Lesson Three: The Properties of Matter

What are the properties matter and why do they matter? In this Fly By, we look at the properties of matter and the facts that consists of matter in one form or another. Learn about the properties of matter how you can identify them. 




Objectives: Understanding properties of matter 

  • Observe different properties, such as color, texture, hardness, and flexibility
  • Determine the properties that make certain materials better for certain purposes

Methodology: The recommended program includes:

  • Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum’s Fly-By, Properties of Matter
  • Hands-on demonstration

Learning Questions: What are different properties of materials that we can observe? How can we test these properties?

Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 2-PS1-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
  • 2-PS1-2: Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.


Everything in the universe, from the tiniest hair on your body to the largest star, is made of matter. Matter can be categorized into three main states: solid, liquid, and gas. Matter can further be categorized by its properties. Just by looking at two objects, there are many things to observe that tell the differences between the properties of the objects.


  • Any pan for cooking
  • A notebook and pencil

Time: 30 minutes


Hold a clean pan meant for cooking. You’ll notice it’s made up of several materials. Count up all the different materials you can. Observe the materials, and ask the following questions:

  • Is it shiny or dull?
  • What color is it?
  • What shape is it?
  • Is it soft or hard?
  • Is it rough or smooth?

Do the answers to the questions tell you what the different materials might be used for? Think about how someone would cook with the pan: which materials will food touch and which materials will a person touch? Why do you think that is?

Questions to Answer in this week’s Fly-By:

  • Can you think of any other properties that you can observe about a material?
  • Can you find something else that has a lot of different materials? What do you think those materials are used for?


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