Properties of Matter

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11764

Does it matter if you learn about matter? You work with matter every day and everywhere, because you are matter, and you matter! Learn how to describe the objects around you, just like a scientist!


Physical Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


How would you describe this puppy? How big is the puppy? Do you think it would be hard to pick her up?

Matter is anything on Earth that takes up space.

You are matter, the puppy in the picture below is matter, your favorite toy is matter, and even your favorite food is matter! Since everything on Earth is matter, scientists have come up with ways to describe matter. You were asked how you would describe the puppy in the picture. You could talk about the puppy's size, weight, color, and texture.

During this lesson, you will learn how to describe the properties of matter.

One way to describe matter is to talk about its size. Tell your parent or teacher some words you could use to describe something's size. After sharing, ask your parent or teacher to read you the list of words relating to size below:

  • small
  • big
  • thin
  • thick
  • short
  • long
  • fat
  • skinny
  • huge
  • tiny

These are just some examples of ways you can describe the size of matter. Point to the pumpkin below that is small:

big and small pumpkins

Image by CharlesAPhillips63, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

The pumpkin on the right is small, and the pumpkin on the left is big!

Another way to describe matter is to focus on its weight. A good way to describe something that weighs very little is to say it is light. A way to describe matter that is weighs a lot is to say it is heavy. Which picture shows something that is heavy? Tell your parent or teacher.

heavy or light

The box in the picture is heavy. You can tell because the man carrying it looks like he is struggling! The picture on the right shows a feather. Feathers are light.

Another way to describe matter is to talk about its color. For example, you could say the man in the picture above is wearing a red bowtie. You can use color to describe any type of matter you see. Look at the colorful rainbow below. Can you name the colors of the rainbow? Tell your parent or teacher each color of the rainbow while pointing to each stripe in the picture below:


Texture is another property of matter. Ask your parent or teacher to help you read the list of texture words below:

  • soft
  • hard
  • smooth
  • bumpy

These are some ways you can describe the texture of something. Look at the alligator below. Is the alligator smooth or bumpy?


That's right! The alligator has bumpy scales on its body.

What about the baby bird on the right? How would you describe the texture of the baby bird? Tell your parent or teacher. A great way to describe the baby bird is to say it is soft.

baby chicks

Do you understand the four different ways to describe matter? These are the main ways people describe the properties of matter.

You can also describe matter by focusing on its shape, taste, and smell.

In the next section, you will be using the new describing words you learned to describe different pictures.

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