5th Grade Science : Identify materials based on properties with observation

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for 5th Grade Science

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Physical Science

In a laboratory experiment, you are given a beaker of liquid and asked to determine what it is. You observe that:

-The liquid is clear

-The liquid is not odorless; it has a distinct smell

Which of the following statements is true?

Possible Answers:

The liquid could be bleach but it could not be water or cola

The liquid could be water, but it could not be bleach or cola

The liquid must be either cola or water; it cannot be bleach

The liquid could be cola or water, but not bleach

The liquid must be bleach; it cannot be cola or water

Correct answer:

The liquid could be bleach but it could not be water or cola

Explanation:

Based on your observation of the liquid, you know a few things to be true:

1) The liquid is clear.  Since cola is brown in color and not clear, this eliminates cola.

2) The liquid has an odor. Since water is odorless, this eliminates water.

Given the available answer choices, this means that the liquid COULD be bleach, but of course you haven't proven that, you just haven't eliminated it as a possibility. There are many clear liquids that have an odor, so you can't definitively say it's bleach, but you can rule out odorless or colorful liquids. That's why the answer is that the liquid could be bleach, and cannot be cola or water.

Example Question #22 : Physical Science

A student has three jars of powdered chemicals that are not labeled. One is salt, one is sugar, and the last one is baking soda. To figure out which is which, the student pours vinegar over each of them and one of them starts to bubble! What is the substance that reacts with vinegar?

Possible Answers:

salt

baking soda

sugar

none of these

Correct answer:

baking soda

Explanation:

The answer is baking soda. Baking soda is a common household product that is a base. Vinegar is an acid. Acids and bases react chemically when combined. 

Example Question #23 : Physical Science

Screen shot 2020 07 01 at 3.49.01 pm

This is a block of aluminum. Which of the following is NOT a property of this object?

Possible Answers:

it has a density

it is larger than a quarter

it is silver

it can be used to make other things

Correct answer:

it can be used to make other things

Explanation:

The answer is "it can be used to make other things." This is not a property of matter. Some common properties of matter are: color, luster (how shiny it is), texture, inertia, mass, weight, volume, density and specific gravity. 

Example Question #24 : Physical Science

Which of the following is an observable property of matter?

Possible Answers:

length

volume

all of these

none of these

weight

Correct answer:

all of these

Explanation:

The answer is "all of these." This is not a property of matter. Some common properties of matter are: color, luster (how shiny it is), texture, inertia, mass, weight, volume, density and specific gravity. 

Example Question #25 : Physical Science

Jerome is given a list of properties of a mystery substance. The list says:

  • The mystery substance exists as a solid at room temperature
  • The mystery substance is shiny
  • The mystery substance can be bent with your hand
  • The mystery substance is about 1 centimeter long.

Which of these is most likely Jerome's mystery substance?

Possible Answers:

an ice cube

a pair of scissors

a staple

a metal wagon

Correct answer:

a staple

Explanation:

The answer is a staple, because a staple has all of the properties listed. An ice cube does not exist as a solid at room temperature. A wagon is not 1 cm long and cannot be bent with your hand. A pair of scissors is also not a centimeter long.

Example Question #26 : Physical Science

Which property identifies water vapor as a gas?

Possible Answers:

It spreads through the air.

It is colorless.

It is very heavy.

It is very cold.

Correct answer:

It spreads through the air.

Explanation:

Water vapor is a gas, and you may have heard the term when discussing the water cycle or evaporation. When thinking about the three states of matter that can describe a substance, it can be either a solid, liquid, or gas. These can be hot or cold by definition, colorless, light or heavy, but only one ca spread through their air with no definite shape; that is a gas. A gas has no shape and would spread throughout the air; if it is trapped in a container, it will continue to move about the container and not remain stationary.

Example Question #27 : Physical Science

A student compared an ice cube to the liquid water from the ice cube after it melted.  Which of the following statements is an observation from the student's comparison?

Possible Answers:

Both have a definite mass and volume, but only the liquid water has a definite shape.

Both have a definite mass and volume, but only the frozen ice cube has a definite shape.

Both have a definite mass and volume, and both have a definite shape.

Both have a definite mass and volume, but neither has a definite shape.

Correct answer:

Both have a definite mass and volume, but only the frozen ice cube has a definite shape.

Explanation:

Two properties that describe both liquids and solids are a definite mass and volume but not a definite shape. The liquid takes the shape of the container it is placed within, while solids have an actual fixed shape. If you put water in a bowl, it will be bowl-shaped. If you put liquid in a bottle, it will be bottle-shaped. If you place an ice cube in these same containers, they will remain an ice cube shape unless they melt into a liquid.

Example Question #11 : Identifying Material Properties

True or False: The physical properties of matter can only be gathered through observation.

Possible Answers:

False

True

Correct answer:

False

Explanation:

The statement “The physical properties of matter can only be gathered through observation.” is false. The physical properties of matter can be gathered through measurement AND observation. Using the five senses to collect information about the material or matter is just as crucial as taking concrete measures like the mass or volume. Classification and categorization of material are best done through a combination of observation and measurement.

Example Question #12 : Identifying Material Properties

Which answer choice(s) below are physical characteristics that can be gathered by observation?

Possible Answers:

Boiling point

All of the answer choices are correct.

None of the answer choices are correct.

Ability to conduct electricity

Freezing point

Correct answer:

None of the answer choices are correct.

Explanation:

None of the physical properties listed below can be determined through measurement. A material's freezing point can be determined by keeping track of the temperature the material is exposed to colder and colder temperatures until it freezes. The temperature this happens is decided after multiple trials determine its freezing point. A material's boiling point is discovered by measuring a rising temperature until the material comes to a rolling boil. Both of these physical properties are measured with a thermometer. Finally, whether a material conducts electricity depends on what the sample is made up of. Things like wood, plastic, and cloth do not conduct electricity well, while metal and copper do. The electrical conductivity can be calculated by measuring the resistance, area, and length of the test material. You can also use a four-terminal ohmmeter for greater accuracy. All of these physical properties require testing and the use of measurement to determine.

Example Question #13 : Identifying Material Properties

True or False: Color is a physical property that is determined through observation.

Possible Answers:

False

True

Correct answer:

True

Explanation:

The statement "Color is a physical property that is determined through observation." is true. Color cannot be measured with a tool but is a physical property that is gathered using one of the five senses. Our sense of sight allows us to see color and make determinations about what we are observing. We would not use a ruler or thermometer to determine a material's color.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors