Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - States of Matter

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl provides a good context to learn about states of matter. This children's classic starts with Willy Wonka, the reclusive and eccentric chocolate maker opening his doors to five lucky members of the public – all they must do is find a Golden Ticket in their Wonka chocolate bars. Charlie Bucket, along with his unworthy fellow winners Mike Teavee, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Augustus Gloop, step through the factory gates to discover a world of chocolate rivers, boiled-sweet boats, magic chewing gum, square sweets that look round and Oompa-Loompas. Life will never be the same again. ​This book is a good setting through which children might:

  • compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
  • observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C)
  • identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.
  • Key scientific vocabulary: states of matter, solid, liquid, gas, change state, ice/water/steam, water vapour, heated/heating, cooled/cooling, temperature, degrees celsius, melt, freeze, solidify, boil​, evaporate/evaporation, condense/condensation

Other fiction books with a similar theme include: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson and Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr Seuss.