What's the Matter? is a field-tested physical science unit for high-ability learners in grades 2-3. In this unit, students work on solving real-world scenarios by using their newly discovered knowledge of matter, the measurement of matter, and change in physical properties. At the end of this 15-lesson unit, students present their data in a classroom “science conference.”

What's the Matter?, a Project Clarion Primary Science Unit, utilizes a hands-on, constructivist approach that allows children to build their knowledge base and skills while they explore science topics through play and planned investigations. The overarching concept of change is used to deepen understanding of the scientific concepts in the unit.

Winner of the 2010 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award, What's the Matter? was developed by the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary, to offer advanced curriculum supported by years of research. The Center's materials have received national recognition from the United States Department of Education and the National Association for Gifted Children, and they are widely used both nationally and internationally.

Each of the books in this series offers curriculum that focuses on advanced content and higher level processes. The science units contain simulations of real-world problems, and students experience the work of real science by using data-handling skills, analyzing information, and evaluating results. The mathematics units provide sophisticated ideas and concepts, challenging extensions, higher order thinking skills, and opportunities for student exploration based on interest. These materials are a must for any teacher seeking to challenge and engage learners and increase achievement.

Grades 2-3

part I|14 pages

Unit Overview

chapter |7 pages

Introduction to the Unit

chapter |1 pages

Unit Glossary

chapter |2 pages

Teacher Content Notes

chapter |2 pages

Teaching Resources

part II|116 pages

Lesson Plans

chapter |6 pages

Lesson Overview

chapter |2 pages

Preteaching Lesson: Science Safety

chapter |2 pages

Science Safety Guidelines

chapter |9 pages


chapter Lesson 1|4 pages

What Is Change?

chapter Lesson 2|5 pages

What Is a Scientist?

chapter Lesson 3|7 pages

Introduction to Matter

chapter Lesson 4|6 pages

What Scientists Do: Observe, Question, Learn More

chapter Lesson 6|8 pages

The Case of the Mystery Goop

chapter Lesson 7|5 pages

Physical Changes by Changing Temperatures

chapter Lesson 8|7 pages

Who Stole the Principal's Water?

chapter Lesson 9|11 pages

Who Stole the Principal's Water? Part II

chapter Lesson 10|9 pages

Measuring Mass

chapter Lesson 11|8 pages

Measuring Volume

chapter Lesson 12|3 pages

Evaporation Findings

chapter Lesson 13|4 pages


chapter Lesson 15|6 pages

Concluding the Unit