States of Matter


Have you ever wondered why honey is so difficult to pour in winter, and much easier in summer? Or why your ski boots are so difficult to put on when they are cold? Or why the chocolate you left in your pocket melted and made a mess? Or why your ice cream melts so quickly in summer, but not in winter?


You are about to embark on a WebQuest to learn about how changes in thermal energy affect particle motion and temperature, and see how these impact the state of matter of a pure substance. 


Complete the following Kahoot to check your understanding prior to beginning the Webquest.


Task 1: Watch the following video that explains matter and its main states: solid, liquid, and gas


Task 2: Read the CK12 article 2.11 States of Matter that can be found at the following web address.


Task 3 Go to the following link and use the simulation to explore how molecules behave when thermal energy is added or removed.



Evaluation: Click on the following link to see what you know!


To demonstrate your understanding, develop a model that illustrates how particles behave in a solid, liquid, and gas. Your model can be in the form of:

  • a poster

  • a presentation in which you show and explain a substance in its three states.

  • A Google Slideshow presentation

  • A 3-D model


I hope you have enjoyed your exploration of the states of matter and now feel confident enough in your understanding in order to be able to share it with the class. Have fun with your final project. I encourage you to use recycled materials for your project. There is no need to go out and spend money!

Teacher Page

This WebQuest was put together in order to give my students an opportunity to use credible online resources in order to learn about and explore the states of matter. The following is the NGSS standard that this WebQuest strives to meet.

MS-PS1-4. Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. 

Emphasis is on qualitative molecular-level models of solids, liquids, and gases to show that adding or removing thermal energy increases or decreases kinetic energy of the particles until a change of state occurs. Examples of models could include drawings and diagrams. Examples of particles could include molecules or inert atoms. Examples of pure substances could include water, carbon dioxide, and helium.