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Experimenting with Slime - A Sensory Exploration of States of Matter

Grade Level: 6th-8th grades

Duration: 90 minutes

Objective: Students will explore the states of matter by creating and experimenting with slime. They will observe and describe the physical properties of slime and connect these properties to the three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.

Instructor Notes

This lesson plan offers an exciting, hands-on way to explore the concept of states of matter using a substance that middle school students find fascinating. By engaging their senses in the creation and observation of slime, you can make a memorable connection between the concept of states of matter and their everyday experiences. Plus, what could be more fun than a little slimy science? Happy experimenting!


Ingredients for Making Slime

  • White school glue

  • Saline solution

  • Baking soda

  • Food coloring (optional)

  • Mixing bowls and spoons

Safety Equipment

  • Disposable gloves

  • Aprons or old t-shirts

  • Plastic tablecloth or newspaper for easy cleanup

Additional Materials

  • Small containers for slime

  • Magnifying glasses

  • Labels for containers

  • Paper and pencils for recording observations

  • Plastic zip-lock bags for students to take their slime home (optional)

Introduction (15 minutes)

Ask: To get your students excited about this lesson, start with a simple and relatable question: "Have you ever wondered what slime is made of and how it can change its shape so easily?" Allow students to share their thoughts and ideas.

Say: Then, explain the goal of today's lesson: to understand states of matter by creating and exploring slime.

Engage (15 minutes)

Say: To engage students, describe the three states of matter - solid, liquid, and gas - using everyday examples. You can say, "Think of a solid as an ice cube, a liquid as water, and a gas as the air we breathe. But what if I told you that slime can be all three? Let's find out how!"

Activity 1 - Making Slime (30 minutes)

Do: Divide your class into small groups, ensuring each group has all the necessary materials.

Say: Begin by explaining the slime recipe. You can say, "We'll mix glue, a liquid (saline solution), baking soda, and a dash of food coloring if you want to make it more interesting. It's like a magic potion!"

Do: Guide students through the process, step by step. Encourage them to take turns and collaborate.

Ask: As they mix the ingredients, ask them to notice the changes happening to the mixture. "What happens to the glue when you add the liquid?" "How does it feel?"

Activity 2 - Observing Slime (15 minutes)

Do: Once each group has created their slime, distribute magnifying glasses and ask them to examine it closely.

Ask: Have them describe the slime's physical properties. Does it stretch like a rubber band (a solid), flow like syrup (a liquid), or trap air bubbles (like a gas)?

Do: Encourage students to record their observations on paper, emphasizing the importance of clear and detailed descriptions.

Discussion (15 minutes)

Discuss: Gather the students together and discuss their findings.

Ask: Include questions like, "What did you discover about the properties of slime?" "How is slime similar to solids, liquids, and gases?"

Do: Help them connect the dots between their observations and the states of matter. For example, "When we stretched the slime, it acted like a solid, just like when we pull on a rubber band."

Lesson Conclusion (10 minutes)

Say: Summarize the key points of the lesson. You can say, "Today, we learned that slime can behave like a solid, a liquid, and a gas. It's like a chameleon of matter! Remember that matter can change its state, just like slime can change its shape."

Ask: "What are some other everyday examples of matter changing its state?"

Homework/Extension (optional)

Do: As an extension activity, students can research and present examples of other materials that exhibit characteristics of multiple states of matter. For homework, they can create a poster or short report on their chosen material, such as butter, lava, or even silly putty.


Do: Assess students' understanding through their recorded observations, class participation, and their ability to connect slime and the states of matter.

Additional Tips

  • Ensure that students wear gloves and aprons to protect their skin and clothing during the slime-making process.

  • Maintain a clean workspace and provide a designated area for cleanup.

  • Consider providing plastic bags for students to take their slime home if it's permissible in your school.


Written by Brooke Lektorich

Education World Contributor

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