Quick summary: In this activity students investigate what happens when rising temperatures cause ice on land and in the sea to melt. They conduct two experiments, one looking at sea ice and the other looking at land ice and observe how the melting of this ice affects the sea level.
Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in Earth Hour. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change.
- Students understand the difference between sea ice and land ice.
- Students recognise that melting land ice will affect sea levels, but that melting sea ice won’t cause as much of a rise in sea levels.
- Students understand that simple science experiments can be used to demonstrate these differences clearly.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1
Australian Curriculum content description:
Year 3 Science
- A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)
- With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS053)
- Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS215)
- Reflect on the investigation, including whether a test was fair or not (ACSIS058)
Year 4 Science
- With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS064)
- Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS216)
- Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071)
Syllabus Outcomes: ST2-4WS, ST2-12MW.
Topic: Climate change
Time required: 60 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – conduct experiment, facilitate discussion and oversee activity
Resources required: Ice cubes, waterproof tray, plastic sheet, sticky tape, scissors, water, black marker, ruler long enough to fit most of the width of the tray, gravel (optional), internet access, student worksheet.
Homework and extension opportunities: This activity includes opportunities for extension.
Keywords: Sea ice, ice bergs, land ice, melting, experiment, Antarctica, Arctic.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.