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Properties of Matter 2: Temperature

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In order for students to understand how to use a thermometer, they must first understand what they are measuring. TEMPERATURE! Students should have a lesson on the origin of temperature and understand that things can be measured in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. The Fahrenheit origin isn’t quite known, but we do know water boils at 212 degrees F, and it freezes at 32 degrees F. The boiling point and freezing point of water can be measured in Celsius as well with temperatures being 0 and 100.



  1. Have students fill plastic cup with cold water and ice cubes.
  2. Providing digital thermometers, have students set one to F and the other to C.
  3. Students should stick the sensors in the cold water and note the temperature on each thermometer.
  4. Students should note the difference of the temp inside the plastic cup


Purpose: Students will see how close they are to the freezing point in both measurements.

Introduce: Having students tell me common temperatures that they know about. (body temp)

Difficulties: Reading the temperature for the water instead of the room

Changes: Using Styrofoam cups to better insulate the water.

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