The kinetic model of matter is an important idea that can be tackled at a variety of levels.
To link the animation to NC 'Scientific Enquiry' it would be useful to emphasise that the animation is trying to model how matter behaves and as a model it will have flaws. As part of this discussion the pupils' attention could be drawn to the assumptions at the beginning of the animation. For example it is unlikely that the water molecule would be spherical and as the attraction between water molecules would be quite strong (hydrogen bonding) the particles might not quite behave in the way shown in the animation.
At a different level it might be noticed that the particles are almost all moving at the same speed, which is obviously incorrect.
The questions are provided to promote discussion based upon the kinetic model.
The kinetic theory of matter states that matter is made up of small particles which are constantly in motion. The higher the temperature the faster the particles move. In a solid the particles are close together, moving very little, and attract one another strongly. In a liquid the particles are further apart, moving and as a result the attraction between each particle is less. In a gas the particles are very far apart, moving fast and there is no attraction between them. The animation attempts to model this relationship.
Read the opening page and the assumptions on which the model is based. Open the animation and start it by clicking on the 'Increase Heat' button. Continue increasing the amount of heat and follow the rise in temperature by viewing the thermometer and the graph.
What is happening to the matter when the temperature remains steady?
Choose one of the questions from the end of the animation and discuss possible answers with other members of the class.