Basic Science Notes

Matter and its classification

CONTENT:  1. Meaning of matter

                      2.   Identification of matter.

Meaning of matter

Matter is anything in nature that has mass and occupies space. Stone, paper, plant, air, water, rubber etc. are made up of matter. Matter is made up of small particles called atoms.


  1. What is a matter?
  2. Explain an experiment to show that particles move from one to another

Sub-topic 2:  Identification of matter

Matter is classified into solid, liquid, and gas. All living and non-living things are made up of matter. It means that everything that you can see, touch, smell, breathe or eat is made up of matter.


  1. How could you explain why some substances dissolve in water and others do not?
  2. Why is there a gurgling sound when you empty a bottle full of liquid?

3.   Suggest a way of transferring air from one container to another.     

Reading assignment:

Read basic science made easy pages 70-71.

Weekend assignment:

What is matter made up of?

Explain the term diffusion.

State of Matter:

Matter can be classified into the following group:

  1. Living and non-living things
  2. Using state of matter
  3. Using physical criteria like size, weight, texture, shape, color, smell, taste.

There are three states of matter which are solid, liquid and gas.


The particles of solid are arranged in an orderly manner. A strong intermolecular force holds the particles together. The particles are very much close together. Solids have definite shapes, volume and fixed mass. Examples of solid are salt, sugar, ice-block; stone e.t.c. solid undergoes translational motion and oscillatory motion.


The particles of a liquid are not very close together. Liquid particles are a bit free to move about because of the moderate intermolecular force between particles. Liquid does not have a definite shape but takes the shape of the container. Liquid are fluid which flows or diffuse in all directions. Examples are water, blood, ink, urine. Liquid have definite volume, fixed mass. Liquid cannot be compressed or squeezed into a smaller space. Liquids undergo three kinds of motion, vibration, rotational and translational.


The particles of gas are very far apart because of the very weak intermolecular force holding the particles. They move about freely at great speed. Gases have no definite shape, volume but have fixed mass. Gases can be compressed. Examples of gases are air, ammonia, steam, oxygen e.t.c.

Change of state

When solid water [ice] is heated, its particles move faster and break away from the ordered arrangement. The solid melts to become a liquid. The melting point of a substance is the temperature at which solid changes to liquid. The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which liquid changes to gas.


  1. List all the states of matter you know
  2. How will you identify matter?

3    Differentiate between solid and liquid.

Reading assignment:

Read basic science made easy by Kehinde pages 71-75.

Weekend assignment:

         1. How can we change a solid to liquid?

          2. What is boiling point?         

         3. List three properties each of solids liquids and gases.

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