Compounds and Mixtures


Compounds and Mixtures introduces students to the differences between these two types of substances. Students will discover the factors that determine whether something is a compound or a mixture. They will also learn how to identify both types based on the properties of a given substance.

The “Options for Lesson” section lists several ideas for additional tasks or activities that you could include in the lesson if you want to. One idea is to set up stations around the classroom with various types of compounds or mixtures. Students could then go around and identify and sketch what they observe.

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What our Compounds and Mixtures lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Compounds and Mixtures explores a variety of mixtures and solutions, such as sand in water. Students will learn how to explain the difference between these two concepts. They will also discover that some mixtures maintain the physical properties of their ingredients while others change instead. This lesson is for students in 5th grade and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, the only supplies you will need in addition to the handouts are colored pencils.

Options for Lesson

There are several suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you could incorporate into the lesson if you want to or have extra time. A couple of these ideas relate specifically to the activity portion of the lesson. Students could work in pairs for the activity and use construction paper or other large paper to sketch each type of mixture or compound. Another option is to set up stations around the classroom with different types of compounds or mixtures and have students identify and sketch what they observe. You could distribute a Periodic Table of Elements to each student and discuss the combinations they could create with various elements. One more idea is to invite a chemist to speak with the class about elements, compounds, and mixtures.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes pages has a short paragraph of extra information or guidance regarding the lesson and what you can expect. It encourages you to engage students in as many hands-on activities as you can as these often help solidify the concepts for students. You can use the blank lines on this page to write out your thoughts as you prepare.


The Compounds and Mixtures lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one helps reinforce what students learned and helps them demonstrate their knowledge in different ways. Refer to the classroom procedure guide to determine when to hand out the worksheets to the class.


The activity worksheets display 10 boxes, each pair of boxes (five pairs total) compares a compound and a mixture. Students must sketch a picture that represents each of five pairs. They must ensure their sketches clearly distinguish the differences between each pair. In addition, they can use labels where they need to. At the bottom of the third worksheet page, students will decide whether each of 20 terms represent an element (E), a compound (C), or a mixture (M).


The practice worksheet requires students to review 15 statements. Students must match the definition to the correct term from the word bank on the right of the page. You may or may not choose to allow students to refer to the content pages for help on this worksheet.


There are two sections on the homework assignment. The first section provides a table with two columns. The left column is for compounds and the right is for mixtures. Students will search around their home (with permission) and list examples of items they find that represent both and explain why the item fits that group. For the second section, students will review 10 statements and circle the word within the sentence to make the statement correct.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last two pages of the lesson plan PDF are answer keys for both the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. They provide the correct answers in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ work. For the most part, students’ responses should mirror those on the answer keys. However, given the nature of the first section of the homework assignment, you will have to determine students’ accuracy in their answers yourself. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards

NGSS.5-PS1-1, NGSS.5-PS1-2, NGSS.5-PS1-3, NGSS.5-PS1-4, NGSS.MS-PS1-4

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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