MS-PS1-4: Thermal Energy and Particle Motion

Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. (Cause and Effect)

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on qualitative molecular-level models of solids, liquids, and gases to show that adding or removing thermal energy increases or decreases kinetic energy of the particles until a change of state occurs. Examples of models could include drawing and diagrams. Examples of particles could include molecules or inert atoms. Examples of pure substances could include water, carbon dioxide, and helium.

Assessment Boundary: none


The following assessments were created by science teachers hoping to better understand the NGSS. In most cases teachers went from standard to assessment in around an hour.  These are drafts and should be used accordingly. Feel free to improve these assessments or contribute to the collection. Learn more about assessment design here.



Anchor Charts



Particle motion
Pure substance (e.g. water, carbon dioxide, helium)
Phase change
Thermal energy

Learning Plans

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