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

Learning task 1

Disappearing water

Adaptation for ESOL students: Learn key vocabulary. Use realia (Word 24KB) when introducing vocabulary.
Realia - equipment that the teacher needs to show the students and name: Saucepan, stove or hotplate, plastic sheet, ice cube, container. Model techniques to help students work out word meanings.

Test A: Freezing, melting, and boiling

What you need

  • Ice cubes
  • A saucepan
  • A stove or hotplate
  • A cold plate
  • A plastic sheet

What you do

  1. Make some ice cubes. In this process, the water turns into ice as it freezes. In other words, it changes from a liquid to a solid.
  2. Leave the ice cubes in a container on the bench. Observe what happens to them. The process you are watching is called melting. When ice melts, it changes from a solid to a liquid.
  3. Boil the water from the melted ice cubes in a saucepan. In this process, the water turns into steam. In other words, it changes from a liquid to a gas. When this happens, the water is evaporating.
  4. Hold a cold plate above of the saucepan as the steam is rising. What gathers on the bottom of the plate? You will get droplets of water on the plate. The process that causes these droplets is called condensation. As the steam touches the cold plate, it cools down and forms liquid water again. In other words, it changes from a gas to a liquid.

Safety warning

Hold the plate well above the saucepan so that you do not scald yourself when collecting the condensation.

Test B: Evaporating

Make a small puddle of water on a plastic sheet. Draw a line around the puddle and observe it at regular intervals. What is happening as the water evaporates?


Repeat Test B, this time using salty water. What do you notice when all the water has evaporated? Can you explain what is left on the sheet and how it formed?

Note for teachers

It is important to make the puddle on a plastic sheet so that the students will not conclude that the water has drained away. Discuss with the students what is happening. Encourage them to think about what they observe during these activities. You may wish to use questions or discussion to make links to simple weather processes and to the water cycle, studied in the contextual strand Making Sense of Planet Earth and Beyond.

Adaptation for ESOL students: Scaffold the learning process by thinking aloud. Use collaborative activities to encourage academictalk (Word 23KB) . Teach the LanguageOfScience (Word 26KB) explicitly.

Published on: 09 Jan 2018