Physical and Chemical Properties- 5th Grade Science Unit

Students will review physical properties and investigate a chemical change in an experiment, comparing and contrasting the physical and chemical properties using a Venn diagram. This can be used as an inquiry lesson to introduce chemical properties. Materials needed: milk and vinegar.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0206.2.1
Understand and use place value concepts to 1000.
GLE 0206.2.2
Understand and use the base-ten numeration system.
GLE 0206.2.3
Use efficient and accurate strategies to develop fluency with multi-digit addition and subtraction.
GLE 0507.9.1
Observe and measure the simple chemical properties of common substances.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Essential and guiding questions: 
  • What was used to observe the properties of these objects? (senses, measurement tools, magnets)
  • Did you notice any change in the object while it was being observed? (no)
  • Does making observations change the object in any way? (no)
  • What type of change occurs when an object is just observed? (no change)
  • What type of properties can be observed without changing the object into a new substance? (physical properties)
  • Define physical properties. (Physical properties are those properties of an object that can be observed without making any change in the object.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials List:

pairs of objects similar in all ways but one or two physical properties, such as a ping pong ball and a tennis ball, pear and green apple, a univalve and bivalve seashell, a block of wood and a metal rectangular rod; paper lunch bags; safety goggles; vinegar; raw potato slices; hydrogen peroxide; baking soda; matches; piece of paper; iodine; index cards; milk that has all its milk fat; small containers (test tubes, baby food jars); science learning logs.