Physical Sciences

Matter (2, 5, 6)

Properties of matter.

What properties matter? link
5E lesson on properties of matter (5th grade).

Phases of matter simulation
Simulations of particle motion in the different phases of matter.

CKT Science Matter
Ideas for teachers on how to understand and teach ideas about matter for elementary (create a free account for full access).


Review of Research on Small Particle Model of Matter in Elementary link
Summary of research on kids ideas about matter.

Changes to matter.

Changes with substances other than water
Olive oil melting: freezes in freezer, melts at room temperature
Burning something small: small things can be burned safely
Calcium chloride in water: calcium chloride snow melt dramatic increases temperature of water
Baking soda, citric acid, and water: drops temperature significantly
Red cabbage boiled in distilled water: juice changes color when acidity changes

Changes that are often confused
Diet Coke and Mentos: This is an example of gases coming out of solution, which is not a chemical reaction.
Styrofoam and acetone: This is an example of dissolving, which is not a chemical reaction.

Energy (K, 4, 6)

Heat, friction, Sun, shadows, chemical changes.

Focus on Energy
Strategies for teaching the conservation of energy including the awesome “energy cubes.”

Nordine, J. (Ed.). (2016). Teaching energy across the sciences K-12. NSTA Press.
Book highlighting key elements of the DCIs/CCCs related to energy.

Waves (1, 4)

Light and sound.


Motion (K, 3)

Forces, gravity, speed.

Hewitt Draw-It Physics
Short videos on the concepts related to forces and motion.

The Physics Classroom
Basically, a free online textbook about physics topics.

PhET Simulations
Computer simulations of physics concepts that can be adjusted to many background levels.