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Name of Activity:


Academic content:


Purpose of Activity:

Teaches characteristics of molecules and the three states of matter.


Movement in general space, moving under control, knowledge of states of matter

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Boundary markers

Physical activity:

Non-Locomotor Movements/Space Awareness

Description of Idea

Announce to the students that they are molecules and molecules always move. They can move (e.g. walk, skip, etc.-we recommend walking to start with) anyway they want however, they can't touch one another.

Begin with a large area clearly marked by the cones that you set up. Have the students move for about one minute and stop. Decrease the area. Have the students move again. Repeat this in a very small area. Remind them not to touch each other.

They are now in a small area and warmed up. Have them sit down and quickly explain that molecules that are far apart are gases (like the first time they moved). When the area was decreased, they were closer together. Molecules that are closer together are in a liquid state. When molecules are so close together they can hardly move-this is a solid.

When the students are "liquid" they can "melt" or "ooze" at the end and when they are are "solids" they can "freeze" in a shape. This would reinforce the idea if the walls were enlarged step by step again after they were decreased.


Change the locomotor movements.

Teaching Suggestions:

The classroom teacher might to able to follow-up on this activity using other characteristics of molecules (e.g. bonding, form crystals, etc.)

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Submitted by Eddie Rew who teaches at Pate's Creek Elementary in Jonesboro, GA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/24/2002.

Viewed 56720 times since 1/28/2002.

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With thanks! I appreciate this.