Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature..What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases


The book, What Is the World Made Of?, presents appropriate hands-on examples from everyday life to teach the concept of solid, liquid, and gas.  Did you every walk through a wall? Drink a glass of blocks? Play with a lemonade doll? Put milk on for socks? These are the fun and humorous questions that are answered in Zoehfeld’s simple text.  The book offers simple activities to do to find out more about the three states of matter. Water is used as an example of how matter can change from solid to liquid to gas, but most things in the world stay in one state or another.  The author offers funny examples of what our world be like if it were a crazy world.  For example, “Can imagine a world where your toys melt when it gets to hot or where the walls of your house turn into hazy gas and animals just walk in and out as they please.”

Curriculum Connections
This book can be used to introduce the states of matter.  The simple activities can be done in the classroom.  In Virginia, What Is the World Made OF? can be used in connection with SOL K.5a (water occurs in different states) and SOL 2.3b (changes in matter such as condensation, melting, and freezing).

Additional Resources
1.Change It! is another book to use to support the teaching the three states of matter.
2.Properties and Changes in Matter is a great website to use to set up centers involving all three states of matter.  These are fun hands-on activities that students will enjoy.  Worksheets are also available.
3.Solid, Liquid, or Gas is a song that teaches the three states of matter.

Book: What Is the World Made Of?
Author: Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Illustrator: Paul Meisel
Publisher: Collins
Publication Date: August 1998
Page: 32 pages
Grade: k-2
ISBN: 0064451631