Curriculum - Science - Lesson Plan - Ice-cool ideas

14th May 2010 at 01:00
Primary Investigate changing materials with young children by looking at water's journey from a liquid to a solid. Gather your troops, a tank of the wet stuff and start experimenting

What the lesson is about

It aims to develop children's ideas on the concept of changing materials by looking at ice and water. Observation and recording are integrated into all aspects of the work. Children also have the opportunity to make predictions. It has links with ICT and art and is aimed at Year 2 pupils.


  • Pupils know that materials change when they are cooled.
  • Pupils can make observations about the differences between ice and water.
  • Pupils know that changing water to ice is not permanent.
  • Pupils know that a temporary change is reversible.
    • Getting started

      Sit in a circle and put a water tank in the centre. Start a discussion about water. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How does it behave? Talk about how it takes the shape of the container and ask what would happen if you put a dry sponge in it. Ask some children to experiment while the rest make observations.

      Establish what the children already know about freezing by looking at a photograph of an iceberg. Do they know what it is? Show a balloon full of water. Ask what will happen to the water when it is left in the freezer for a long time. Ask the children to record their ideas.

      Take an ice balloon and cut it open to reveal the ball of ice. Give the children an ice cube in a plastic cup and ask them to describe it. What does ice look like? What does ice feel like? How is it like water? How is it different?

      Ask them to make predictions with their partner. What will happen to the ice balloon if it is left out in the classroom?

      Taking it further

      Ask pupils to examine the ice balloons. Encourage them to describe the ice balloon and what happens when you drop a small amount of food colouring on it. Get pupils to record a comparison of ice and water. Ask them to predict what will happen if they put a small amount of salt on the balloon.

      Demonstrate and then explain what happened. Discuss how turning ice into water is a temporary and reversible change. Ask them to think about how the process might be quickened or slowed. Ask the pupils what they think will happen if the ice ball is put in the water tray. Will it float or sink? Test it. Get them to summarise what they have learnt about what happens to water when it is frozen.

      Summarise the differences between ice and water. Ask them to think about other liquids that can be used to make ice cubes for the next lesson.

      Where to find it

      A copy of the lesson plan, uploaded by jade1981, can be found at

      See also.


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