Water Changes and Moves
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Students learn about water's three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. They will understand that there is water in the air, known as water vapor, even if they cannot always see it. They will discover how water changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas with heat in preparation for understanding about the water cycle. They will see how water takes the shape of its container and learn the concepts of condensation and evaporation. Through experimentation, they will observe how water moves and flows downward.
The students will:
- Learn new vocabulary: solid, liquid, gas/vapor
- Compare the different forms of water as it changes shape
- Observe how water flows
- An electric skillet or hotplate with a flay pan
- A sealed, plastic bag of ice
- A sealed, plastic bag of water
- A sealed, plastic bag of air
- Three empty glass jars with lids
- Black permanent marker
- Labels that read "evaporation" and "condensation"
- Water idea web from Lesson One
- Blank paper
- Water fountain kit for each cooperative group of four. Kit includes:
- Plastic tub with three cups of water
- Paper cup
- Smaller plastic cup
- 2 plastic straws cut in half
- A clipboard with paper for each group
- Cooperative group labels
- Cooperative Group chart
- Water Fountain Instructions printable
Set Up and Prepare
- Chart the Water Forms song from Day 1, Step 3.
- Set electric frying pan in a safe place for observation, out of students' reach.
- Prepare the plastic bags containing water forms (ice, water, air — you can blow air into this bag).
- Prepare Water fountain kits, pre-cutting cups with four pen holes on four sides of the circle so that the straws can be poked through.
- Arrange students in small groups of four.
- Print a sheet of cooperative group job labels for each group: Constructor, Recorder, Demonstrator, and Reporter.
- Create a Cooperative Group Job chart from Day 2, Step 2.
Step 1: Sit students in a circle and pass around the three bags. Invite them to feel the bags, but caution them not to open them. Ask them what they think are in the bags. Tell them that each of the bags contains water in different forms. Ask for volunteers to identify each bag's contents. Some students may notice that the ice is melting.
Step 2: Explain that water exists in three forms — solid ice, liquid water, and… Ask students if they think anything is in the third bag. Hold up an empty bag next to the bag of air and compare. Tell them that although the third bag seems empty, there is actually air in it and that air contains water. Explain that water is all around us in a gas form called water vapor, but sometimes we cannot see it. Today, we will prove that water is in the air.
Step 3: Teach children the song, "Water Forms" sung to the tune of "Oh My Darling."
Don't ya know?
It can change and
It can move and
You can see it
High and low.
Step 4: Point out that when water is a liquid or a gas, it takes the form of its container, whether it's a bag, jar, fish tank, balloon, or something else. Hold up the bags. Ask them if the ice, a solid, takes the shape of its container. Pour it into a jar to demonstrate. Pour the water from the bag into the jar. Ask if the liquid fills or takes the shape of the container. When you pour the air from the bag into the jar, pretend that the water vapor is escaping into the room. Tell students that we will "catch" the water from the air and that this is called condensation. Seal the jar with the ice tight with the lid. Leave the lid off of the jar with water and draw a line with a black permanent marker to show where the water level is. Explain that when water disappears into the air, it's called evaporation. Label the water jar with the evaporation label and the ice jar with the condensation label. Tell students that we will look at the ice jar later today and the water jar over the next month. Be sure to place the water jar in a place where it can be observed, but not disturbed.
Step 5: Ask students if they know how water changes. Show them the electric frying pan and explain that when you plug it in it will get hot. Ask them if they know the name of something outside that can become really hot (the sun). Tell them that the heat from the electric skillet acts like the heat from the sun.
Step 6: To be safe, ask students to remain seated and away from the electric skillet. Take a piece of ice from the bag and place it in the skillet. Ask the children to explain the stages of water they observe as the ice melts: solid-liquid-gas.
Step 7: Refer back to the idea web from Lesson One. Draw another circle from "water" and write, "What are the forms of water?" From that circle, encourage students to recall the three forms of water and chart.
Step 8: Distribute paper and ask students to draw the three forms of water. Encourage them to label their pictures with letters or words.
Step 9: Gather students together and look at the ice jar. Share observations. Explain that the little drops of water on the sides of the jar are water that was collected from the air: water vapor. When the gas cools, it turns to liquid. The air is bumping up against the sides of the cold glass. The water vapor in the air is changing into water and sticking to the glass. This is called condensation, which we will talk about in another lesson.
Step 1: Review Water Forms song from Day 1. Ask students to close their eyes and imagine a snowy mountain top. (You may need to discuss what snow looks like/feels like for those who have never seen it.) What form of water is snow? Imagine the sun melting the snow. What happens to the snow? How does the water flow? Tell them that today they will have an opportunity to explore how water flows.
Step 2: Explain that they will be working in groups of four and each student will have a different job. Explain the jobs using the Cooperative Group Job Chart:
- Director — reads/tells directions
- Constructor — puts project together
- Recorder — draws/writes about what happened
- Reporter — tells class what happened
Explain all materials in kit, including instruction sheet, and how each student will contribute to the project. Ask students to observe and discuss:
- What happens when you pour the water from the smaller cup into the big cup with the straws?
- Can you fill the water to the top? Why or why not?
- Is the water taking the shape of its container? How do you know?
- What can you observe about the way water flows?
- Can you make the water stop flowing?
Step 3: Distribute water fountain kits and clipboards to cooperative groups of four. Monitor group progress.
Step 4: Gather students together and have the reporters from each group share their findings.
Supporting All Learners
Group students heterogeneously in cooperative groups.
- Provide various-sized water cups at the sand table and encourage children to show how water flows from sand mountains.
- At the water, table, encourage students to pour from one cup to another to explore how water takes the shape of its container.
- Put crushed ice in the water table. You can make ice spheres by freezing balloons filled with water and add them to the ice mix.
- Over the next month or two, take 30 seconds to observe the evaporation of the water from the water jar in Day 1, Step 4.
- Have students "catch" a gas by blowing up balloons.
- Record the three forms of water
- Oral and visual group presentations
- Did students use new vocabulary: solid, liquid, gas/vapor?
- Were they able to work well in their groups?
- Did they recall the forms of water?
Observe how they illustrated water forms and if they used letters and words. Observe how students participate in their groups. Note the illustrations and oral presentations from the groups.