Density: Sink and Float for Solids

Steal cubes sink, but steal ships float. Lesson explores the density of solids as well as the density of water in determining what will sink and what will float. A hands-on group activity helps pupils see that weight and volume are two very different things. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • After the lesson, challenge learners to use the clay that sinks and shape in a way that makes it float, then have them explain why the change worked
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires tea light candles that have wax that completely fills the metal container
  • Utilizes a projector to show animations of what is happening at the molecular level
  • Lesson is the fourth in a series of six
  • Uses a 5E format
  • Provides an additional extension idea after the typical one included in the lesson
  • Offers discussion questions and ideal answers to help guide scholars in the right direction
  • None