Return to Headlines

FBE second-graders take on Holidays Matter Experiment

Published on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

 second-grade girl working on experiment

BCSD provided photo

Foxbank Elementary second-grade teacher Ashley Cox helped her students understand the three states of matter by adding a little winter twist to it.

“I knew my students needed a fun way to further investigate the three states of matter,” she said. “So….we put on our detective hats.”

This activity was found on Teachers Pay Teachers and she adapted to fit her classroom. Her class actually did two different investigations.

The goal: Students will be able to make observations about the three states of matter and compare the properties of each. Students will be able to explain how liquids and solids change.

The “Key Ingredients” to this lesson include:

  • Hot chocolate mix
  • 3 marbles for each set of scientists
  • Water
  • oil
  • 3 jars per set of scientists
  • Labels for jars (A,B,C)
  • Crockpot full of water
  • Cups
  • Extra Toppings for the Hot Chocolate (ex. whip cream, candy canes, sprinkles, and cookies)

What to put in each jar:

  • Jar A: Fill jar A half full with red water and a marble
  • Jar B: Fill jar B half full with hot chocolate mix (just the mix) and a marble
  • Jar C: Fill jar C with vegetable oil and marble


Steps to observe and compare the properties of matter:

Step One: Observe the liquid in Jar A. Move the jar around in your hand. Record your observations in a table. Keep in mind: What happens to the liquid in the jar? How fast does it move? Does the liquid make a sound when you gently shake the jar?

Step Two: Observe the marble in the jar. Record your observations in the table. Keep in Mind: What happens to the marble when you move the jar? How fast does the marble move in the liquid?

Step Three: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with Jar B.

Step Four: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with Jar C.

Step Five: Discuss your finding as a class.


Steps to investigate how liquids and solids change:

Step One: Mix the Hot Coco with the water. Pass out a cup of Hot Coco to each student.

Step Two: Discuss how you changed the state of the solid.

Step Three: Pass out a cookie to everyone and see if they can change this solid at all. Hint: It may be by adding it to the hot coco or physically breaking it.

Step Four: Repeat with the other toppings.