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Lesson Planet

Comparing the Density of an Object to the Density of Water

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Investigators construct a makeshift balance and compare equal volumes of wax and water. They do the same for clay and water. Then they discover whether the wax and clay will float or sink in water. Ultimately this is a comparison of...
Lesson Planet

Defining Density

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Three simple activities kick off a unit investigation of density. Your physical scientists make observations on the volume and mass of wood, water, and rocks, and make comparisons. Though this is written for grades three through eight,...
Lesson Planet

From Gas to Liquid to Solid

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
From gas to liquid condensation to solid frost, water undergoes phase changes before students' eyes! Using ice, salt, water, and a metal can, they set up an investigation that can be used in a physical science setting, or as part of a...
Lesson Planet

Exploring Moisture on the Outside of a Cold Cup: For Dry Environments

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
If the area you live in is arid, or the preceding experiment in this unit didn't yield obvious results, use this one in place of it to help reveal where condensation comes from. The mini unit that this is part of a comprehensive...
Lesson Planet

Exploring Moisture on the Outside of a Cold Cup

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
As a stand-alone or as part of the intended unit, this is a valid investigation of what causes condensation to occur.  By limiting the amount of air around a cold cup of water and comparing it to one out in the open, they find that the...
Lesson Planet

Matter on the Move

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Start this mini unit on matter out by demonstrating how food coloring behaves when placed in cold and in hot water. Then have the class experiment with warm water and soap film. Pupils will learn that an increase in thermal energy also...
Lesson Planet

Noodling Around: Powers of Ten

For Teachers K - 12th Standards
How many noodles long is your classroom? Find out when engineers of all ages explore measurement through the use of pool noodles. With the noodles pre-cut to certain metric lengths, the activities could be used to introduce the metric...
Lesson Planet

Condensation

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
It's time to break the ice! If you are doing all of the lessons in the unit, children have already seen that increasing heat increases the rate of evaporation, but is the opposite true? Does decreasing temperature cause more condensation...
Lesson Planet

Evaporation

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
This is one in several lessons that explore the relationship between temperature and phase changes of water. After some discussion, elementary physical scientists place wet paper toweling on a hot and a room-temperature water bag and...
Lesson Planet

Solubility Test

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Make sure to consult the teacher's handbook, Inquiry in Action - Investigating Matter Through Inquiry, for two demonstrations that can be done to introduce solubility and measuring crystal mass before having the class conduct this...
Lesson Planet

Look-Alike Liquids

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Here is the first of four experiments to differentiate among unknown liquids by their behaviors and properties. Pupils observe how different liquids respond to being placed on plastic and paper, and they take notes about their...
Lesson Planet

Temperature Affects the Solubility of Gases

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Dare your class to drive dissolved carbon dioxide out of carbonated liquid at different temperatures to discover if there is a difference in rate. To make this experiment more sound, have explorers use equally measured amounts of soda...
Lesson Planet

Dissolving Different Liquids in Water

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Not many youngsters realize that solids aren't the only materials that can possibly be dissolved in water. During this investigation, they find out that some liquids can dissolve in water as well. This is part of a unit on solubility,...
Lesson Planet

Temperature Affects Dissolving

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Stir chocolate drink mix into hot and cold water to see if there is a difference in how quickly it dissolves. Number three in a six-lesson unit on dissolving, this installment investigates the effect of temperature. If you consult the...
Lesson Planet

Dissolving a Substance in Different Liquids

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Second of six lessons in a unit on dissolving, this one focuses on how sugar behaves in different liquids. Learners stir it into water, alcohol, and oil and make observations. This activity can stand alone, but is best used as part of...
Lesson Planet

Defining Dissolving

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Physical science investigators mix sugar and food coloring into different cups of water and cooking oil to compare how the solid and liquid behave in each. As the introduction to this unit on dissolving, it is relevant.
Lesson Planet

Using the Combining Test to Identify Unknown Liquids

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Once investigators have learned how their mystery liquids interact with water during the preceding activity, they now use their observations to identify them. This is an ideal conclusion to the mini unit on the properties of water. 
Lesson Planet

Using Color to See How Liquids Combine

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Blue-tinted water is added to unknown liquids that have been tinted yellow to find out how they interact. This is a memorable activity that is part of an investigation on the properties of liquids, which is part of a unit on the...
Lesson Planet

Recrystallization Test

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Crystallize the answer to the question that has been investigated since the first of four lessons: What is the unknown crystal? Pupils have examined, crushed, and dissolved four samples plus an unknown as an exploration of the properties...
Lesson Planet

Curious Crystals

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Crystals are more than meets the eye! Can learners tell them apart simply by observation? As they examine five samples with a magnifier, they find that appearance alone is not enough. This serves as an introduction to a mini unit on...
Lesson Planet

Mysterious M&M's

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
The first in a six-activity mini unit, all using M&Ms® candies, this physical science activity gets kids to observe a single piece and discover what happens when it is placed in a plate of water. The activity can be used to introduce...
Lesson Planet

Dispenser Designs

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading about the history of tape dispensers, learners compare and contrast different dispenser designs. Next, teams work within budgetary and time constraints to design a better dispenser. When finished, each engineer reflects on...
Lesson Planet

Popsicle Bridge

For Teachers 2nd - 12th Standards
Using popsicle sticks and glue, groups must work together to design and build a bridge that can support weight and is aesthetically pleasing. The lesson begins by learners reading about different features of bridge architecture, followed...
Lesson Planet

Interactive Gumball Machine

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Sure, you may be able to build a better mousetrap, but what about a gum dispenser? In a fun engineering challenge, teams must design and build a working interactive gumball machine with specific constraints and criteria.