Inquiry – Physical and Chemical Change

On Monday we had our first inquiry lesson for this term. We watched a video about Physical and Chemical changes. A Physical change is when you change a size or shape of something but it stays the same. A Chemical change is when you change something and it doesn’t look the same anymore. So you can’t change it back. This is going to be an exciting unit because it’s going to be challenging and we get to learn new things. We are going to find ourselves in the pit a lot!

Tom 3/4AS

Do you know any specific examples of physical or chemical changes that happen in our environment ?

What would you like to learn about during this unit of Inquiry ?

What do you think are the characteristics of a good inquirer ?

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35 Responses to Inquiry – Physical and Chemical Change

  1. Mrs. Hirst says:

    I think an inquirer asks lots of questions and is very curious as well as persistent. They never give up until they reach a conclusion.

  2. Riley b says:

    Hi Bloggers,
    Today my family and I created a chemical change experiment that I learnt in class. All you need is paper, water, vinegar, bicarb soda, sticky tape, cup and dish washing detergent. You tape the paper together to make a cup then add water, bicarb soda, dish washing detergent and vinegar BOOM! you have your own volcano.


    • angestuart says:

      Hi Riley!
      That is so cool you were able to recreate the experiment at home!
      Did you follow your procedure that you wrote in class today ?

      From Ms Stuart

  3. Bexley and Denise (Bexley's mum) says:

    Hi Everyone!
    Bexley and I were talking about chemical changes that happen in our home and Bexley suggested the pizza dough that we make for pizza night on Fridays. We discussed that we start with flour, salt, warm water and yeast but that once we mix them together, they become dough and there isn’t anything that we could do to make them turn back into their original ingredients. It’s also yummier as dough than the individual ingredients!!

    Cheers, Denise and Bexley

    • angestuart says:

      Hi Denise & Bexley!
      What a great example of a chemical change which you could see in your kitchen !! What a yummy chemical change too! 🙂
      It has made me wonder what other chemical changes happen in the kitchen. I can think of 100’s now..

      Thanks for sharing guys!

      Ms Stuart

  4. Ryan 3/4 KR says:

    Hi everyone,
    I love how we are learning about chemical changes.I would like to know a lot more about chemical changes because it sounds so interesting.I also like all the chemical changes you can think of.

    Ryan out

  5. Michaela's mum says:

    Hello everybody,

    We talked about the chemical changes that happen within your body when you eat. Did you know that your body breaks down everything you eat using chemicals? There is saliva in your mouth (breaks down carbohydrates). For an experiment, you take a piece of white bread (just a bite, no crust) and chew it in your mouth. Don’t swallow it! If you chew it long enough, it begins to taste sweet! This is because the carbohydrates in bread start breaking down into glucose, or sugar!


    Michalea and Kylie

    • angestuart says:

      Hi Michalea & Kylie,
      That is a really interesting facts about the chemical changes in your body! I love learning about the human body! Before I studied to be a teacher I studied Sports science so I was lucky enough to learn a lot about all the physical and chemical changes that happen to us! We will have to talk facts at school Michalea! 🙂

      Ms Stuart

  6. Marlo (Noahs mum) says:

    Noah has been very excited to tell me all about global warming. He said that Antarctica is melting because of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from cars and factories. He told me there is an ozone layer and there is a hole in it above Australia. He told me the animals in Antarctica are dying because the ice is melting and scientists think polar bears might become extinct. Wow. I didn’t know all of that. Thanks for listening so well in class Noah! I look forward to hearing about what else Noah learns in 3/4 for the rest of the year!

    • angestuart says:

      Hi Marlo,
      I’m glad Noah has been sharing all his new information at home! He has been asking fantastic question so I can tell he is really excited to learn about our inquiry topic this term. Hopefully he will come home with lots more facts and information he can teach you about! 🙂

      Ms Stuart

  7. Celine and Tam (Celine's mum) says:

    Hi bloggers,

    I really like physical and chemical changes because I think it is really important to learn and having a lot of experiments that are fun.
    I have some questions to ask and they’re how can we prevent carbon dioxide? Why is carbon dioxide bad? And lots more questions to ask at school.

    Bye for now but not forever from Celine

  8. Justin says:

    Hi bloggers Justin here.
    I really liked inquiry on physical and chemical changes. The most fun part was doing the experiment and learning more things like the ice cape melting.

    From Justin.

  9. Leeah & Mum (Maria) says:

    Hi guys,

    We find chemical and physical change amazing like how an object can be rock solid then you add heat and this causes a change in the object to melt or turn into liquid .
    Have fun learning!!
    Leeah & Maria

  10. luke says:

    Hi bloggers Luke here,
    I am really excited to learn about inventions to save the plant. I am wanting to find out how cars will run when we stop to use fossil fuels. I think it was a great idea to split the topics in to different class rooms.
    Bye for now but not for ever.

  11. Cheyenne and Dad (Cedric) says:

    Hey Bloggers,
    On the weekend I did a chemical change experiment with my friend we put bicarb soda and vinegar! It all bubbled up! This is a chemical change because you can’t get the vinegar and bicarb soda back.

    I am very impressed that they are learning about chemical and physical changes as its very interesting and improve the knowledge of objects we see every day.

    Cheyenne and Cedric!

  12. Jack E says:

    Hi following bloggers it’s Jack here!

    I love chemical and physical change because it is fun when we get to watch videos, make experiments and do activities. The best thing about the experiment was when we blew the cabbage juice through the straw and see what the difference was.

    Jack out.

  13. Charlotte and shannon (Mum) says:

    Hi it is Charlotte here,
    My Family and I are going to Hervey Bay in Queensland for my Grandparents birthday. Hervey Bay is famous for whales especially at this time of year. While we are there we are going on a boat to see some whales. I will see if I can ask about the whales and if there has been any differences in the ocean or the whales, because of co2, rubbish, global warming an chemicals that people have dipped or put in the ocean.
    from Charlotte and Shannon 🙂

  14. Miss Minogue says:

    This is a comment from Alex S. in 3/4M:

    Hi it’s Alex,
    I love inquiry and the project last term.
    I also absolutely love how we go around and get information.
    I wonder what the next projects will be and look like.

  15. Hayley and Greg (Hayley's dad) says:

    Hey bloggers,
    My dad and I were discussing about the ‘physical and chemical change’ and because my dad works in the waste industry, he explained how a plastic bottle gets melted down by heat and is transformed into polymers which is then recreated into items such as plastic chairs, PVC piping, tyre treads, rubber found on the soles of our shoes and even silicone! WOW, there are so many items recreated from a plastic bottle.

    Enjoy learning,
    Hayley and Greg (Hayley’s dad)

  16. Thomas B says:

    Hey it’s Thomas,
    I think an excellent scientist needs to be questioning and persistent.
    If they are doing a project the scientist needs to take lots of risk.
    I wonder what the next project will be.

    • Gayle (Thomas B's mum) says:

      I use to love science at school. Especially learning how things work that occur in our lives that we take for granted. Thomas told me he learnt a physical change example was ice melting to water and freezing to ice again.

  17. Edmund says:


    Some specific examples of physical or chemical changes that happen in our environment are such as burnt paper as a chemical change and blunt pencil as a physical change. I would like to learn about more examples of physical and chemical changes and who discovered physical and chemical changes. I think the characteristics of a good inquirer
    are the qualities of being knowledgeable, focused fully on what they’re doing and
    analyse things properly. In the future, I hope I learn a lot of information about physical and chemical changes.

    From Edmund 🙂

  18. Julia (Edmund's mum) says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have realised that I have actually experimented with physical and chemical changes but have actually never really knew the name for it. I think it is a great topic for the children to be learning as it is essential in part of our lives and also a great fun topic to learn. I hope in the end they learn something new about physical and chemical changes.
    This topic is also helpful for being a good inquirer for the children to experiment.
    Happy experimenting!
    From Julia 🙂

  19. Nicholas F & Kris (Dad) says:

    When we were in Jan Jac (near Torquay) Nick was surprised to learn that about 50,000 years ago, you could reach Tasmania without having to go over the water, as water levels were so low, you could walk. This area was a grassy plain. Due to the melting of the ice (during the glacial period Pleistocene,) the gap between Australia and Tasmania filled with water.
    We got to spend the afternoon looking over the water towards Tassie from the top of the cliffs.
    Looking forward to hearing more about what Nick is learning this term, especially the enviromental changes to the earth.
    Nick & Kris

  20. Edmund says:


    Some of the specific examples of physical or chemical changes that happen in our environment like an example of chemical change is a burnt paper because it cannot redo the action but an example of a physical change is a blunt pencil which can be redone by writing with it to much and sharpening it. I would like to learn in this unit of Inquiry who had come up with physical and chemical changes and more other examples of physical and chemical changes that occur. I think that characteristics of being a good inquirer is analysing the examples carefully, focusing and concentrating fully on the changes and never gives up until a question is answered. I think that it will be a fun topic to learn!

    From Edmund 🙂

  21. Louisa and Ellen (mum) says:

    Hi everyone,
    My Mum and I were thinking about chemical changes in our environment. We thought that a good example of a chemical change that happens in our environment would be when a volcano erupts. The volcano itself goes through a change when the lava cools down and forms into rock. Not only this but the land changes when it is covered by the lava.

    I really enjoy learning about physical and chemical changes!
    Louisa and Ellen, bye for now.

  22. Paul says:

    Hi everybody its Paul here!
    I am growing a crystal at home! I started with a little blob of crystal seed, some crystal powder and added some water. Overnight it changed into a spiky hedgehog-looking crystal. My crystal has had a chemical change. I enjoy Science at school. I think the teachers did a great job at thinking of science experiments for us to do.
    From Paul! 🙂

  23. Andrea says:

    Paul has loved learning about science at school. It’s his favourite subject! Thanks 3/4 teachers! Paul goes to the CSIRO Double Helix Club programs in the holidays where he learns about science in a fun way…just like the 3/4’s are currently doing at school. Maybe one day the CSIRO can come to our school?
    Happy experimenting!
    From Andrea (Paul’s Mum)

  24. Liana and Marie (Liana's mum) says:

    Hey everyone,
    At school, we have been discussing chemical and physical changes that happen all around us. This has made us more aware of what happens and why.
    At home when mum cooks dinner for example some ingredients combined make solid mixtures. ( dad says its mum’s cooking!)
    Mum also says that the firecrackers over New Year’s Eve explode once they are set on fire which causes a chemical reaction.
    At school I am loving doing all these experiments, I wish we could do even more.

    Bye from both of us.

  25. Nick & Kris (Dad) says:

    While on a trip to Jan Juc (near Torquay on the Great Ocean Road) Nick was surprised to discover that less than 50,000 years ago, Tasmania was joined to Australia, and in fact, you could walk across the grassy plains between Victoria & Tassie. Due to the melting of the ice during the current glacial period, the area has been filled with water. It is interesting to note we are currently still in an ice age, known as the Pleistocene glaciation.
    While we cant walk there anymore, Nick & I can look across the water towards Tasmania from the cliffs in Jan Juc.

  26. Charlies Dad (Owen) says:

    Hi 3/4’s

    I have been talking to Charlie about Science classes when I was a student. One of my favourite memories was when our science teacher taught us to make Hydrogen Sulfide which is also known as “Rotten Egg Gas”. This was one of the funniest and smelliest classes I have ever been in.

    Keep enjoying and loving science
    Owen (Charlies Dad)

  27. 3/4LC says:

    Hi 3/4,

    Thank you for posting this interesting piece. We had a discussion about your questions in groups of 4 and we wrote down some answers to your queries.

    We came up with the following:
    Example of physical change in our environment:
    – breaking glass, scrunching up paper, growing plant, human growth / body, water, waves in the ocean, a burning fire. What do you think? Are these correct?

    Example of chemical change in our environment:
    – the petrol in a car, baking bread, making pancakes (rrrrrrr, pannnn cakessssss), photosynthesis, battery, gas stove, rust, a dissolving tablet (have a look on our blogpost about our lava lamp) What do your think of these?

    We are currently learning about science. We are discussion earth and space, chemical, physical and biological sciences. We have done heaps of experiments and love to hear about your favorite one. Ours are the bubble snake and the lava lamp.

    We are trying to be good inquirers. We ask questions, we observe, we hypothesise, we investigate, we experiment, we draw conclusions, we calculate, we write recounts and procedural texts, we record, we keep trying, we never say thing don’t work, but that we found ways that didn’t work (just like Edison) and we don’t give up.

    What are you guys doing at the moment? Have you done any science experiments?


    3/4 LC from St.Michael’s

    • 34M says:

      Hi 3/4 LC,

      Thank you so much for your blog comment. We were very excited to hear about what you have been learning and what you think about what we have been learning. We apologise that we didn’t reply to your comment straight away.

      We thought your ideas about examples of physical and chemical change were awesome!

      We also loved your lava lamp experiment because it taught us that oil and water don’t mix.

      The most popular experiment in 3/4 has been the Coke and Mentos experiment and our beetroot experiment which was stinky but taught us that carbon dioxide makes water turn a different colour.

      At the moment we are learning about recycling, enhanced global warming, carbon dioxide (what it is and its effects), the greenhouse effect, rising sea levels and inventions that save our planet. We have started our inquiries by asking questions and thinking about what we are really interested in finding more about. We are trying to be really creative when thinking about how to present our findings. What is the point of just writing information again? We are going to try to think of our own ideas in response to what we find out.

      We love your ideas about how to be good inquirers. This is what we think too. We love hearing that you never say things don’t work but instead that you have found ways that don’t work. We also think it is important to think about the process of learning, appreciate the journey and always be persistent!

      Thanks again for your comment!
      Best wishes,

  28. Rolena & Parents says:

    Hi everyone this is Rolena
    We are recently doing our landscaping at home and it is interesting to see how outdoor material has to be carefully selected to be designed for outdoor to avoid corrosion and damage from the reaction with Air and Water. Everything seems to be either painted or sealed to protect it from the weather and from the chemical reaction that can damage it. I learned that Nails and Screws have to be galvanised and wood has to be sealed or painted to resist the chemical reaction with air and water. I am now interested to see what things can be left outside and can stay in good condition for a long time.


  29. Rolena & Parents says:

    Hi everyone this is Rolena again
    Ever since we have been doing this inquiry lesson I have been looking into everything in life differently, I think about the plants, animals, human and the environment before I consume or waste anything that can be harmful. Every time I see smoke coming out of cars or buildings I feel sorry for the environment and for all the living creatures. After searching the internet with my parents looking for alternative ways to avoid Carbone Dioxide and solve these problems we came across the world’s first No Carbone emission City that is underway in Abu Dahbi called Masdar City and I wish to share that with everyone and would love to see such city in Australia and in every country one day to save the environment.

    Hope you all like the information


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