Draft as of
July, 2009
FOSS Solids & Liquids Unit Overview

Unit Files

Solids & Liquids Unit Overview


How can we tell if something is a solid or liquid?
How are solids and liquids the same and different?
Why is it important to learn about solids and liquids?


Students will begin to understand and appreciate that . . .

  • Solids and liquids have unique properties.
  • Materials can be mixed and separated given the appropriate tools.
  • An investigation should be done more than once to make sure data is accurate.
  • Scientists compare and contrast data with others to check for accuracy.
  • Our senses help us learn about the world around us. Our senses enable us to classify and compare objects.
  • Learning about matter will help us understand about our world.


Students will be able to . .

  • Sort solids in different ways.
  • Separate a mixture of solids by using screens.
  • Use the properties of solids to construct.
  • Use representational materials to separate particles based on size.
  • Describe properties of different liquids in bottles.
  • Compare properties of solid and liquid materials.
  • Compare the appearance and behavior of different liquids in containers.
  • Describe the properties of solid particles in closed bottles.
  • Describe what happens when solids are mixed with water.
  • Describe what happens when liquids and water are mixed.
  • Organize observations of mixtures.


Students will know . . .

Solids and liquids are states of matter.
• Solid materials have properties that
separate them from other states of
matter. Liquid materials have properties that
separate them from other states of matter.
• Solids can be sorted by their properties.
• Solid materials have distinct uses
based on their properties.
• Liquids pour and flow.
• Liquids take the shape of their
• The surface of liquid is level with
respect to the ground.
• Solid materials come in all sizes and

• Particles of solid materials can pour
like liquids, but maintain their shape.
• Solid materials can support denser
materials on their surface
• Some solids change when mixed with
water; others do not.
• Some solids dissolve in water; evaporation leaves the solid behind.
• Some liquids mix with water; other
liquids form a layer above or below water.
A scientist uses many tools when conducting an investigation.
• Water can be a solid or liquid.

Developing Vocabulary: Bend, Build, Color, Construct,
Corner, Curve, Cylinder, Engineer, Flat, Flexible,
Hard, Liquid, Solid, Observe, Opaque, Pointed, Property,
Rigid, Rough, Shape, Smooth, Soft, Sort, Straight, Texture,
Tower, Transparent, Bubbly, Colorless, Flow, Foamy, Level,
Pur, Shake, Surface, Tornado, Translucent, Viscous
Developing Vocabulary: Full, Funnel, Grain, Large, Medium,
Mixture, Particle, Pile, Powder, Same, Scoop, Screen, Separate,
Sieve, Sift, Size, Small, Static, Change, Crystal, Disappear,
Evaporate, Float, Layer, Sink, Swollen

ASSESSMENTAlong with on-going student observations and anecdotal notes, the following assessments can be used to form instruction and provide evidence of student understanding:
FOSS Student Sheets, FOSS Checklists, End of Module FOSS Assessment, Student Inquiry Notebook