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The states of solid, liquid and gas are not the only physical properties of matter.

Physical properties include any observations that you can make about a substance using your five senses.

Pretend you are observing a spoonful of salt. What do you notice?

Salt is solid, hard, white, and made of small grains. All of these observations, including the taste are physical properties.  If you look very closely or use a magnifying glass, you will notice that salt grains are small square boxes. These are all physical properties of salt.

Try it!

With a partner, play a guessing game using physical properties. Think of an object and write it down (don't let your partner see your paper.) Describe the object’s physical properties one at a time. Remember to use the five senses (sight, smell, touch, feel, taste) in your descriptions. Your partner should try to guess what the object is using as few clues as possible.

Some countries do not have root beer.  Write a description of the physical properties of root beer for someone who has never tasted it. Include all of the five senses in your descriptions.


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Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 5th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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