Classification of Matter Activity: Make a Plan to Separate a Mixture


Students develop a plan to separate a mixture, demonstrating their understanding of pure substances versus mixtures.
Grades 7-9

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Perfect for units covering the classification of matter (elements, compounds, mixtures) and pure substances versus mixtures.  In this activity, students are told of a mixture and must make a plan to separate it.  It’s challenging!  (Not for you… it’s no prep!)

Basic knowledge of the difference between elements, compounds, and mixtures is required, as well as a simple understanding of density.

In this activity, students will:

  • READ about a “soup” that their nephew has made.
  • IDENTIFY each individual part of the soup as an element, a compound, or mixture.
  • DRAW how the soup will settle out (based mostly on density).
  • DEVISE A PLAN to separate the soup with the materials provided.
  • ANSWER follow-up questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a paper-based activity – no actual separation occurs. We have the students work in pairs and complete the drawing and separation plan on poster paper. However, as written, this document is a worksheet-based activity.

Teacher Tidbits:

  • Supports: NGSS MS-PS1-1 and MS-PS1-2
  • Please note that this mixtures activity is not editable.


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