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The Tip of the Iceberg

Lunar and Planetary Institute

Children observe an ice cube in water and discuss the amount of ice above and below the water, discuss density of ice, and make predictions. Based on what they have observed about small ice chunks, the children apply what they have learned to make a prediction about large ice chunks or icebergs.

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

  • 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.
  • This lesson is part of a unit, and best used as part of the unit, though can be used as a stand alone lesson.
  • The journal associated with this lesson supports the entire unit so teachers will want to use the journal pages that correspond to this activity. The journal may need to be adapted for younger learners who are not able to write yet.
  • Students may get distracted while watching their ice melt for several minutes. Teachers could provide real pictures or videos of icebergs melting or glaciers calving to keep their interest.

About the Content

  • This activity guides students through the scientific process to find out what happens to ice when you put it in water (it floats and melts).
  • They will notice that ice floats, has density which makes the water rise, and that most of the ice is in the water.
  • 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 is a hands-on experiment that will get kids exploring and wondering.
  • The learning outcome is focused on students understanding the states of matter of water and that ice is less dense than liquid water, thus it floats.
  • Students watch an ice cube melt and make observations about the process.
  • The guiding questions help develop thinking and inquiry.
  • The lesson and journal are logically organized.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This activity is free, easily accessible, and ready for teachers to use.

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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