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Physical and Chemical Changes
Activities for Middle School Science

The resources below will provide students a comprehensive understanding of physical and chemical changes. All of the following lessons are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

The Physical and Chemical Changes 5E Lesson includes materials for every "E" phase, including the Physical and Chemical Changes Station Lab for Exploration and an interactive PowerPoint with digital INB templates for Explanation.

The lesson also includes introduction materials for Engagement, student-choice project ideas for Elaboration, and assessments for Evaluation.

After completing the Physical and Chemical Changes 5E Lesson, students will be able to compare and contrast physical and chemical changes. They will also be able to identify the formation of a new substance by using the evidence of a possible chemical change such as production of a gas, change in temperature, production of a precipitate, or unexpected color change.

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The Physical and Chemical Changes Inquiry Lab is a hands-on activity that is differentiated for advanced, on-level, and modified middle school students.

Students will distinguish between physical change and chemical change by completing the process of saponification (making soap). Additionally, students will observe an exothermic reaction. 

The Physical and Chemical Changes Inquiry Lab includes a brief reading passage, comprehension checks, hands-on activities, reflection questions, and a CER conclusion.

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Physical and Chemical Changes Classroom Experiences

Create a powerful student experience to help solidify students' understanding about physical and chemical changes. The following experience is also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Escape Rooms

The Physical and Chemical Changes Escape Room is an immersive experience for you students. It allows them to demonstrate their knowledge of chemical and physical changes

Students must use what they have learned to compare and contrast characteristics of physical and chemical changes to complete the escape room.

Explories - A Complete NGSS Storyline

Explories are NGSS units that integrate a storyline and project-based learning with Kesler Science Inquiry Labs, Station Labs, and 5E Lessons. The Explories unit below is also included in the Kesler Science Membership .


CAUGHT: An NGSS Study of Forensics

Welcome to CAUGHT. This is an NGSS unit that integrates a storyline and projects with existing Kesler Science inquiry labs, station labs, and 5E Lessons. In this unit, students will be sent through a fictitious Forensics Academy to learn chemistry principles and evidence-gathering skills they need to solve a non-violent crime.

"Have you ever watched a crime show and said to yourself, 'I should be an investigator; I could totally solve that!'? Now is your chance to show off your crime-solving skills.

Congratulations! Your class has been accepted into the Forensic Academy!

Through this unit, you will move through levels of training and earn badges as you prove your skills.

Your preparation starts with an introduction to the nervous system and sensory processes. You will then be ready to complete the first project with a focus on the collection and analysis of crime scene evidence.

Next, your coursework will include chemistry lessons that will give you the tools to analyze collected evidence such as lipstick and blood. By the time you are ready to graduate from the Forensics Academy, you will have a complete Rookie Handbook of information.

This handbook will be of utmost importance as you attempt to solve your first case with your field partner. Good Luck Recruits!"

Year-Round Resources

These year-round activities will increase your students' understanding of many middle school science topics. All of these activities are also included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Visual Data & Graphing

You're not alone if your students struggle with understanding graphs, charts, and tables. It's a skill that takes an enormous amount of practice. This resource will help students build a strong foundation in analyzing data and creating their own data visualizations.

Bell Ringers and Warm-Ups

These middle school science bell ringers are an excellent way to engage your students as soon as they walk into your classroom. This comprehensive FULL YEAR resource includes everything you need to start off each science class with an interesting warm-up activity.

Review Board Games

Each game board has been carefully designed to keep students engaged. There are 10 different action spaces on each board and dozens of question cards. All of the actions are related to science concepts and keep the students motivated throughout the game.

Each game is ready to play. Simply print out the board and the cards and let the students enjoy reviewing nine different units.

Essential Questions and Standards

Below are the essential questions and standards associated with the lessons and activities included in the physical and chemical changes unit. This topic is only one of more than 100 middle school science topics included in the Kesler Science Membership.

Essential Questions
  • How does evidence of chemical reactions indicate that new substances with different properties are formed?
  • MS PS1-2 - Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred
  • MS LS1-7 - Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism
  • TEKS Science 6.5 C - Identify the formation of a new substance by using the evidence of a possible chemical change such as production of a gas, change in temperature, production of a precipitate, or color change
  • TEKS Science 7.6 A - Distinguish between physical and chemical changes in matter
  • TEKS Science 8.5 E - Investigate how evidence of chemical reactions indicates that new substances with different properties are formed and how that relates to the law of conservation of mass

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Kesler Science Membership

Imagine never having to search for another middle school science lesson again. The membership gives you access to ALL of the Kesler Science products in one place (Yes, including everything above).

Say goodbye to long hours of lesson prep.