Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 4 States of matter

Learning objective

I can research the melting and boiling points of different materials.

Children learn that many materials other than water will melt if heated to a high enough temperature. They carry out a networking activity, where each child has an incomplete set of information, to find out the melting points of 6 different metals, They record their information in a table and transfer it to a bar chart.

  • 4c2: observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)
Solids tend to keep their shape as their particles are packed tightly together.
Liquids contain particles which can slide past one another.
Gases contain particles which have enough energy to escape into the environment.
Different materials have different melting and boiling points.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Solids, liquids and gases Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C001

Learning objective

I can group substances according to whether they are solid, liquids or gases.

Children learn about the differences between solid, liquids and gases and how they can be identified. They cut out 14 different images of familiar substances and group them as solid, liquids or gases. They discuss which materials were most difficult to group and how temperature can affect whether it is a solid, liquid or a gas.

  • 4c1: compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
Some solid materials are rigid, while some are flexible.
Liquids take the shape of their container.
Some liquids are more viscous than others.
If released from their container, gases spread out into the environment until they can no longer be detected.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Changing state Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C002

Learning objective

I can explain how materials change state.

Using the particle model, children learn about the different states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases). They learn how the amount of energy that the particles have affects the state of the material. Children use scientific vocabulary (melt, freeze, evaporate, condense) to create a diagram explaining how matter changes state.

  • 4c1: compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
All matter is composed of particles.
Heating a material gives its particles more energy, and cooling a material reduces its particles' energy.
Heating a solid causes it to melt and change state to a liquid.
Cooling a liquid causes it to freeze and change state to a solid.
Heating a liquid causes it to evaporate and eventually boil, changing state to a gas.
Cooling a gas causes it to condense into a liquid.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Investigating melting points Investigation

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C004

Learning objective

I can investigate the melting point of different materials.

Children investigate the melting point of 3 familiar materials - ice, chocolate and butter. They use a thermometer to measure temperature and record their results in a table. They discuss how accurate their predictions were and whether melting is a reversible change.

  • 4c2: observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)
A thermometer is a device used to measure temperature.
Different materials have different melting points.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Thermal insulators Investigation

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C005

Learning objective

I can investigate how effective different materials are as thermal insulators.

Children investigate how effective 4 different materials are at insulating a cold drink and slowing its increase in termperature. They use thermometers to measure the temperature of each cup every 15 minutes over the course of 2 hours. Children record their information in a table and then create a line graph showing the temperature of all 4 cups over a 2-hour period.

  • 4c2: observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)
Thermal conduction is when heat passes from a hotter material (causing it to cool) to a cooler one (causing it to heat up) until both materials reach the same temperature.
Thermal conductors are materials which change temperature easily.
Thermal insulators are materials which change temperature slowly.
A line graph can be used to show changes over time.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

The water cycle Worksheet

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C006

Learning objective

I can explain the water cycle.

Children learn about the water cycle and that water is not created or lost, but simply moved around the Earth. They learn that heat from the Sun drives the water cycle. Children create their own water cycle diagram, explaining the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation by cutting and pasting or using their own words.

  • 4c3: identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
The water cycle explains how water changes state and moves around the Earth.
Water evaporates from the oceans (leaving dissolved salt behind) and rises into the air.
Water vapour condenses in the atmosphere to form clouds.
The water falls as precipitation in the form of rain, hail and snow.
Rivers are formed by fallen precipitation flowing downhill into the ocean.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Making a solar still Investigation

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C007

Learning objective

I can make a solar still and explain how it works.

Children learn how to make their own solar still to recover water. They learn that solar heating of water-laden soil causes some water to evaporate, which can then be captured by a plastic sheet where it evaporates and is recovered by a bowl or mug. They explain how the solar still works.

  • 4c3: identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
When seawater evaporates, the salt is left behind.
Dirty or salt water can be evaporated and then condensed to produce fresh water. This process is called distillation.
A still is a machine which performs distillation.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science

Investigating evaporation rates Investigation

Outstanding Science Year 4 | States of matter | OS4C008

Learning objective

I can investigate how temperature affects evaporation rates.

Children investigate how rapidly 100ml of water placed in locations with different temperatures will evaporate. Using a table, they record the capacity of 4 different measuring containers over the course of 14 days. They complete a line graph showing the capacity of all 4 containers over that period. They learn how a line graph can help us infer missing results (such as weekend measurements).

  • 4c3: identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
The hotter a liquid is, the faster it evaporates.
Change over time can be displayed on a line graph.
Year 4 States of matter | Outstanding Science