We All Scream For Ice Cream!!!

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SWBAT experiment with solids and liquids to create a new mixture, ice cream.

Big Idea

Students understand the states of matter. Now they learn that matter can be mixed to create something new. They combine solids and liquids to make creamy ice cream.

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

2-PS1-4 "construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating and cooling can be reversed and some can't." Students learn that matter can be combined to make a mixture but you need two or more things. Also, it is important that students learn that matter is reversible (change back) or irreversible (can't change back) depending on what actions have taken place such as: heating, cooling, bending, breaking, or burning.  The students also learn that water can be a liquid, solid, or gas. When heat is added to water, it changes to a gas and then to back to a liquid. A liquid can turn into a solid when the temperature reaches 0 degrees Celsius or lower and return to a liquid if the temperature goes above 0 degrees Celsius. In this lesson, the students discuss the different states of matter. They combine a mixture to make ice cream. They also learn rock salt and ice makes the liquid freeze into delicious ice cream.

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 3 addresses planning and carrying out investigations. In K-2, it is imperative that students have the opportunity to plan and carry out investigations, so they understand the role that scientists play in testing theories. In this lesson, the students collaborate as a class to complete an investigation on combining items to create a mixture. The items that they combine are turned into creamy, delicious ice cream. This lesson is important because students collaborate using a variety of items, liquids, and solids.

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, students communicate with each other about how the liquid mixture turned into ice cream.

Prior Knowledge:

Students have knowledge about matter. They know that there are three forms of matter, solids, liquids, and gases. Also, they know that matter takes up space and has weight.

Junior Scientists:

IIn 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.


  • 1 gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag
  • 1 Ziploc sandwich bag
  • Enough ice to fill gallon bag half way
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring tablespoon and ¼ teaspoon
  • 6 tablespoons rock or kosher salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract




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 my them scientists to empower students and encourage them to become 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 experiment with solids and liquids to create a new mixture, ice cream." 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.


The students observe the PowerPoint about changing matter. The PowerPoint discusses the changes in matter and reviews matter vocabulary terms with the students. This video supports my visual learners.  The pictures, images, and text assist my students in understanding and retaining the taught content.

Moving Our Bodies

In reviewing the vocabulary terms, the students are allowed to use their body to express themselves. I provide them with a beat of four using a drum and students move to the beat. This helps support my kinesthetic learners. Dancing is a creative way to reinforce students' learning. When planning, I incorporate strategies that center around my students' learning styles. 

 Moving Our Bodies-video




25 minutes

While students are at their desks, I ask: Can matter change from one state to another? What would happen if I boil a pot of water on the stove? What happens to the water? What if I put the water in the freezer? What state of matter would the water be in? Can we change the state of matter if we create a mixture? Today, we are going to discover what happens when liquids and solids are combined? I pose the questions to the students to gauge their understanding of how matter can change states before our investigation.

I inform them that we are going to complete an investigation as a class. I provide all students with a lab sheet so they can follow along with the investigation.  Teacher Note: Display materials in front of the class. 

I direct students attention to the materials for today which are displayed in front of the class. I ask: What questions do you have about the items? They write their questions on the provided lab sheet. Students can refer to the science question stems that I created to assist them. It is also posted in the front of the class.  I permit the students to share some of their questions.

Then students are asked to complete the observation section of the lab sheet. They are asked to decide if the materials that we are using are solids, liquids, or gases. They use 'S' for solid,  'L' for liquid, 'G' for gas. Also, they are to list the properties of each. We discuss some of their descriptions. 

Students are asked:What do you think will happen when all of the elements are mixed together?  They are allowed 5 minutes to record their predictions. 

Teacher note: Prepare some additional bags with the ingredients and have students shake the bags for additional ice cream. However this can be a group or individual investigation.

I call on students to assist with mixing the ingredients. Here are the steps: 

 1. Using the measuring cup, measure out ½ cup of milk.

2. Pour ½ cup of milk in the Ziploc sandwich bag.

3. Measure out 1 tablespoon of sugar.

4. Pour the tablespoon of sugar in the Ziploc sandwich bag.

5. Measure out ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract.

6. Pour ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract into the Ziploc sandwich bag.

7. Seal the bag leaving little to no air inside and set aside.

8. Take the gallon size Ziploc freezer bag and fill half way with the ice.

9. Using the tablespoon, measure out 1 tablespoon of salt.

10. Pour the tablespoon of salt in with the ice.

11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 five more times.

12. Place Ziploc sandwich bag inside the Ziploc gallon bag and seal it.

13. Shake the bag for 5-8 minutes. Be sure the ice goes all around the sandwich bag while shaking.

I allow the students to taste the ice cream. Then they finish the lab sheet by asking the following questions: What happened when all of the ingredients were mixed together? What state of matter was it in? Was the state of matter reversible or irreversible? Explain.

I discuss the responses to the questions with the students.

Ice Cream-video

We are making ice cream-video

 Ice Cream-Lab Sheet-Student Work




10 minutes

Student Debrief

After the investigation, I engage the students in a conversation to reflect on their learning. I pose the following questions to the students:

What state of matter is ice cream? solid What items did we use to make the ice cream? milk, vanilla, sugar, ice, and plastic bag  What did we take away to change the liquid to a
solid? took away heat by using the ice

The questions are designed to check understanding while making sure that students comprehend the changes of matter.

I take up the lab sheets to observe that all the students completed the lab sheet  successfully and I am evaluating their understanding of describing properties and identifying matter.