Jump to this Activity »
Ice is Water, Water is Ice

Carnegie Institution of Washington Carnegie Academy for Science Education, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

This lesson invites young students to inquire about phase changes, about what happens as water changes into ice and as ice changes into water, observing ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions.

This series of activities will take several hours, depending on the wait times for ice to melt and freeze.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The teaching tips are written throughout the teacher guide.
  • This activity is extensive and will allow for a great science learning experience.
  • Best for in-person classroom environment.
  • Early elementary grades may need more support in understanding molecular structure, or the first activity can be skipped.

About the Science

  • This lesson establishes an understanding of phase transition and atomic theory.
  • Students observe what happens as water changes into ice and ice changes into water under a variety of conditions.
  • Students use observations and measurements to describe the patterns and phases ice and water go through depending on the temperature applied.
  • There are several points of discussion and suggested questions for the educator to expand on the scientific theory and the scientific method.
  • The related literature at the end is from reputable sources.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The three activities in this lesson (kinesthetic warm up, teacher demonstration, measure/observe) allow all types of learners to be engaged and creates a space for student inquiry.
  • The lesson differentiates activities/concepts to be used with students PreK-2 and 3-5.
  • A variety of possibilities are given for both ice melting and ice freezing activities as well as types of measurements that can be used with students with different levels of concrete understanding.
  • There is an "assessment criteria" page for use in evaluating the students understanding.

Jump to this Activity »