In the previous sections we discussed life cycles, energy, the scientific method, and biology. Can you tell me something you remember from those lessons?


Today we are going to learn about chemistry. Chemistry is the study of matter, all living things are made of matter. To understand how living things work, a basic understanding of chemistry is important. In this lesson we will learn about the basic structure of matter and why it is important for living things. At the end of the lesson we will have a brief review.


All living things are made up of molecules. A molecule is the smallest part of a thing that contains a portion of what makes that thing unique.
Each molecule is made up of one or more atoms. An atom is the smallest piece possible of matter.


Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Mass depends on the amount of material an object has.

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Air inside the plastic bottle takes up space. We can see this by the bottle retains it's shape when we squeeze it.
Can you point to something taking up space in our room? That object has mass and is a form of matter.


Thinking about mass and matter with regards to this picture, what can you tell me?

Why do some rocks sick to the bottom and one sticks out of the water? Does it's mass have anything to do with it? Why is it not floating?


There is great diversity among living things, from small mice...


to large elephants.

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Whatever the size, living things can be studied.

Similar activities happen in living things. Scientist learn about humans by studying less complex beings.



All substances are made of matter. Your desk, a plant, a bicycle, a water drop, and the air are all examples of matter. All matter has properties or characteristics that are used to describe them. How would you describe the difference between your desk and a plant? What about your desk and a bean bag?



Matter has physical properties that include density, color, boiling point, and freezing point.

When matter experiences a change in temperature or pressure, it may experience a phase change, or a physical change.
Let's try this in class with ices cubes.

A temperature change in water may result in solid ice changing to liquid water. Liquid water can then change to water vapor (gas).


1)True or false; all substances are made of matter.

2) Name one of the three states of matter? (physical, liquid, gas)

Discussion question:
Can we learn more about ourselves from studying and learning about other animals?