Matter: Glitter Bottles & Oobleck (SOL 2.1 & 2.3 )

Teacher Name: Gemma Griffin
Grade Level: 2-3
Subject: Science
Time Frame: 1 hour 30 minutes
Concept: Changes
Topic: Matter: solids, liquids, gases


By exploring the states of matter through art, the students will have a hands on experience with various states of matter, as well as be able to apply science to other areas they are intrinsically motivated by, such as art projects. Assigning properties to these states of matter will develop the students’ classification skills, which will be helpful through the rest of their lives. Keen observation skills will aid in the students’ abilities to communicate effectively with their peers in science and in daily life.
Goals: The student will:

– Gain enjoyment from the art projects and story telling.
– Participate in related discussion with group members.
– Form conclusions about different states of matter.


Science 2.1- The student will plan and conduct investigations in which observations are repeated to improve accuracy when two or more attributes are used to classify items; observation is differentiated from personal interpretation, and conclusions are drawn based on observations; and conditions that influence a change are defined.

Science 2.3 – The student will investigate and understand basic properties of solids, liquids, and gases. Key concepts include mass and volume, and processes involved with changes in matter from one state to another (condensation, evaporation, melting, freezing, expanding, and contracting).



The student will be able to identify, both orally and in writing on a substance identification form, changes in matter (solid, liquid, gas) through observation of various hands-on materials. See attached checklist.


The student will be able to personalize learning, thus increasing their intrinsic motivation, evidenced through participation and completion of an art project, designed to demonstrate the science concept of changes in matter between a liquid, solid, and gas.


The student will be able to create an art project that demonstrates the three states of matter, evidenced by completion of sparkle bottle.

The student will be able to observe the three states of matter through participation in related art projects, evidenced by completion of sparkle bottle and completion of Oobleck identification sheet. See attached checklist.

Advanced Organizer: (15 minutes)

Draw a Scientist – give students materials to draw a scientist how they think a scientist looks. To be scored later to identify stereotypes and conceptions about scientists students hold.


crayons and markers
1 tall, narrow bottle per student
glitter, small plastic sequins, tinsel, seed beads
light corn syrup
waxed paper
2 eyedroppers
food coloring
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
large bowl, spoon
water, cornstarch, green food coloring
plates for the class
substance identification forms

Procedures & Activities:

I. Sparkle Jars: 30 Minutes

Make jars that sparkle and swirl to explore effect of mixing liquids, solids, and gases of different densities.

1. Make two jars ahead of time. Fill one jar up to 1/2 inch below the rim with water, the other with half water and half corn syrup. Add a pinch or two of glitter or sequins to each jar. Put the lid on each jar and close tightly.

2. Help students investigate corn syrup’s viscosity – resistance to flow. Cover a piece of cardboard with waxed paper and tilt it. Use eyedroppers to put a drop each of corn syrup and water at the top of the cardboard. Have student observe and compare the speed of the drops as they move down the cardboard. (The corn syrup moves more slowly than water).

3. Pass around the jars. Without shaking them, ask students what they observe inside each jar. ( a liquid; solids: glitter that swirl and then sink; a gas – air bubble that rises to the top.)

4. Hold up the jars. Then turn them upside down. Ask students to look carefully at the movement of objects inside and guess what they liquids might be. (The objects in the corn syrup-and-water jar move more slowly than those in the jar with only water).

5. Guide students in making their own jars. A drop of food color can be added to the jars if desired.

6. Invite students to observe the behavior of the solids, liquids, and gas inside their jars.

* What happens when you twirl the jar in a circle? ( A mini-whirlpool forms.)

* Where does the air bubble go? (It moves around when the jar is tipped but goes back to the top of the jar when the jar is still.)

*Which objects float? Sink? How long does it take them to sink? (Time in seconds) Why do you think some sink more quickly than others?

Dr. Seuss book reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck

II. Oobleck – 15 minutes

1. Introduce question: What is Oobleck? Is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas?

2. Tell students they are going to be making their own Oobleck.

3. We need cornstarch, water, food coloring, a bowl, and a spoon. What state of matter is the cornstarch? (solid) How can you tell? (list properties or attributes) Go through this process with each ingredient. Then mix the ingredients together to make the Oobleck.

4. Go around to each student and spoon some Oobleck onto his or her plate. While the students are observing the Oobleck, walk around to facilitate related discussion among the lab groups and scientists. Be sure to ask the question which state of matter they think Oobleck is and why.

Closure: 15 minutes

Give students identification forms and ask them to fill them out with their observations. Clean up should be easy to do in the last few minutes of class (throw the plates with the Oobleck away and wash hands in the sink).


An informal assessment will be gathered through the discussion following the making of the Sparkle Jars. Journals from the Oobleck experiment.