This list provides further ideas and resources for teachers taking part in the BBC Terrific Scientific campaign. It offers activities linked to water.
Links and Resources
Focusing on evaporation and condensation, these activities aim to develop investigative skills and contains ideas for investigations, key vocabulary and background knowledge including common misconceptions.
* Evaporation rate of different liquids
* Factors which affect evaporation
* Observing condensation as part of the water cycle
* Evaporation from plants and the water cycle
* Analysing domestic water usage
This activity sheet looks at the changing state of water. Children think about the way water behaves when it is heated to boiling point or cooled to freezing point and discuss the changes in state. They then look at some of the properties of water in its liquid state and write them down.
This resource requires students to consider where their water comes from and what life would be like if it were not readily available. It examines the importance of the water we use being clean and the consequences if that water is not clean. Students investigate simple ways of making dirty water clean and improving sanitation. This concept cartoon supports teaching about water conservation, prompting discussion about water shortage, water supplies and the water cycle.
Will an Ice cube melt faster on a metal or plastic surface? Try out this interesting investigation using ice cubes, a plastic chopping board and a frying pan! When asked to feel the plastic and the metal, people usually describe the plastic as warmer to the touch. They are then surprised to see that an ice cube melts quickly on the metal surface but very slowly on the plastic. Although this is counter intuitive, both surfaces are actually the same temperature, but the metal is such a good conductor that when touched it takes the heat energy away from your finger making it feel cold. The plastic is a good insulator and the ice cube barely melts as a result.
Lots of great activity ideas, key vocabulary and background knowledge about heating and cooling materials. Lots of the activities also support the development of key skills including: using a thermometer and reading the scale, using a stopwatch accurately, measuring volume and mass, making observations, tabulating results, constructing graphs and planning a fair test. Science poems and a concept cartoon are provided to promote discussion and develop understanding of key concepts.
*Measuring temperature accurately
*Investigating heating and cooling
*Investigating which materials are good conductors of electricity
This concept cartoon explores children's ideas about heat and insulation. A common misconception is that some materials have the property of making things warm. In this case because we have put coats on to keep warm there is a tendency to believe that the coat will also make the snowman warm so that it will melt quickly. In fact the coat acts as an insulator, reducing the movement of energy in either direction.
Learn about thermal insulators and changing state in this colourful comic aimed at Key Stage Two. Written to promote enquiry skills in a context, it focuses on planning and carrying out a fair test to investigate which materials are the best insulators.
In this episode Selenia travels back to England on an iceberg but needs to find something to stop it melting so she can return home. She uses seaweed to insulate the iceberg and slow down the melting but wonders if there could be a better material to use as an insulator.
This short video is great as a lesson starter. It shows how a desert-island castaway uses evaporation and condensation to collect drinking water. The video ends with a question designed to promote a Key Stage Two classroom discussion on evaporation and condensation.
In this activity, children create a model of the water cycle in a container. It looks at the work of Benjamin Franklin, who investigated evaporation and its role in cooling things down. It then provides instructions on modelling the water cycle in which children can see the processes of evaporation and condensation.