Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Wonderful Water

Renee Benefield


Students learn by doing! An experiment will help the children understand that water is more than just wet! This lesson is a great prerequisite lesson for the water cycle and should be taught after students have explored solids, liquids and gases.


The student knows the effects of heating and cooling on solids, liquids and gases.

The student knows the physical properties of ice, water, and steam.

The student uses simple graphs, pictures, written statements, and numbers to observe, describe, record, and compare data.


-Chart paper
-Hot plate
-Copy of file, Wonderful Water (attached)
-Pencils and crayons for students
-Small squares of construction paper or brown paper towels


1. Collect water and ice, hot plate, and sauce pan.
2. Set up hot plate in a safe place out of the childrenís reach.
3. Copy the associated file, Wonderful Water, for students to record answers following the lesson.


1. Explain to students that they will be doing an experiment that will show how water can be changed into different forms (review solids, liquids and gases).

2. Show the container of water. Ask probing questions and record the studentís answers to the following questions: What form is this matter or object in right now? Can we change the waterís form?

3. Explain that the experiment they will do will answer these questions.

4. Explain that they will observe the first part of the experiment because it involves the use of a hot plate and caution students about objects that could burn them.

5. Call students to the experiment area.

6. Explain that we will be trying to change the waterís form and asks them what they could use to change the water quickly.

7. Pour the water into the saucepan and if the students did not guess to place the water on the hot plate the teacher asks them if they think the water will change if the pan is placed on the hot plate that is very hot. Tally and record the yes and no answers on the chart paper.

8. Tell the students to observe what is happening and caution them to be very careful around the hot plate.

9. As the water starts to boil and steam appears, ask the students what they think the steam is. Elicit responses.

10. Explain that the steam is tiny, tiny particles of water that are escaping into the air. This is water in the form of gas. Ask the students what caused the steam.

11. Explain to the students that the heat from the hotplate caused the little particles of water to move so fast that they actually are flying away into the air!! The heat is the energy that caused the water to change.

12. Ask the students what is another form that water can be in. They should respond a solid. If they do not come up with the answer give them some hints.

13. Show the ice to the students and ask them how this water turned into ice.

14. Explain that something caused the ice to change form and elicit what could have caused this change.

15. Explain that the temperature has once again caused the water to change. Cold temperatures cause the little particles of water to stick close together and formed a solid.

16. Ask the students if they think they can change ice into another form. Ask them to return to their seats and ask what form they could change the ice into.

17. Explain that they will do their own experiment with 2 pieces of ice. They are not allowed to do anything with the ice cubes until they are told what to do.

18. Hand out construction paper or brown paper towels while distributing the 2 ice cubes.

19. After the cubes are passed out, ask the students what they could do to make the ice change the quickest. Hopefully, someone will respond to put it in his or her mouth. If not, give hints that their mouths would be the warmest place on their body.

20. Tell the students to listen carefully to all of the instructions before starting: Put one cube in the mouth and do not bite or chew on it. Leave the other cube on the construction paper or paper towel and do not touch it. When one of the cubes melts, tell students to put their heads down. Ask the students which place do they think the ice will melt the fastest? Will it be the paper towel or in their mouths? Record responses on chart paper by putting tally marks under the caption, -fastest in my mouth,-or -fastest on the paper towel.-

21. When everyone has their heads down, ask if they had guessed correctly. Ask them why the ice melted so quickly in their mouths. They should respond because of the heat in their mouths.

22. Explain that the heat once again was the energy that caused the water to change forms.

23. Explain that they will watch the cubes on their desks melt and can time them to see how long it will take it to melt completely. Tell the students not to remove the construction paper from their desks because they will observe the water on the paper all day. Ask the students what they think will happen to the water on the paper. By the end of the day the water should be completely evaporated from the paper and you can discuss this process again with the students. Donít forget to include this as part of the lesson at the end of the day because it is a neat learning experience!!

24. Review the experiment and the sources that caused the water to change forms.

25. Pass out the copies of Wonderful Water and tell the students they will be drawing answers to the following questions and then explain that they will need to write a complete sentence to answer the questions. Read the questions: 1.What can change the water into a solid form? 2. What can change the ice into a liquid form? 3. What can change water into a gas form? Ask the students what words they will need to write in their complete sentences. Write down the words they call out on the chart paper.

26. Take up the papers and check for accuracy of the pictures and sentences to the questions


The assessment will consist of a student record (pictorial and written) of the results of an experiment. The student performance will consist of a drawing and a complete sentence that answers 3 specific questions about water in its three forms: solid, liquid and gas. (See attached file) Their responses should include the source of energy that caused the physical change of the water.


This lesson can easily be used to explain the water cycle. This lesson could include many variables such as putting different size containers in the freezer to observe the freeze time, placing ice outside in the sun and comparing the melting time and evaporation time.
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