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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.


Adapted from Science unit Water

Adaptions for ESOL students: Margaret Kitchen


Year: 6 to 8

Level: 2 to 4

Duration: 2 weeks

Achievement objectives


  1. Making Sense of the Material World
    2.3 Investigate and describe everyday changes to common substances.
    4.3 Investigate and describe ways of producing permanent or temporary changes in some familiar materials.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • examine water in its three states and discuss observable changes
  • investigate the rate at which similar materials melt or dry and suggest reasons for these differences
  • make predictions.

Achievement objectives


  1. Interpersonal speaking
  2. Exploring language

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • talk clearly in small or large groups about experiences, events and ideas, organising material effectively and attending to others' responses
  • identify and discuss language features and use these features in speaking adapting them to topic, purpose and audience.

Language learning focus

Focus on building vocabulary (Word 33KB) and oracy (Word 26KB) .

 Students will:

  • learn key vocabulary
  • build on their understandings of the expanded key word list
  • listen to the teacher scaffolding students into the scientific reasoning process and in groups use talk to explore scientific meanings
  • through teacher-led explicit discussion develop their language understandings of generalising and summarising in a scientific context
  • develop their understanding of the use of the passive verb in scientific language.

How to achieve the vocabulary and oracy language outcomes:

  • focus on key words
  • focus on expanded word and phrases list if the students are ready to acquire these words
  • use realia when introducing vocabulary
  • model techniques to help students WorkOutWordMeanings (Word 25KB)
  • scaffold the learning process by thinking aloud
  • use collaborative activities to encourage academic talk
  • teach the language of science explicitly.


water, change of state, ice, a solid, a liquid, a gas, to evaporate, to melt, to freeze

Big ideas (Teacher information)

Water exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. During a change of state, water undergoes one of the following processes: freezing, melting, dissolving, boiling, evaporating, or condensing. These are all physical changes. All these processes are reversible. When water freezes, it changes into ice. When ice melts, it changes into liquid water. When liquid water boils, it evaporates and changes into steam. When steam condenses, it changes into liquid water. Adding certain substances to water changes the temperature at which some changes of state occur. The change between the three states occurs as heat energy is added or removed.

Teaching and learning activities

Learning task 1

Learning task 2

Published on: 09 Jan 2018