model. Each model will have the same number of blocks to demonstrate their understanding that these are the same particles in each state of matter.

Each model will be correctly labelled.

Explanations will be written on boards in-game. Teachers will determine the quality of response. Sample answers to may be found above in the 'Guiding Ideas and Questions' section.

Screenshots or in-game camera photos (with portfolio exports) will be used as evidence of learning.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking

External References

Supporting Files

States of Matter - Sample World


An exemplar for teachers but could also be shown to students either: before, during or after the task. Unzip, then double-click.

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