In this inquiry lesson, students will be investigating the question, What effect does kinetic energy of particles have on the different states of matter in water? Students will use a PhET computer simulation of the States of Matter to learn that as the temperature rises, water changes states. This will likely be students’ first introduction to states of matter, as well as their first exposure to the conceptual understanding of matter as made up of moving particles and of temperature is the measure of heat, or kinetic energy of the particles of matter. This is a guided inquiry lesson (with a structured option), so students will be given the investigation question but expected to develop their own procedures, collect their own data, determine how best to organize and display their data, and draw their own conclusions.
Download the Heat and Water lesson plan.