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Liquid or Solid Science Lesson Plan

Posted by Susan Armstrong on September 17, 2010 at 8:26 AM


A science experiment with ooblek!

With this activity children will have fun learning about the characteristics of liquids and solids, while experimenting andplaying with the learning materials. This will be a follow up activity after the children have learned about liquid and solid matter. They will receive hands on experience approach to the subject of matter.

Children’s target age group:  Appropriate for second or third grade classroom. This can certainly be modified for younger age groups!


1.      Develop an awareness of liquids and their properties- substance that flows

2.      Develop an awareness of solids and their properties- firm or compact substance

3.      Compare and contrast liquids and solids

4.      Encourage prediction and experimentation of materials used

5.      Encourage critical thinking skills

6.      Increase language development, language skills and science terminology

7.      Social skills development as the children work in a group

Spaceand Materials Needed:

This activity can be done in the science center as a whole group, small groups and/or you can modify this lesson to work individually. Provide smaller containers for individual’s experimentation.

Newspaper or plastic (Lay down on tables and floor of work area)

Corn starch (Amount needed will vary depending on size of class)


Food coloring of choice (optional)

Assortment of kitchen utensils(large spoon, spatula,funnel, etc.)

Bowls and/or plastic storage containers

Wet ones (for cleaning hands)


Have examples of liquids and solids available to show as other examples


1.     Gather in large group and discuss liquids and solids properties and characteristics. Ask “Can you think of somethings that are liquid? Solid?” Also give some examples of both to broadentheir idea of what this means. (Liquids: water, milk, and soda. Solids: rocks,wood, and diamonds. Also, you and I are solids!)

2.     Before showing the children the ooblek, show the ingredients to the class (box corn starch, water, and food color). Ask “I wonder what would happen if we mixed these ingredients? Do you suppose it would be considered a liquid or solid mix? Why do you think that?”

3.     After the children tell their predictions, show them the container of ooblek you have already prepared. Ask the children if they still believe it’s a liquid or solid, based on the appearance of the ooblek. (It will be shiny)

4.     Say “I wonder what would happen if we turn the container upside down? What do you think will happen? Will it pour or will it stay in place? Let’s try it and see if this will tell us if it isliquid or solid.” (Turn it quickly as the material solidifies under pressure) Say “Wow, it looks like a solid because it isn’t moving. What do you think? Is it solid or liquid? Why do you think?”

5.     Sit container right side up on table. Remove lid. Show the ooblek to the class again. Say “The ooblek didn’t really move when we turned it upside down. I think it could be a solid, but it looks so shiny and wet. What do you think will happen if we put our finger in it? Do you think it will be wet or dry? Hard or soft? Liquid or solid? Do you think it will jiggle? Let’s find out!”

6.     Encourage all the children to touch the ooblek, but don’t force them. They will be amazed at how it feels. Ask them to describe what it feels like to you. “Is it wet? Dry? Liquid? Solid? Thick?Thin? Does it remind you of anything?”

7.     After the group has all touched the ooblek, give each child their own ingredients to make some ooblek at their desk or in smaller groups (whichever works for your class). Give them the kitchen utensils, funnels, balloons and bowls to experiment and play with. Say “What happens if you put the ooblek in a balloon? I wonder why? Do you have an idea why? See if you can make a ball with it. What happens to it? I wonder why, do you have any ideas why? What happens if you hit it with your hand? What if you put your hand in slow? What’s the difference?” (The ooblek comes out of the balloon because of the air that forces/pushes it out.)

8.     After some experimenting, explain how liquids can be classified by its thickness. “Some liquids are thicker than others, such as ketchup, shampoo, conditioner, honey, molasses, and paint. Some liquids are thinner, and flow freely, such as water, milk, and soda. The ooblek is acting like a solid part of the time and a liquid part of the time. The sudden force leads to the fluid acting like a solid instead of a liquid; the force makes it resistant.” Touch on the word Viscocity, which means thickness/resistance to motion.

9.     Once experimenting is complete,help the class to be sure to seal  their containers so they can take it home.Clean up hands with soap and water or wet wipes. Clean tables and pick up newspapers.



Be sure to guide the children through this experimentation, without inhibiting their creativity. Be aware that some children may not want to participate, so have an alternate lesson for that child on hand.

Evaluation and Follow Up:

Were the objectives met? Did the children grasp the concept of liquid and solid matter? How much experimentation was done? What would you add or take away the next time you do this activity? What did you learn?



Categories: Lesson Plans

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1 Comment

Reply arti
3:41 AM on October 3, 2010 
an excellent lesson plan shall share it with my teachers

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