Connecticut Content Standard 11: Structure Of Matter

Students will know the characteristic properties of matter and the relationship of these properties to structure and composition.

Grades K - 4

Educational experiences in Grades K - 4 will assure that students:

  • describe (in Grades K-2) materials by their physical properties (e.g., color, size, shape, texture, flexibility);
  • organize (in Grades K-2) objects in terms of the materials of which they are made (e.g., paper, cloth, clay);
  • change the properties (in Grades K-2) of some materials (e.g., dissolve salt, evaporate water) and recognize that not all materials respond in the same ways;
  • separate and classify objects (in Grades K-2) using one or more of the properties of the object;
  • identify physical changes as changes in state or form;
  • recognize that a chemical change occurs when substances interact to form new materials with properties that differ from those of the original sub-stances;
  • recognize that materials may be composed of parts too small to be seen;
  • create and separate mixtures;
  • gather data to show that the mass of a whole object is equal to the sum of the masses of its parts;
  • recognize that many substances can exist in different states (solid, liquid and gaseous) and some common substances, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by adding or removing heat from the material; and
  • demonstrate that when substances change from one state to another, such as from a liquid to a solid, the total mass remains unchanged.

Grades 5 - 8

Educational experiences in Grades 5 - 8 will assure that students:

  • use physical and chemical properties to classify and describe matter in terms of elements, compounds, mixtures, atoms and molecules;
  • show that, while the quantity of matter is conserved, changes in matter can result in the formation of new materials;
  • demonstrate that the kinetic molecular model of matter is useful in describing the structure and properties of solids, liquids and gases;
  • recognize that all matter is made up atoms which are too small to be seen directly through the micro-scope, but that indirect evidence can be used to construct a useful model of the atom;
  • recognize that atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion and that as the temperature of a sub-stance increases, the average energy of motion also increases;
  • show how features such as the temperature and acidity of a solution can influence reaction rates;
  • give examples which show that changes in pressure, temperature or volume of a gas sample result in predictable changes in either or both of the other properties; and
  • demonstrate that some properties (such as mass and volume) depend on the amount of material and some properties (such as density, melting point and boiling point) are independent of the amount of material.

Grades 9 - 12

Educational experiences in Grades 9 - 12 will assure that students:

  • describe the nature of atoms and how atoms combine to form molecules;
  • explain how the chemical and physical properties of substances are related to their atomic and molecular structures;
  • use the Periodic Table to predict common proper-ties of elements;
  • use chemical formulas and equations to obtain and communicate information about chemical changes;
  • recognize that the ability of a reaction to occur and the extent to which it proceeds depends on the relative stability of the reactants compared to the products and the conditions under which the reaction occurs; and
  • understand and apply mathematical concepts, including dimensional analysis, to explore and describe chemical changes.


The following GEMS guides address this Standard:

Sifting Through Science
Grades K-2

Treasure Boxes Grades K-3

Bubble Festival Grades K-6

Involving Dissolving
Grades 1-3

Liquid Explorations
Grades 1-3

Secret Formulas Grades 1-3

Mystery Festival Grades 2-8

Crime Lab Chemistry
Grades 4-8

Grades 4-8

Microscopic Explorations
Grades 4-8

Of Cabbages and Chemistry
Grades 4-8

Oobleck: What Do Scientists Do?
Grades 4-8

Grades 5-8

Paper Towel Testing
Grades 5-8

Acid Rain
Grades 6-8

Chemical Reactions
Grades 6-8

Discovering Density
Grades 6-8

Dry Ice Investigations
Grades 6-8

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2016 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 06, 2021