How I’d Teach the 3 States of Matter to 2nd Graders (With a Free Printable Matter Anchor Chart!)

As we dive into the world of solids, liquids, and gases with 2nd graders, here’s a tried-and-true approach to bring the states of matter to life in your classroom.

Step 1: The Explicit States of Matter Lesson

Introduce the Concept: Start with a simple explanation. Matter is everything around us and it comes in three forms – solids, liquids, and gases. Use everyday examples: ice (solid), water (liquid), and steam (gas).

Visual Aids: Employ charts and images to visually represent the states of matter.

🎁 ➡️ Grab your free 3 states of matter anchor charts here!


After we’d make an anchor chart together as a class, these would be available for student reference! #teachersoftiktok #anchorcharts #2ndgradeteacher #anchorchart #elementaryteacher

♬ original sound – Jessica | Teachtolovelearning

Game: What’s the Matter? Chant as a class ‘What’s the Matter?’ and then students have to find something in the classroom that is made of matter and explain what state it’s in.

Step 2: Interactive Activities and Chants

Solids: The Freeze Dance Game

Activity: Play the Freeze Dance game. When the music stops, students freeze like solids, where particles are closely packed and don’t move freely.

Chant: 🎵 “Solid, solid, it doesn’t flow,
Holds its shape, steady as we go!
Particles close, moving oh so slow,
In the world of solids, we’re pros!” 🎵

Liquids: Water Relay Race

Activity: Organize a relay race where students carry water in spoons from one point to another. This illustrates how liquids can change shape but maintain volume.

Chant: 🎵 “Liquid, liquid, it flows away,
Changing shape, in a sway!
Particles move in a dance so free,
Liquid’s the state we love to see!” 🎵

Gases: Balloon Bash

Activity: Use balloons to demonstrate gases. When balloons are inflated, they show how gases fill and expand space.

Chant: 🎵 “Gas, gas, it fills the air,
Expanding around, here and there!
Particles fast, moving with flair,
Gas is the state that’s everywhere!” 🎵

Step 3: Reflection and Reinforcement

End the lesson with a discussion. Encourage students to talk about what they learned and ask questions. This reinforces the concepts and ensures understanding.


Like this science anchor chart?! There’s more where that came from. Gain access to hundreds of 2nd-grade anchor charts inside the Anchor Chart Club.