Will it Ice?

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SWBAT explain and identify water as a solid or liquid.

Big Idea

Where can we locate water as a solid or liquid?

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

2-ESS2-3 addresses "obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid."  In this lesson, students learn about how water can be solid or a liquid. They learn about water in North America and Antarctica. It is important that students learn that water can be a liquid, solid, or a gas. This lesson is significant because students learn about the unique characteristics of Antarctica.

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 6 addresses constructing explanations and designing solutions. "Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and designing solutions." In this lesson, students investigate two continents, North America and Antarctica. They observe the water forms in these two areas. This lesson is imperative because the students are able to explain why salt water does not freeze.

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 obtain information about how water does not freeze even in the saltiest water areas such as: Antarctica. They collaborate in groups to communicate with their peers about their findings.

Prior Knowledge:

Students have learned about life in Antarctica by reading several reading selections. They learned about penguins by reading "Penguin Chick". They know that penguins can survive in extremely cold weather.

In my class, students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets that they created early in the school year to wear during their 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" before each lesson.

Teacher note: This experiment takes two days.

Materials: (per group)


25 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 students scientists to empower them 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 can identify water as a solid and liquid in North America and Antarctica." 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.


Students observe a PowerPoint about Antarctica and North America that I created. The PowerPoint helps my visual learners as they learn more in depth about where to locate water as a solid and liquid. After the PowerPoint, the students are asked questions to check for their understanding, so I can assess their learning.

Stand and Deliver

When I ask students questions in the Stand and Deliver portion, each student must stand and deliver their response. Students are asked:  When does water freeze? Where can frozen water be located? Can animals survive in Antarctica? Explain.  Would you rather live in North America or Antarctica? Explain.

I ask the students these questions to recall facts from the PowerPoint. Also, this strategy helps boost students' oral communication skills by answering the questions. I require the students to speak in complete sentences to assist with language development.



15 minutes

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

When students get to their tables, they begin to assign their roles: a person to lead, record, measure, and report. I assign the leader which 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 students’ learning. I want all my 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.  All hands must be on deck.  The groups are reminded of the group rules. The group rules are located at their table so they can reference them.

Here is the process that I lead with the students.....

I inform the groups to refer to their lab sheet. I remind the students that water freezes at 32°F; however, the water around Antarctica doesn’t freeze. I then explain to them that it is said that the water is too salty to freeze. The salt makes the water heavier than regular lake or even the ocean water near North America. So let’s test it out.

The lab sheet is provided to the groups to guide their investigation. It is important that groups learn how scientists record their investigation on a lab sheet. 

I read over the lab sheet and I encourage the students to follow along as I read. I read directions out loud to make sure that they understand the investigation. I also inform the groups that this will be a 2 day experiment because the water has to be placed in the freezer. We will remove the cups from the freezer at the same time on tomorrow. For instance, if we place the cups in the freezer at 2 PM. We will take them out at 2 PM, the next day.

Students collaborate in groups to discover which water will freeze.

I allow the groups 25 minutes to complete the lab sheet. It is imperative that groups complete their work in a timely manner. Therefore, I use an over-sized clock in my room that is visible to them and me.

Will it Freeze-Video

Will It Ice-Picture

Will it Freeze-Lab Sheet-Student Work


20 minutes

On day 2, the groups are provided with their cups that were placed in the freezer. Then the groups draw conclusions about what happened to the water. It is important that scientists go back to their hypothesis to draw conclusions about their findings.

All groups are permitted to share their results with the class. I permit the person that recorded the data to read their findings to the class. They also are encouraged to speak in complete sentences. This helps students boost their confidence as they report out as while working on verbal skills.

1 Minute Exit Ticket

While students are sitting at their desks, they write a 1 minute speech about how water can be a solid or liquid.  The 1 minute report allows students to write freely for 1 minute to express what they learned. I take up the students' assignments to check if students discussed their understanding of why some water freezes completely and some water does not. Also, I am checking for their understanding of what they learned about water in North America and Antarctica. Sentence structure, tone, and grammar is checked as well. It is important that students learn how to write correctly following the appropriate grammar rules.

One Minute Exit Ticket-Student Work