Education 130

Lesson Plan 1


I.      Overview of the Lesson

October 2, 2013

2 days to complete (including homework)

Megan Gower

8, Science, Liquids solids and gases; How atoms move inside solids


II.    Big Idea

Matter has observable, physical properties and the potential to mix and form new materials


III.  Essential Questions

What happens to the atoms inside of solids when you heat or cool them?


IV.  Pennsylvania State Standards

S8.A.3.2.3: Given a model showing simple cause and effect relationships in a natural system, predict results that can be used to test


V.    General Objective

Particles are always in motion with the smallest motion in solids progressing to the largest motion in gases.


VI.  Behavioral Objective

Use models and patterns to make predictions, draw inferences, or explain scientific and technological concepts.


VII.                  Instructional Materials

1.     Blackboard

2.     Projector for computer

3.     Computer

4.     Ball and ring designed specifically for this experiment* (enough for groups of three)

5.     Safety Goggles

6.     Bunsen burner

7.     Cups of room temperature water

8.     2 jars of pickles

a.     that have been previously opened then tightly closed again and left inside a refrigerator over night

9.     Worksheets for project homework


*Available at Flynn Scientific (AP9031)




VIII.                Vocabulary


Š      Atoms

Š      Molecules

Š      Solid

Š      Liquid

Š      Gas

Š      Expansion

Š      Contraction



IX.  Instructional Procedures

A.     Introduction

The solid explained in this is metal. Metal is composed of individual atoms instead of molecules like in water. Understand how atoms in a solid spread apart when heated and get closer together when cooled.


B.     Motivation

How students can use the concepts of expanding and contracting solids in the real world. Bringing in a pickle jar that is left over night in the refrigerator will be very hard for the students to open because the lid has contracted around the jar, but when heated the lid will come off of the jar easily. Students at this level (Formal Operations) should be able to create hypothesis and logically think about why and how this happens using the experiment. (Wadsworth, Ch. 6) Ask them if they know of any other examples of this.


C.     Development

1.     Go over previous lessons of liquids

2.     Explain the vocabulary

3.     Bring in 2 pickle jars that have been stored in a refrigerator and have students try to open it

4.     Ask them how they think they can get the lids off

5.     Put the lid of the jar under warm water and take off the lid

6.     Ask the students why they think the lid was able to come off after being put under the warm water

a.     The expansion of the metal lid as it got warm


7.     Go over particle rules for solids and show the power point (ending at comparing solids and liquids)

8.     Explain the safety of using the lab materials

9.     Explain the Lab experiment:

a.     Students will get into groups of 3

b.     Each groups should have a Bunsen burner, metal ball and ring, and a container of room temperature water

c.      Students will first try to fit the metal ball through the ring without heating it first

                                                                                            i.     Result: Will fit through


d.     Ask the students why this is:    

                                                                                            i.     The atoms are slow moving and are attracted to each other


e.     Then they will carefully place the metal ball above the flame for 1-2 minutes

f.      Try to fit the ball through the ring again

                                                                                            i.     Result: Will not fit


g.     Ask the students why the ball will no longer fit

                                                                                            i.     The atoms have sped up and lost their tight attraction so the metal ball expanded


h.     Place the metal ball into the cool water for a 10-15 seconds to cool it down

i.       Try to place the ball through the ring again

                                                                                            i.     Result: Will fit through

                                                                                           ii.     Students by this time should understand why it goes through again



10.  Show Video of what happened inside the metal ball


 11. Give students the worksheet to hand in as homework


 12. Go over answers the next day


E.     Summary and Closure

This is a hands on, real world activity that every student will be able to experience. The multimedia clips will help the students visualize what’s going on with the atoms inside of a solid. This is designed to help those who are either visual or hands on learners or both. This lab experiment does work with actual fire so students will be able to work with real lab equipment and get a feel for what basic science labs are like.








Worksheets and lesson from Middle School Chemistry 







Name _______________________ Date ________________________

Explain it With Atoms & molecules

After you watch the molecular model animations of liquids and solids, answer the questions below.

1. How is the motion of the atoms in solid metal different from the motion of the molecules in liquid water?


2. What is it about atoms and molecules in liquids and solids that keep them close to one another even though they are moving?



    At room-temperature the metal ball fit through the ring. What happened when your teacher tried to push the heated ball through the ring?


    What happened to the atoms in the heated metal ball so that it didn’t fit through the ring?




5. After the ball was cooled by putting it in the water, why do you think it fit through the ring again?


Explain it With Atoms & molecules

You saw in the animation that atoms in a solid move faster and get slightly further apart when heated. You also saw that they slow down and get slightly closer together when cooled. Use this information to make your own drawing on the molecular level of the metal ball.

6. Draw a model of the atoms in the metal ball at room-temperature and after it has been heated. Use circles and motion lines to show the speed and spacing of the atoms in the room-temperature ball. Include captions like “atoms faster and further apart” or “atoms slower and closer together” to describe your drawings











Chapter 1, Lesson 4 Activity Sheet Answers

  1. The atoms in solid metal vibrate back and forth but do not move past one another like the water molecules in liquid water.
  2. The atoms or molecules that make up liquids and solids are kept near each other by the attraction between molecules or the attraction between atoms.


       When the ball was heated it did not fit through the ring.

       Heating makes the atoms in the metal move faster. The extra speed of the atoms 
competes with their attractions for one another and causes them to move slightly further apart. Since the atoms move further apart, the size (volume) of the metal ball increases a little and will not fit through the ring.

       Cooling makes the atoms in the metal move more slowly. When they move more slowly, their attractions for one another are able to bring them slightly closer together. Since the atoms come closer together, the size (volume) of the metal ball decreases a little and will fit through the ring again.

6. Atoms drawn faster and further apart


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