Freezing and Melting {Simple Science for the Primary Classroom}

Boy looking at conical flasks in classroom

It’s November!  I hope you survived Halloween and ate tons of your favorite candy!  Even better, I hope you got a little extra sleep with the time change this weekend.

I’m here with the next installment of Simple Science!  This week’s investigation is all about freezing and melting.  I teach in Ohio and our first grade standard for this is beyond simple: I can explain how water changes state from solid to liquid.

My kids already know this.  Every. Last. One.  When we start this unit on matter someone always announces, “I have popsicles that start as juice and get frozen in the freezer so you can eat them!”

So…we get the basic concept and can have some fun!

The question:  Will water freeze when mixed with another object?  and Which cube will melt first?

The supplies: yard, salt, oil (I used veggie but any type will work), kool-aid drink mix, beads, craft sticks, water and ice cube trays.  I love these 6 cup paint trays, 6 cup muffin tins are also perfect.

freeze melt supplies

Each table fills their own tray so that they can observe the materials more closely.

We fill one cup at a time and make predictions as we go.  I quickly circulate and pass out the objects to be mixed in, then the kiddos pour in the water and mix.

mixing water

mixing water and beads

As we fill the cups, the kiddos use the “hypothesis” side of the lab sheet to record their predictions.

freeze melt lab sheet

Here’s the tray, all ready to go into the freezer – cup #6 is just water and is our “control.”

ready to freeze

The next day, we take the trays out of the freezer and check on the results.

frozen tray

First, the kiddos decide which cubes will melt fastest and rank them on their lab sheet.

melting lab sheet

Then, they check the ice and record the results.

investigating frozen cubes

Surprise…everything froze!

Then, we continue to watch to see how quickly each cube melts.  The salt water cube melts super quickly, so it doesn’t take too long!

Finally, we fill in the actual order in which the cubes melted and discuss what might have made that happen.

You’re thinking this seems like the easiest thing ever…but my kiddos always love it!

ice cube lab recording sheet

Click the image to see this recording sheet in my TpT store.

Happy November!


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