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Children experiment with freezing water to observe a state change of water, and discover that it is less dense as a solid (ice) than it is as a liquid (water). Amazing Expanding Ice is an overnight activity requiring 20 minutes of preparation, overnight freezing of the experiment, and 10 minutes of follow-up discussion.

This activity takes approximately 30 minutes

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Energy Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

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

  • This activity could be used for starting a lesson on energy flow in water.
  • The topic is rigorously covered if couched in the "All About Ice" curriculum for younger audiences, with multiple pages of a journal that the students fill out.
  • Teachers will need to adapt the journal for those students who do not write yet.

About the Content

  • This activity guides students through the scientific process to explore the state change of water by finding out what happens to water when you freeze it.
  • Students observe how water expands when it freezes even though it weighs the same as when it was a liquid.
  • Digitally available data and background material on the state of earth's water comes from the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This hands-on lesson engages students in observations of water expansion.
  • Students fill cups with equal amounts of water and mark the level of the water. Then they let it freeze and see where the new level is. They fill out a science journal at each step.
  • The lesson and journal are logically organized, and are best used with the other lessons in the unit to help with scaffolding, though the activity can be used by itself. CLEAN reviewers recommend that if used with 3rd-5th graders, the activity is used in conjunction with other lessons in the unit.
  • The guiding questions will allow students to expand on their thinking and make connections to the real world.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This lesson is free, easily accessible, and ready for teachers to use.
  • Teachers would need to print journals beforehand.
  • Materials are easy to obtain.
  • Note that the journal is for the entire suite of lessons in the unit, so instructors will need to only use the pages for this specific lesson.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Entered the Collection: November 2021 Last Reviewed: July 2021

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