• Back
  • 2nd Grade

    Structure and Properties of Matter

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. 2-PS1-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose. 2-PS1-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. 2-PS1-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot. 2-PS1-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple investigations, based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomenon and designing solutions.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to comparing ideas and representations about the natural and designed world(s).

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RI.2.1 - Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. (2-PS1-4)
  • RI.2.3 - Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. (2-PS1-4)
  • RI.2.8 - Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. (2-PS1-2), (2-PS1-4)
  • W.2.1 - Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section. (2-PS1-4)
  • W.2.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations). (2-PS1-1), (2-PS1-2), (2-PS1-3)
  • W.2.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. (2-PS1-1), (2-PS1-2), (2-PS1-3)


  • 2.MD.D.10 - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph. (2-PS1-1), (2-PS1-2)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (2-PS1-2)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (2-PS1-1), (2-PS1-2)
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (2-PS1-2)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • In this comprehensive STEM unit that utilizes science, math, technology, and language arts in 13-15 classroom sessions, students investigate standard units of measure and sort and classify objects according to their physical properties before applyin ...

  •   Students will design and make bridges out of folded pieces of paper, and test how much weight they can hold using pennies. Students will be able to explain how a bridge’s shape can make it stronger and perform tests to compare differe ...

  • This activity is an extension of the Paper Bridge Design Challenge.  In addition to making bridges out of folded pieces of paper, students will have access to a variety of materials (construction paper, aluminum foil, wax paper, cardstock, and m ...

  • This is a 5E lesson plan from the book Picture Perfect STEM Lessons, K-2 Using Children's Books to Inspire STEM Learning by Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry. The books Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley and National Geographic Kids: Robots b ...

  • This resource combines The Engineering Design Process and technology using an iPad to have students create an electronic STEM journal documenting what they learned about wind and weather as they design sails for a model boat.

  • This quick and succint powerpoint slide presentation is useful for teachers.  It provides a quick, background overview for teachers and students on the properties of materials.

  • This video is organized around the big question of the Physical Properties of Matter and it includes meaningful content.  The video is 3:36 long.  It is animated with a cool factor as it is part of a set of Vlog Brothers youtube channel cal ...

  • This short 20 minute video is well-done and engaging for young students in the 2nd grade. The video uses a well paced voice-over, interesting images, highlights vocabulary, and recaps of "what we learned so far". It starts out with &qu ...

  • This activity involves students collecting, feeling, and describing different types of soil from a known location based on properties. The students are guideded to learn that soil can have different properties depending on the different material ...

  • This 5-E lesson plan requires second graders to use observations and the engineering design process to test a variety of materials and decide which would make the best rain-proof roof for a doghouse.

  • This is a wonderfully supported and creative lesson that involves students taking apart an old appliance and making a new object using the appliance parts. The teacher guides students using a variety of teacher prompts and individual j ...

  • In this resource which is based on enactment in a second grade classroom and includes videos and examples of student work, the teacher introduces students to Watt's tower, a tower made of many pieces of junk in the neighborhood. Student ...

  • This resource is an interactive simulation designed to have students test various materials for different properties including flexibility, strength, waterproof, and transparency. The simulation includes a workshop where students can s ...

  • This wonderful set of lessons engage students in testing materials to understand their properties and discuss appropriate uses for the materials based on those properties. For example, one activity has the students examining the materi ...

  • This lesson allows students to collect data and sort objects according to their observable properties such as texture, color, weight, size, and temperature with direct instruction and in cooperative groups. The lesson includes many instructional ...

  • This lab activity explores four materials, crayon, pasta, matches, and lemonade, after they have heat added to them. The students collect and analyze information about whether or not the materials change state and if the chan ...

  • This three minute video is great for teachers who need a short and deeper understanding of what is entailed in the Performance Expectations for Properties of Matter and what is involved when a physical and chemical change occurs. It would be over the ...

  • This is an engaging music video that defines and gives examples of matter.The video is fun, colorful and explores many different kinds of matter as part of the music video sequence. Young students will love the song and the intera ...

  • None of these boxes quite fit what this resource is: It is a number of short videos of objects hitting other objects in extremely slow motion. Liquids hitting liquids, solids hitting solids, and all other combinations. Personal teaching favorites are ...

  • This is an lesson plan that accompanies the reading or watching of The Magic School Bus Bakes a Cake, or Ready Set Dough. The lesson is a short activity with guided questions that accompany making prezel dough. In the bo ...

  • This lesson is designed for K-2 students. In the lesson, students will gain an understanding of the water cycle and make observations of water in several different forms (solid, liquid, gas) to gain critical understanding that water is cons ...

  • Do you have a great resource to share with the community? Click here.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.