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Science, Physical Science

Grade 3- 5


Students will investigate to answer the question: Can heat change matter from one form to another?


Record the time (to the minute) on your data-capture sheet.
Apply all of the heat sources to the ice cubes (e.g., turn on the lamp, flashlight, hair dryer). Be certain to hold all of them the same distance from the ice cube, in order to make a fair comparison about which heat source will change the matter fastest.
When all of your ice cubes have changed into a liquid, say Time!, and the timer will tell you what time it is now. The data-capture sheet person must record the time and compute how many minutes have passed.
Complete the graph.
Have students look for examples of heat changing matter at home.
Sit cups of water by the heater or in the sun. Have students mark the water line each day. Have them draw on the observation chart and draw conclusions about what happened to the water.
Have students write a story about the molecules in a snowman and what happens to them as the snowman sits all day in the sun.
Discuss what happened to the solid molecules, emphasizing that in every case, it was heat which changed the matter. Have teams act out what happened.
Make a science journal entry under Principles of Matter-Heat can change matter from one form to another.
The Big Why
After acting out what happens to molecules when they get hot, students conduct an investigation in which they change the form of matter by applying various forms of heat.


  • newspapers
  • three bowls
  • three heat sources (lamp, flashlight, hair dryer, etc.)
  • three ice cubes
  • copies of data-capture sheet
  • Note: The teacher will need a pan, three ice cubes, and a hot plate for this demonstration.

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