Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cheerio Molecules

During our matter unit, we discuss how molecules are in each state of matter.  After discussing the concept, I have a few children stand up and spread out around the room.  We talk about how this represents a gas.  I have another child demonstrate how easy it is to maneuver through the "gas."

I then have the rest of the class spread out around the room, demonstrating the liquid state.  The child once again maneuvers around the room, but we note how it isn't as easy as it was before since the molecules are closer together.

Finally, I have all of the class(after a brief discussion on pushing, shoving, and trampling) move into our class library area and stand as one big solid.  The child has to try to move through the solid, which they cannot.

The kids always enjoy this exercise and I feel it is a great visual to help them understand the concept.

HOWEVER, this year, a coworker of mine shared another great activity that I immediately added to this lesson.  It was such a great idea, I had to share it with you!

Each child is given a paper that has an example of a solid, liquid, and gas on it.  They are then given cheerios, but you can use anything really.  They glue on the cheerios to show how each state looks.

In the years past, I have always had them draw the molecules. 

I just LOVE this new tactile version!


  1. LOVE this creative! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. When we do our matter unit, I am DEFINITELY going to do this activity! I love it! thank you for sharing. ;)

  3. Superb love it even for my fifth graders!

  4. Excellent ideas! Thanks for sharing!