States of Matter

Sand Art Magic

States of Matter

Duration: 90 minutes

Part 3

Notes / Activity

Using DIY materials:

1. Making shapes with sand and glue

  • 2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. [Clarification Statement: Observations could include color, texture, hardness, and flexibility. Patterns could include the similar properties that different materials share.]

By the end of this lesson, the student should able to:

  • Analyze diagrams and models to deduce the states of matter, solids, liquids and gasses 

Lesson Plan

Lesson Introduction 

Duration: 10 min

  • Paper 
  • Envelope
  • Launch interactive to have students identify the three states of matter. Scaffold the students to lead them to answer the questions. 



  • Elicit from the students in each picture, “Is this a solid, liquid, or gas?”

Answer: It’s liquid  

  • Elicit from the students from the video, 

“Does solid (television)have a shape?”  Ans; Yes

“Does the liquid (milk, coffee) have a shape?” Ans: Yes

“Does the gas have a shape?” Ans: Yes 

  • Explain to the students that the television has a shape and it is rectangular. 
  • Explain to the students that the milk and coffee in the video takes the shape of the cup / glass so they are liquid.



  • Explain to the students that the air in the video takes the shape of the balloon and ball so they are gas.


Elaborate 1

Duration: 40 min

Prepare before lesson 

  • Colored sand (blue, red, green, any colors)
  • White glue
  • Clear plastic cup or container
  • Measuring spoons
  • Paper 
  • Envelope
  • Show students your pre-made sand art and elicit if it is solid, liquid, or gas.  Elicit if the glue is solid, liquid, or gas.  

Suggested Questions to ask students during the activity:

How does the sand / glue behave?

Does it behave like solid / liquid / gas?

  • Show students how to create their own colorful shapes using sand and glue. 
  • Have the students think of what shapes they would like to make. 
  • Go through the steps of the activity with the students:
    • Step 1: Scoop a thick even layer (about 5 mm deep) of sand using a spoon on the mat provided.
    • Step 2: Use glue to trace a shape in the sand.
    • Step 3: Cover the glue with a thin, even layer of sand. Make sure you can still see the glue shape—do not cover it completely.
    • Step 4: Add another layer of glue—in the same shape—on top of the first layer, then cover it with another thin layer of sand. Repeat this process until your shape reaches its desired height.
    • Step 5: Cover the final layer of glue with a thick layer of sand, so you can no longer see any of the glue shape.
    • Tell the students that they can carry out step 6 and 7 in class and come back the next session:
    • Step 6: Wait 24–48 hours and check if your shape has hardened by poking it gently with your finger. If it still feels squishy, you need to wait longer. It will break if you try to remove it before the glue is completely dry.
    • Step 7: Pour the sand back into the bag so your shape falls out. Pick your shape up and remove it from the bag.


  • Make sure to elicit if they are solid, liquid, or gas in the next class.

Suggested Questions to ask students during the activity:

Is there anything that is both solid and liquid?

Can you give an example? 

Part 4

Notes / Activity

Continuation from previous lesson Using DIY materials:

2. Making complex shapes and structures

Elaborate 3, Evaluate (Next lesson)

Duration: 40 min

Show and tell 


  • All students will show their sand art shapes made in the previous lesson.
  • Ask the students the question: 

“Is it a solid, liquid or gas?”

  • Have the students describe the colors and shape of their sand art objects. 

 “What color is this?”, “What shape is this?”

For example: It’s red. It’s a triangle.  

  • Get all the students to show their objects and describe them. 
  • Challenge students to make more complex shapes (example: an arch, a spiral) or structures. For example, they can construct a 3-D standing model of their current shapes by making more of them. Then combine them together to form a standing 3-D structure.
  • Have students showcase their structures or complex shapes when they have completed. 
  • Conclude activity by having students elicit if their structures are solid, liquid, or gas. Get them to describe the characteristics of their structures. 

Is there anything that is both solid and liquid?

Can you give an example?