Last week, we studied solids, liquids, and gases in kindergarten. I usually show pictures of each type of matter and have the kids come up with their own examples. Sometimes I do little experiments or bring in different liquids for them to experiment with. This year, I added an additional lesson. I asked the kids to hypothesize about whether a burning candle would be a solid, liquid, or gas. I recorded their hypotheses in a graph (see photo below). I definitely thought I would fool them, but one boy did guess correctly that a burning candle is all three!
After they had made their hypotheses, I showed them this link (a video of a candle burning – you could also light one in the classroom, I suppose, but I was a little too nervous to do that!):
We watched the video twice, and I asked the kids to describe what they saw to their partners. Most were surprised to find out that a burning candle is a solid, a liquid, and a gas, all at the same time! I’ll definitely teach this lesson again this year, because they enjoyed it and it made this concept a little more concrete.