SYMMETRY OF MATTER
PHYSICAL SCIENCES – SYMMETRY OF MATTER
LESSON 1. Early Concepts of Matter
Objective: Students explore early philosophy on classifying matter.
This lesson is meant to make students understand how difficult it was to describe matter. It introduces the 4 elements: fire, water, air, and earth of Empedocles and subsequent ideas of Plato and Aristotle.
You may want to do this as a lab or as a demonstration to start a discussion on what is matter. If you are creating a lab, you might change liquids and amounts to fit your lab situation.
In steps one through four you will be experimenting with water and the other two “known elements”. Try to determine if the “elements” mix or if they are not mixable.
Step five is a look at the power of the “element” air and what it can do.
Steps six and seven deal with fire and earth so be careful. Follow all flame safety guidelines or you will be burned.
Steps eight and nine are more dangerous and should be done only as a demonstration. Touch paper, in step eight, is paper that has been soaked in salt peter it has been used in the fireworks industry to act as an igniter.