Unit 1 – What is Science

Lesson 3 – Phases

Hi everybody! Thank you for joining me again! I hope you are enjoying our program! Today, we are learning out sates of being, or phases! It is impossible to teach anything about science without first knowing the different phases. This lesson can be quick and super easy. All you need is a bunch of ice cubes, a burner, a pot, and a curious student.


If you are a teacher and need a way to do complete this lesson virtually due to social distancing or might need to be able to switch to virtual in the future, please scroll down and see what resources I have created for you to stay a head of this wacky world we are living in. 

If you are a parent and would like to add computer education to your list of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) please scroll down and see what virtual activities you can get for your own home! 


A phase is a state of physical being any one substance can be. Every single substance can be every single phase.

Start by explaining what gas, liquids, and solids are (Sorry, these were not on the Vocabulary List, I thought they would be difficult to draw for lesson one). 

  • Gas: particles moving around so fast that they are not connected at all. Ask students if they know any examples of gasses? The should at very least be able to know smoke from a fire and steam for boiling water.
  • Liquids: particles moving around fast enough that they can easily slide past each other. Liquids can take the shape of any container. Try this in front of the class, take a funky shaped cup and pour a cup of water into it. Ask students for more examples of liquids (juice, milk, etc.)
  • Solids: Particles that are not moving and, therefore, must stay in one shape. Solids usually keep their original form unless acted upon by an outside force. Ask for examples (rocks, trees, dirt, tables).


We will be going through the phases using H20 as an example and reviewing the scientific method.



  1. Hot plate
  2. Pot (not glass)
  3. Ice
  4. Journal
  5. Scientific method poster
  6. Timer


Set up cones, so nearby children know not to run into the blocked off area. Do not let children get around any hot or boiling steam.

Let’s practice the scientific method while it is still fresh in our heads!!! Have students start by opening a new page in the Science Journal, label this page “Phases Experiment.”

  1. Observe: Set up an electric hotplate and a glassless pot filled with ice cubes (if you do this in a glass pot, there is a chance the glass will shatter, so use a real pot). Ask students what they observe just using their eyes. Ask them what phase the ice is in (SOLID). Have students write observations down in their Science Journals.
  2. Question: Have students write down their question: What will happen to the ice when we turn on the burner?
  3. Hypothesis: Have students write down what they think will happen when we turn on the hotplate (you can turn it on now because they can take a while to heat up make sure to set a timer).
    1. For more advanced students, have them write down how long they think it’ll take to complete this experiment.
  4. Test and collect data: Have students write down what is happening to the ice. Tell them to notate the time it starts to change phases. You should boil the water until all the water evaporated.
  5. Results: Have students write down how long it took for the ice completely evaporated. Was their hypothesis correct?
  6. Restest: You can redo this, but it takes a bit over 15 minutes, you can redo it with also changing heat settings or using a different liquid like juice.



No Problem!! This activity is available on Teachers Pay Teachers. Instead of completing the activity, it goes over the difference between the States of Matter and has small literacy prompts. The best part about this is it actually connected to the next lesson in our series, so you get two for one! You can find not only these lesson, but all lessons in my store. This way if you are jumping back and forth between in-person learning and socially distant learning you can feel confident knowing you are not going to have to change your entire unit around or scramble to find materials and ideas. 

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