Lesson: Ice Explorers
Concepts: Liquid to Solid/ Solid to Liquid/ Melting
Works Best for: Preschool-Early Primary
This is a fun lesson to use during the fall and winter months when your child is craving snow, or during the hot summer months as a fun and educational way to cool off! You should note that this lesson requires preparation and planning, and cannot be done on the spur of the moment.
Procedure: Fill a variety of containers with water and freeze overnight. The lesson will provide more interest/exploration if you are creative with your choices of containers. Use a variety of sizes and try to find containers that are unusually shaped. (Ie- think jello or soap molds, candy molds, various sizes of tupperware, shaped cake pans, etc.) For added fun, freeze small toys and/or objects such as flowers, rocks, etc. into the ice. This will allow you to make a different set of predictions. Bring the containers of ice out and show them to your child(ren). (If possible, un-mold the ice from the containers, so the child is just viewing the ice formations). Discuss with them what they see and observe. Ask them to make predictions about what they think will happen to the various ice shapes. After predictions have been made, allow them some time to free-play/explore. As the ice melts, talk with them about what is happening. Check their predictions, and talk about why their predictions did/did not happen.
Extend the lesson: Allow your child to select several of the containers to fill with water, and record a second set of predictions regarding what they think will happen when the containers are placed in the freezer. If it is cold/icy outside, you could place a container outside, and make predictions. Another container could be placed in the fridge, one on the counter, etc.
Modify the lesson: For older children, have them record their observations and predictions in a science journal (any spiral notebook works just fine, or you could make and decorate a special journal specifically for science lessons.)