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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
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Science topics ages 8 - 9
Solids and liquids

Curriculum relevance | Online lesson plan
Offline lesson plan | Worksheet | Activity

Online lesson plan


Investigate melting and cooling in a range of materials

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 2, Science, Sc3, 2b, 2c, 2d

Wales: Key Stage 2, Physical processes, 3.1, 3.5

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 2, Materials, Properties d, Change c

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, Changing materials Level B, Materials from Earth Level C

Resources required

Online activity from Science Clips website: Solids and liquids

Pictures of water and ice

Teaching activities

Ask the children to explain the properties of solids and liquids. Elicit the main facts, such as solids keep their shape whereas liquids flow to fill containers. Ask the children if a material always stays as a solid or a liquid. How can it be changed? Ask the children for examples, such as ice-cream or snow melting. Show pictures of water and ice and clouds. Explain that water freezes at 0°C. This is called the freezing point of water. It is also the melting point of ice.

Tell the children they are going to investigate the melting and freezing of a range of materials in a virtual experiment. On an interactive whiteboard, bring up the online activity. Show children, 1) how to place a different substance into the container, 2) how to heat the substance, 3) how to cool the substance, 4) where to watch the changing temperature display, 5) how to test the substance.

Divide the children into groups with a computer for each group. Ask the children to heat and cool each of the substances in the menu, and to record the melting point of each for discussion later.

Ask children the following questions. Do all solids melt at the same temperature? Which order do the solids you tested melt in? Which of the solids you tested do you think would melt on a hot day? Tell the children that they have learned that solids can become liquids when heated to different temperatures, and ask them when they think this would be useful (e.g. melting wax to shape candles, moulding molten metal or plastic).


Ask the children to construct a graph of the melting points of the materials they tested, and to devise statements and questions that can be displayed for others to investigate.

Suggested homework

Compile a list of useful changes of state observed in their homes, e.g. melting butter. Bring the list into class to compare and discuss.


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