Exploring Liquids

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SWBAT explore liquid and identify the ways to measure liquids.

Big Idea

Students use a measuring cup to explore liquids.

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

2-PS1-1-"Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials based on their observable properties." Students look closely at liquids. The students notice liquids do not have a shape or size of its own. The students collaborate in groups to observe the properties of liquids. Students predict which container holds the most water. Then they observe containers that hold the same amount of liquid. They draw conclusions that liquids have the same size and shape. The size of the container does not determine the amount of water it can hold.

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 5 addresses using mathematics and computational thinking. In K-2, students describe, measure, or compare attributes of different objects and display data on charts. In this lesson, the students use the measuring cup to measure the amount of liquids in the container. They notice the containers hold the same amount of water, 250 ml. Students have the opportunity to use a measuring cup to measure the volume of the container.

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas.  In this lesson, groups are provided the opportunity to discuss the amount of water each containers hold.

Prior Knowledge:

In previous lessons, students learned about matter. They understand solids, liquids, and gases are forms of matter. Also, they are beginning to understand liquids do not have a size and shape of its own.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.



10 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call students scientists to empower them and make them dreamers and doers.

“I can” statement

I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can identify the ways to measure liquids." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping.  I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.

Sentence Stem Starter

I invite students to finish this sentence stem, I like to drink_____________. I encourage students not to repeat the same liquid. When everyone has named a drink, I ask the students,  "What do the liquids have in common." This activity helps my auditory learners. They must be active listeners and speak in complete sentences. It is imperative that students listen to each other respectfully and communicate effectively, too. This helps students to develop their listening and speaking skills.

 I like to drink..... (video)


20 minutes

When I say "We Are On The Move" and my students stand and sing, We Are On The Move. This routine helps my students to move to their group's table with very little distraction. This also helps my auditory learners who enjoy singing as well as my kinesthetic learners who enjoy moving.  

When students get to their tables, they begin to assign their roles: a person to record, measure, and report. I assign the leader who is one of my advanced students. Leadership qualities are present. They put on their group labels with a clothes pin to ensure that I know each child's role.  Students are grouped by abilities to support  learning. I want all  students to take ownership of their learning, so assigning roles permits students to develop confidence in themselves as well as use their strengths to accomplish their group's goals.  

Before the groups start their investigation, I discuss the science safety rules. 1. Think Ahead. 2. Be Neat. 3. Be careful 4. Do not eat or drink things. It is important for students to have a sense what is and is not appropriate during science investigation. I am preparing them for science experiments with upper grades. My students know the importance of being safe. 

At the group's tables, they have their materials: measuring cup, 3 colors of water, 3 different size container, marker and lab sheet

Liquids-Set Up

Teacher note: The cups have the same amount of colored water. The amount of water in 3 different shaped containers.

Before groups start on their investigation, I discuss the laboratory expectations. I discuss the expectations, so groups know how to complete the investigation independently.  The groups ask questions and observe the containers of water in front of them.  I inform the groups to predict which container holds the most water.  Then I encourage them to pour water into the measuring cup to measure the different containers of colored water. Once they have the measurement, the groups are invited to record their amount of water in the cup onto the lab sheet. They are advised to complete the steps with the other two containers. When they are finished, they are to infer about the numbers.

They are given 15 minutes to complete the investigation. The time is placed on the timer so groups do not waste idle time.

Student Debrief

When groups are completed with the activity, they report their findings. Groups should notice that water takes the shape of its container rather that having its own shape (which is an observable property). 



5 minutes

What's the 411?-Activity

While students are sitting at their desk, I tell them 411 is dialed on the phone to provide information such as: day, time, or advertisement for a company. Teacher note: You can dial 411 for the students to hear the recorded message.  Then they are informed that they are going to imagine that someone called them to receive information about liquids and their experiment. They are provided 2 minutes so they can include the scientific findings they discovered in their experiment.

When students are finished, I permit them to share their message by sitting with a partner. One students pretends to call and the other students reads their 411 message.  This activity permits my students to share orally and written what they learned. This activity boosts  students' confidence and builds on language development. Also, I am assessing students' understanding.

What is the 411-Student Work

Which Container Holds The Most Water-Lab Sheet-Student Work