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Predicting the Meltdown

Crayola® Model Magic snowmen demonstrate understanding of the different physical forms of water.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Open a discussion with the class focused on the three forms of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. Ask students for suggestions of how to create an example of each. If possible, have students create a snow figure outdoors, or freeze ice in molds. Have students make predictions about how long will it take the snow/ice to melt. How long will it take the water to evaporate? What conditions are needed for these changes to take place?
    2. Organize students into teams of two. Ask teams to create four or more Crayola Model Magic models: the solid form of water, intermediate melting stages, the liquid, and the scene after it evaporates (or melts into the Earth). Use Crayola Washable Markers to color any parts of the Model Magic sculpture.
    3. Students conduct experiments with snow, ice, water, and evaporated water. Predict how long it will take for real solid water (snow sculpture or ice) to become liquid. Estimate how long it will take for liquid to evaporate. Make labels on index cards with markers. Note the current date plus each team's date and time predictions for melting and evaporating.
    4. Display the prediction models. Compare the predictions with what happens to the snow or ice, posting photographs of actual events with model predictions.. Consider why the predictions were accurate or were not.
    5. Using a journal format, ask students to respond to the question, "What happens when a water changes state?"
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).

    LA: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

    MATH: Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories.

    SCI: Provide evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Solids by Jim Mezzanotte; Liquids by Carol Ryback & Jim Mezzanotte; Gases by Jim Mezzanotte; What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases by Katherine Weidner Zoehfeld; Energy Makes Things Happen by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    With adult supervision, provide students with the opportunity to experiment with various melting conditions such as indoors and outdoors: heated, frozen, or refrigerated; moving or still air; insulated with newspaper; sunshine and shade. Students observe and chart all results. Discuss findings in small groups.

    Encourage students to try the process in reverse. Students make predictions about how long it takes liquids to freeze, how long it takes gelatin to set, and what temperatures these events happen. Experiment and compare want actually happens to student predictions.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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