Second Grade

Unit 1

Solid, Liquid & Gas


Students delight in exploring the world they live in. They naturally observe the properties of the objects in order to make sense of them.  This unit provides students with skills and concepts that will assist in this natural discovery.  Students will learn that having an understanding of what constitutes a liquid, solid or a gas, is a valuable skill for organizing and classifying physical things. 




Conceptual Theme; Properties of Matter- How does the structure of matter affect the properties and uses of materials?

Content Standard 2.1- Materials can be classified as solid, liquid or gas based on their observable properties.


Core Science Inquiry Expected Performance

A INQ1- Make observation and ask questions about objects, organisms and the environment.

A INQ.2 - Use senses and simple measuring tools to collect data

A INQ.6 - Present information in words and drawings

A INQ.9 - Count order and sort objects by their properties.


CMT Expected Performances

A.18- Describe the differences in the physical properties of solids and liquids.

Grade Level Concept: Solids tend to maintain their own shapes, while liquids tend to assume the shapes of their containers, and gases fill their containers fully.


       All materials (matter) take up space.  Matter can be classified by whether it is in solid, liquid or gas form.  Each state of matter has unique properties.

       Solids are the only state of matter that keeps their own shape.  A solidís shape can only be changed if a force is applied to it, such as hammering, slicing or twisting.  Solids can be hard, soft, bouncy or stretchy.

       Solids take up a certain amount of space (volume); the volume does not change if the solid is placed in different containers.

       Liquids do not have their own shape; they go to the bottom of a container and take on the shape of the part of the container they occupy.  Liquids pour and flow from a higher point to a lower point; some liquids flow faster than others.

       Liquids have a definite volume.  When a liquid is poured into different containers, the shape of the liquid may change, but the volume does not.

       Gases do not have a definite shape; they take on the shape of whatever container they occupy. For example, the air in an inflated balloon can be squeezed and reshaped. 

       Gases do not have a definite volume; they spread out in all directions to fill any size container, or they keep spreading in all directions if there is no container.  For example, blowing even a small amount of air into a balloon immediately fills the entire balloon; the smell of baking bread eventually fills the entire house and even outside.


KEY SCIENCE VOCABULARY:  property, classify, matter, state of matter, solid, liquid, gas, volume


SCIENCE INQUIRY: Scientific inquiry is a thoughtful and coordinated attempt to search out describe, explain and predict natural phenomena.


SCIENCE LITERACY: Science literacy includes speaking listening, presenting, interpreting, reading and writing about science.


SCIENCE NUMERACY: Mathematics provides useful tool for the description, analysis and presentation of scientific data and ideas.



Solids tend to maintain their own shapes, while liquids tend to assume the shapes of their containers, and gases fill their containers fully.



Science is an opportunity for students to use literary and math skills. They will explore, discover the world around them and use math skills to sort and quantify what they see. They will then develop their thinking by communicating what they notice, by writing, talking and describing what they understand.  Science would not be possible without language arts and math skills. Providing students with the chance to develop inquiry skills is perfect for developing and applying skills in other content areas.





1.1a1 - Describe and classify data and objects based on more that one attribute.

1.1a2 - Use patterns and the rules that describe them, to identify a missing object, objects with common or different attributes and the complement of a set of objects.

1.1a3 - Explore a variety of ways to describe and write rules for patterns.



       Solids have a definite shape. The shape of a solid can be changed by applying a force (for example, hammering, cutting, squeezing).

       Solids take up a certain amount of space (volume); the volume does not depend on the size or shape of the container.

       Some solids bend easily (for example, paper or latex), while others do not (for example, steel or wood.)

       Some solids are made up of small particles that can be poured (for example, powders, salt or breakfast cereals).

       Liquids have no definite shape. They take on the shape of the part of the container they occupy. Liquids pour and flow.

       Liquids have a definite volume the amount of liquid does not vary when it is poured into a different container.

       Liquids flow from a higher point to a lower point; some liquids flow faster than others. The rate at which liquids flow depends on the thickness of the liquid (viscosity) or the steepness of the slope.

       Gases have no definite shape. They take on the shape of the whole container they occupy.

       Gases have no definite volume. They spread out in all directions to fill any size container.



       Solids and liquids can be described by their properties

       Some properties of solids are colors, shape, ability to roll or stack, hardness, magnetic attraction, and whether they float or sink.

       Some properties of liquids are color, tendency to flow, degree of viscosity or  fluidity, whether they are miscible with water, whether they  float or sink in water

       Test can be performed to investigate properties of solids and liquids that cannot otherwise be observed.


SKILLS: Students will be able to do:

       Observing and describing the properties of solid and liquids.

       Conducting tests to investigate the properties of solids and liquids.

       Sorting solid into groups on the basis of their properties.

       Comparing similarities and differences among solids.

       Comparing similarities and difference among liquids.

       Applying tests to investigate new solids and liquids

       Compare the properties of solids with the properties of liquids

       Communicating ideas, observations and experiences through witting drawing, and discussion




       What are the properties of liquid?

       What are the properties of a solid?

       What are the properties of liquids, solids, and gas?

       How do the properties help determine the usage?






Observing and Describing Two Solids



Observing Properties





Comparing Solids That Roll with Solids That Stack



Rolling Solids



Testing the Hardness of Solids



Investigation Solids in Water



Testing Solids with a Magnet



Guess My Reason



Investigation Two Solids



Observing and Describing Two Liquids



Investigating Liquids



Flowing Liquids



Drop Races



Mixing Liquids



Investigating Two New Liquids




Comparing Solids and Liquids







Web sites


Literacy Books

Solids, Liquids and Gases; Ray Boudreau

What Is the World Made Of?  (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2) (Paperback)

Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Ballard, Carol

From Cow to Ice Cream;  Bertram T. Knight, Bertram T. Knightskip to next title

Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?; F. Rockwell, Paul Meisel skip to next title

Soap making: 50 Fun & Fabulous Soaps to Melt & Pour (Kid's Crafts Series) Joe Rhatiganskip to next title

Where Do Snowmen Go when They Melt?; Hank Bruce,  

States of Matter; Carol Baldwinskip to next title

Oil Spill; Melvin Berger

The Snowman; Raymond Briggs

What Am I?; N. N. Charles

The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks; Joanna Coles

Bouncing and Rolling; Terry Jennings

The Snowy Day; Ezra Keats

Hammers and Mops; True Kelley

The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments; Arnold Lobel

Prince William; Gloria Rand

Sylvester and the Magic Peble; William Steig


I Don't Want to Melt!;  Alma Florada,


Extension Act ivies

Make soap

Make Ice scream


Field trips

Maple Syrup in the making

Ice house


Links to United Streaming

For this unit, go to

Search strand:  Solids and liquids