Physical Science Logo6th Grade (SCI) Physical Science Standards
[PS1] Matter and Its Interaction

SCI-MS.PS1.04 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on qualitative molecular-level models of solids, liquids, and gases to show that adding or removing thermal energy increases or decreases kinetic energy of the particles until a change of state occurs. Examples of models could include drawings and diagrams. Examples of particles could include molecules or inert atoms. Examples of pure substances could include water, carbon dioxide, and helium.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter The changes of state that occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models of matter.
PS3.A: Definitions of Energy Heat refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects. The temperature of a system is proportional to the average internal kinetic energy and potential energy per atom or molecule. The details of that relationship depend on the type of atom or molecule and the interactions among the atoms in the material.

Student Learning Targets:

Knowledge Targets

  • I can identify and define each state of matter. 
  • I can identify the phase changes.

Reasoning Targets

  • I can infer the temperature at which phase changes occur.

Skills (Performance) Targets

  • I can measure the temperature of a substance.

Product Targets

  • I can create a phase change model using lab data.
  • I can identify the states of matter and phase changes on a phase change graph.

Proficiency Scale

The Student can ...
1 Beginning
... with help, demonstrate a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) and some of the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).
  • descriptors
2 Developing
... demonstrate no major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes but exhibits major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).
  • Key Vocabulary: Melting Point, Boiling Point, Freezing, Condensation, Evaporation, Sublimation, Deposition
3 Proficient
“The Standard.”
... demonstrate no major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and processes that were end of instruction expectations.
  • identify and define phase change
  • explain the behavior of the particles at each phase of matter
Sample Activity:
The student draws atom particle arrangements based on the phases of matter.
The students identify phase changes on a graph

4 Advanced
... demonstrate in-depth inferences and applications regarding more complex material that go beyond end of instruction expectations.
  • descriptors



  • Melting point
  • Boiling point
  • Freezing
  • Condensation
  • Evaporation
  • Sublimation
  • Deposition 


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