Cool Changes

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Students will be able to observe and describe the changes cooling causes to the observable properties of objects or materials.

Big Idea

Students will compare cups of water that are placed in the refrigerator, a cup of ice, and outside in wintry weather.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin the lesson by informing the students that today they will be conducting a well-designed investigation to answer the testable question: How does the technology used to cool water affect the rate at which it cools? Students will be conducting this experiment to validate the argument that testable questions must indeed be testable. Students have also been learning about heating and cooling and its effects on observable properties. This experiment reflects that as well.

I will provide the students the opportunity to share their predictions.


25 minutes

I will divide students into groups to conduct the experiment. I will provide each group with three cups of room temperature water and a thermometer. I will ask the groups to measure and record the temperature of the water in each cup. 

I will inform the students that one cup will be placed outside in the cold weather, one cup will be placed in a cup of ice, and the other cup will be placed inside of the refrigerator. I will ask students to think, pair, share their ideas about which cup of water will cool the fastest.

Next, I will escort the students to the three locations to place their cups. At ten minute intervals, I will provide the students the opportunity to measure and record the temperatures of all three cups of water.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, we will review our recorded data as a whole group. I will ask students to share which technology (refrigerator, ice, or cold air) cooled the water the fastest and the slowest. I will also ask the students to share their predictions and share their results. Were the predictions confirmed through the investigation? If predictions were incorrect, I will inquire with the students what might have caused different results than expected in the investigation?

Next, I will lead a discussion about how cooling technology has evolved over time. We will discuss how people cooled their food long ago before the invention of the refrigerator. We will discuss how refrigerators helped to fulfill the wants and needs of people.