P4 Science Core Topic – Matter

03 May P4 Science Core Topic – Matter

MATTER

1. Brief Intro

Matter is an introductory topic that the students will learn in P4 Science.  It is essential that the students master this topic well as it serves as a fundamental to a core PSLE topic, Water Cycle.

1. Important Concepts

Some of the important concepts that frequently revolve in this topic are mainly what defines a matter and the different physical properties of the 3 states of matter. Student will learn what they mean and how to apply them in real life examples.

Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. This is the key idea that students need to fully internalise so that they will be able classify on what can be considered as a matter and what cannot. This also serves as a basis for explanation as to why certain behaviour is seen in real life situation. For example, a cup of water overflows when ice is added inside. This is simply because ice is a matter and it occupies the space filled by the water.  Therefore, the water level rises and overflows the cup.

The physical properties of the 3 states of matter:

Solid Liquid Gas
– Has definite shape
– Has definite volume
– Cannot be compressed
– Has definite shape
– Has definite volume
– Cannot be compressed
– Has definite shape
– Has definite volume
– Cannot be compressed

These are the important properties that defines the 3 states of matter. Students will need to fully understand what each property means and how to apply them in the structured questions.

Example: Marcus tried to pour some condensed milk out from a tin. When he punched one hole on the tin, he found that the milk flowed very slowly. His father told him to make a second hole on the tin. When he did that, the milk flowed out easily.  Why did the milk flow out faster when the second hole was made?

Without a proper understanding on the concept of matter, students might struggle to come up with a reason as to why this is so and will resort to misconceptions such as the milk flows out faster because there is an extra hole for the milk to flow out of.

It is essential that the students understand that in the concept of matter, a space cannot be left empty. It must be occupied by something.

In this question, when the milk flows out of the tin, it is leaving behind an empty space. This empty space will be filled by the air from outside. But since there is only one hole, then the milk is flowing out the same way as the air is flowing in, hence causing them to push against each another. This is what causes the milk to flow out very slowly. In order to counter this problem, a second hole must be made so that the milk can flow out from one hole and air can enter form the other, allowing the milk to flow out faster.

When only one hole was made, the milk in the tin could not flow out as air outside the tin is pressing against the milk. This slows down the flow of milk out of the tin from the first hole.  When a second hole was made, air can enter the tin easily through the second hole to occupy the space inside the tin, which in turn pushes the milk out of the tin from the first hole more easily.  Therefore, the milk could flow out the tin faster when the second hole was made.

1. How Einstein Can Help?

The students @Einstein are taught to remember the important concepts of Science and how to apply them concisely in the structured questions. The students are trained extensively to identify which concept and keywords to use in answering the questions, followed by how to structure their answer with the relevant key words and concepts, giving a complete and detailed explanation. To find out how Einstein can exactly help your child to master the full explanatory skill in Science, contact us now.