States of Water

Water exists in three states- solid, liquid, and gaseous.

This is a K-5 Activity ---> For Middle School and High School

Liquid Water-
Liquid water is found in many places. You see liquid water coming out of the faucet, when it rains, and running in a river. Pure liquid water is free of salt, rocks, soil, and garbage.

Solid Water-

Ice, snow, and frost are examples of water in the solid state. Liquid water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius. Celsius is scale that measures temperature. What instrument do you use to measure temperature? Winter is a season that you see a lot of solid water. Other examples of solid water are ice cubes, icicles, ice on a skating rink.

Water as a Gas -Look at this picture of gas

You don't see anything because gas is invisible. Water in the liquid state may change to water in the gaseous state. Water evaporates to turn into a gas. Gases are colorless and odorless. You cannot see gas ,but sometimes you can hear it and smell it. What are some ways that you can hear or smell a gas?

Water can evaporate or disappear with the help of heat. Changes in temperature can increase the rate or how long it takes water to evaporate. Evaporate means to disappear. Water can evaporate from soil. It evaporates off wet clothes hanging on a clothesline. Plants release water vapor into the air. We breathe out water vapor.


1. Dry your hand with a towel. Feel your palm. Is it wet or dry?

2. Hold your hand in front of your mouth about 1 inch away from you. Breathe out slowly about 8 times on to the palm of your hand. Do not blow. When you are done, feel your palm. What does it feel like? Is it wet or dry?

Your palm should have felt wet to you. That moist feeling was water vapor. Remember that we breathe out water vapor. If you have a dog or a cat, you can feel the water vapor that they breathe out. Try this with a mirror. See the water droplets form on the mirror. The water vapor that you breathed out is now becoming liquid water on the mirror. Why?

Let's find out why...What happens to water as it changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas?

The changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas or from a gas to a liquid to a solid are called a phase changes. When substances such as water change phase, its physical properties change, but not its chemical properties. Melting, freezing, condensation, and evaporation are examples of phase changes.The phase of a substance depends on temperature and pressure. The pictures below show how molecules of water look in each phase. Notice how solid water molecules are bunched together and how far apart the gas molecules are.

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