Temperature and Matter

Version 2



    The reaction rate measures the speed of chemical reaction fora given reactant or product. During a chemistry unit on reaction rates, students will observe changes in matter and explore how temperature affects how quickly or slowly a product reacts.


    At a Glance

    Subject: Science

    Grades: 5-8

    Lesson Duration: One 50-minute class period


    Learning Objectives

    Students will:

    • Conduct an experiment to investigate questions about the relationship between temperature, matter, and reaction rates;
    • Document all observations, measurements, and conclusions in a lab report; and,
    • Analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations.


    Materials and Resources

    Student Devices

    • Laptops, 2-in-1s, or tablets


    • SPARKvue* with temperature probe Lab Materials
    • Clear beakers
    • Measuring cups
    • Alka-Seltzer* or other dissolving tablets
    • Stopwatch
    • Bottled water
    • Heating source (if available)
    • Ice (if available)

    Websites (optional)


    Inquiry Process

    Students will engage in scientific inquiry throughout the lesson. Students will begin by generating questions to investigate based on explorations, research, and prior knowledge. After creating a hypothesis, they will investigate changes in matter and collect data on temperature and reaction rates. Students will use their findings to generate additional questions as they attempt to understand the relationship between temperature and reaction rates. After evaluating their data, students will present their conclusions.


    Technology Benefits

    Scientific apps, such as SPARKvue, give students the tools they need to easily collect and record accurate data when conducting an investigation. Digital data tools also allow students to share their observations and data with others in a visually compelling display.



    Engage Students

    Engage students in a discussion about common life experiences where they may have witnessed changes in matter, for example, water freezing into icicles or ice cream melting on a hot day. Challenge students to identify which outside factors may have played a role in the changing matter, and discuss how these changes in matter may have been impacted by different factors (for example, eating ice cream inside an air conditioned building).



    Using scientific inquiry, students will investigate questions about the relationship between changes in matter, temperature, and reaction rates. Students will work in collaborative groups to conduct each experiment and record their findings using SPARKvue.


    To begin, divide students in teams encouraging them to reflect on their personal experiences. Show students the lab materials you have available and ask them to generate investigative questions that could be used to explore the relationship between changes in matter, temperature, and reaction rates.


    After selecting a question to investigate, students will create a hypothesis and build a new experiment in SPARKvue. Ask students to identify the types of data they will need to collect in order to support or refute their hypothesis. Each team will work collaboratively in SPARKvue to set up data recording tools (for example, a spreadsheet, graph, or observational notes) that will best capture data as it relates to their experimental design.


    Review student work in SPARKvue prior to beginning the experiments. Challenge students to explain and refine their ideas through questioning, for example, “How will you know if the temperature affects the rate of change? What other factors have you accounted for, and how will you control those factors?”


    Although students will likely create their own experimental design based on their investigative question, the following experiment is provided as an example of how students may choose to set up their investigation and collect data:

    • Conduct Experiment Using Room Temperature Water
    • 8 oz of room temperature bottled water
    • Use temperature probe and record temperature for 10 seconds
    • Leave temperature probe in water and add 1 Alka-Seltzer* tablet
    • Record the temperature and the rate of change at regular time intervals. Stop when the tablet is dissolved.
    • Observe and record changes.
    • Repeat the experiment using hot water and cold water.


    As students carry out their experiments, encourage them to ask related questions based on their investigations. As time allows, students can design additional experiments to further refine their hypothesis.


    In the final step, students will analyze their data and draw conclusions about their hypothesis. Encourage students to use data presentation tools, such as graphs and charts, to find patterns and visualize their data. Students will determine the best way to present their data and describe their conclusions about the relationship between changes in matter, temperature, and reaction rates.



    Throughout the investigative process, students will self-assess their experimental design and data analysis with the Science Lab Process Rubric from Intel Assessing Projects. The teacher will use this rubric to determine if students have met the lesson objectives.



    This lesson was created by Julia Fischer, Professional Development Strategist for Clarity Innovations Inc. in Portland, Oregon

    In this lesson, students will conduct an experiment to investigate questions about the relationship between temperature, matter, and reaction rates