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States of Matter Pointillism

Pointillism is a artistic technique where you make a picture using just dots. The most famous example is “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. Today, we are going to use dots to make a picture of the states of matter


Q-tips(or finger)
3 Sheets of paper per child Paint


  1. Set up a paint station by putting some paint on a plate and some q-tips by the paint
  2. Ask children what the difference is between a solid, a liquid and a gas. Then, watch this
    quick youtube video!
  3. Hand out a piece of paper to each child, and give them each a q-tip. Tell them we are
    going to use the q-tips to make dots and the dots will represent the particles in different
    state of matter.
  4. Hand them another piece of paper, and tell them to think about the solid state of matter..
    The particles are all moving slow, and are super close together. How would they draw
    those particles using dots?
  5. Hand out another piece of paper and talk about the liquid state of matter. Liquid
    particles are spaced a little apart and are moving neither fast or slow. How can we paint
    these particles using dots?
  6. Next, we will paint the gas state of matter on the final piece of paper. Now the particles
    are far apart and moving very fast! Using the dots made by the q-tip, how would the
    gas particles look?
  7. Compare the paintings

More Fun:

● Have a state of matter dance party! Listen to the following songs and dance along to them!
Gas Song (can you move around fast like Steam particles?)
Liquid Song (moving a little slower now…)
Solid Song (moving…so…slow )